Science Media Communication Cell

The Science Media Communication Cell (SMCC) is a new initiative of CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication & Policy Research (NIScPR) to augment the popular science communication by disseminating R&D breakthroughs and outcomes from Indian scientific institutions and laboratories through different media platforms such as audio-visual, digital, social media, print and public engagement. The conceptualisation and the establishment of SMCC is aimed at harnessing the evolving communication and engagement landscape of science in India to take Indian R&D breakthroughs to the public.

A glimpse of the inauguration of the Science Media Communication Cell (SMCC) on September 11, 2023 on the occasion of the inaugural session of the One Week One Lab programme of CSIR-NIScPR

Background & Inception

India’s scientific institutions, organisations and agencies have played a stellar role in independent India’s scientific and technological progress. The journey of several organisations is even closely intertwined with the 75-year journey of independent India. Our scientific laboratories and research institutions have played an exceptional role in producing new knowledge and innovations and hence easing the life of common public.

The conceptualisation and the establishment of Science Media Communication Cell (SMCC), an initiative of CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication and Policy Research (NIScPR) is dedicated to bridging the gap between the science and the society. It is in continuation of this evolving communication and engagement landscape of science in India and is constantly working on the dissemination of S&T knowledge for the scientific progress of the Nation. SMCC was established keeping in view the ever evolving mass media platforms (including the emergence of social and digital media), changing dynamics of science communication and public engagement and emergence of new stakeholders on the scene.

During the last decade, our country has excelled in achieving many milestones and breakthroughs in the arena of scientific research. There is enormous potential in the Anusandhan National Research Foundation (NRF), recently implemented by the Indian Cabinet. This Foundation will connect the disciplines of scientific research, academy and industry to foster the aim of national development.

Dissemination of the breakthroughs and achievements of the Scientific Ministries, Departments and associated laboratories to the society has been the priority of the Indian Government and scientific establishments. It has been a long driven endeavour to take science to the masses and build a scientific temperament within the citizenry (Article 51 A[h] of the Indian Constitution). This is essential for renewed science-society understanding and engagement and bridging the gap between science and the public.

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology and Vice President of CSIR inaugurated SMCC on September 11, 2023 on the occasion of the inaugural session of the One Week One Lab programme of CSIR-NIScPR. This is a humble beginning. Keeping in view the objectives, nature of work and expected outcomes of the SMCC, CSIR-NIScPR has recruited the human resource who are having media and journalism background. In its Pusa campus, the Institute is in the process of developing the infrastructure for SMCC. NIScPR has a basic studio which is being renovated to functionalise for the upcoming professional requirements of SMCC.

Key Objectives

The Science Media Communication Cell needs to create and share the stories of R&D breakthroughs and achievements of Indian laboratories and scientific institutions to the public in easy to understand language. Science stories will be produced in the media focused formats. To make realise the dissemination of Indian science to the public, the following prominent objectives have been envisaged:

  • Scientific Temper Inculcation: Creating scientific temper by spreading scientific awareness among a wide cross-section of the public.
  • Knowledge Dissemination: Disseminating S&T knowledge through social media, print, digital, and electronic media.
  • Public Engagement: Reaching out to the public through workshops, trainings, policy dialogues, and interactive sessions.
  • Media Networking: Networking with media outlets, science journalists, and science communicators for maximum impact.
  • Outreach Activity: This includes branding, workshops, trainings, lectures, and brainstorming meetings/policy dialogues for strengthening the objectives of the project.

Functions

The Science Media Communication Cell needs to create and share the stories of R&D breakthroughs and achievements of Indian laboratories and scientific institutions to the public in easy to understand language. Science stories will be produced in the media focused formats. To make realise the dissemination of Indian science to the public, the following prominent objectives have been envisaged:

  • Crafting S&T content in the form of news reports, features, articles, blogs, analysis, interviews and profiles.
  • Conceptualising S&T based multimedia content, infographics, and illustrations
  • Producing compelling audio-visual programs including short films, documentaries, and podcasts.
  • Social media coverage of India’s Research and Development milestones and recent breakthroughs on media platforms like X, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

SMCC in Print Media


The Science Media Communication Cell (SMCC) of CSIR-NIScPR has been entrusted with the pivotal role of effectively disseminating the R&D success stories from all Indian laboratories through print, electronic, and social media platforms.

In a strategic move, SMCC has partnered with “Employment News,” a weekly journal aimed at job seekers and published by the Publications Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. This collaboration has facilitated the development and publication of articles highlighting the R&D breakthroughs, achievements, success stories, and technologies from various Indian labs, including DRDO, CSIR labs, ICMR, and others, in Employment News since April 2024. We have covered Mission Shakti, Indelible Ink, MedTech Mitra and Raman Spectrometer etc. and more stories including ISRO and DAE are in the pipeline.

The initiative ensures that the innovative strides made in Indian research are communicated to a broader audience, fostering a well-informed public and inspiring the next generation of scientists and researchers.

2024
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