OPINION

Mediation by manufacturers

Although I only had an opportunity to briefly skim the June issue on science journalism, I was struck by two things: One was that the first European Forum on Science Journalism was certainly a quiet affair.

None of the European scientific societies in my circle was aware of this initiative. What a pity - unless the Commission deliberately wished to reduce the Forum to a meeting between scientists and science journalists. My second point is that while manufacturers would be ideal mediators between scientists (whose innovations they develop) and the general public (to whom they sell these innovations), intentionally or otherwise they are always absent from the debate. Although science popularisation should be an everyday part of our fellow citizens' lives, this is not yet the case in Europe, apart from Scandinavian countries. I had the opportunity to confirm this yet again at the recent biennial conferences of the French and German chemical societies.

Editor's note: Although participation in the European Forum on Science Journalism, held in Barcelona on 3-4 December 2007, was by invitation only, all the documents distributed at the event are in the public domain and can be consulted at:
ec.europa.eu/research/conferences/2007/bcn2007/

Dr Gilbert Schorsch, Industry Editor of L'Actualité Chimique magazine, French Chemical Society.

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