In a conversation with the science promoter, Siavash Saffarianpour;

Our universities do not recognize science promotion

News ID: 4404 Tuesday 28 December 2021 - 11:09:12

To be a physicist and be able to talk to a professor of economics about your field, requires communication and storytelling skills in science; A component that is overlooked in our universities.

Siavash Saffarianpour, scientific programmer and scientific secretary of Cheragh Award, in an interview with Sinapress about the Cheragh Salamat section, which is the new section of this award, said: "Every year, this award is given to three selected members of the science promoters community who are passed through the judging process. The three candidates will be selected with the titles of Science Scholar, A Lifetime Science Promotion, and Science Promoter of the Year."
It is worth mentioning that the sixth edition of the Cheragh Award started with only one difference from other periods; Given the importance of information about COVID-19, the Policy Council of the award decided to add another section called Cheragh Salamat (health), to better inform those involved in the field of health and raising public awareness.
Referring to the importance of cyberspace in promoting science, Saffarianpour said: "Considering the great expansion of social networks, one of the choices of science promoters is to use these platforms in promoting science. Since a large part of promoters' activities is published on platforms such as Instagram, we decided to look closely and consider public feedback on social media."
Saffarianpour considered science promoters to be people who are generally university faculty and have a deep relationship with the general public, he said in this regard: "One of the big gaps in Iranian scientific society is that the scientific community does not consider science promotion a duty. In fact, there is no thought for the generalization of science in universities, and we have always seen the doors of the university closed to the general public." 
Regarding the role of universities in promoting science, he said: "I believe that one of the main activities of universities should be dedicated to have educational programs for local communities. The problem is that the scholars do not communicate with people. A scientific promoter is someone who has the ability to communicate with individuals and share his knowledge. In fact, the promoter shall be equipped with the art of communicating with expertise in another field. This act is very rare in our scientific community, and we hope to be able to institutionalize such thinking with the Cheragh Award."
He further added: "Science promotion helps to create insight and scientific thinking in society which is in fact, teaching experimental sciences through entertainment. This is where the difference between a science promoter and a teacher becomes apparent. It should be noted that these two always have similar activities close to each other, but a teacher is obliged to provide concepts to individuals in a course of study, but in science promotion, awareness is delivered in such a way that the audience does not have a duty to provide answers; In fact, there is no such expectation that an audience consistently follows or hear science promoters at all.
He continued: "In other words, the main task of science promoters is to employ a communication approach to convey scientific topics to people in simple language." 
Saffarianpour said: "We have a place called the Museum of Science and Technology, which should naturally be the center and reference of scientific promotion activities in the country and was formed on such basis, but unfortunately, neither developed nor was able to attract the desired audience.
It is worth mentioning that the winner of the Cheragh Award-2021 in the category of a Lifetime Science Promoter was Hazem Faripour, a well-known and effective figure in creating an exciting experience of science concepts. Also, the Science Promoting Award was given to the eminent astronomer Dr. Mohsen Shadmehri, the Health Cheragh Award to Dr. Hesamuddin Khezri, and the Prize of Science Promoter of the Year was awarded to Pouria Nazemi.
According to Sinapress, traditionally, the winners of the Cheragh Award will be awarded on the seventh day of winter.
Interview by: Mahtab Damirchi
Translated by: Mehdi Fallahi Panah

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