Moderator: Dr Lidia Brito, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Mozambique
Panellist: Mr MJ Schwartz, University of Zululand Science Centre, South Africa
Panellist: Prof Hiroyuki Matsuda, Yokohama National University, Japan
Panellist: Dr Peter Tindemans, EuroScience, The Netherlands
Panellist: Mr Satoru Ohtake, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Japan

Session summary

Science without proper public engagement remains incomplete. Public Engagement is all about “igniting conversations about science” in many levels and it’s an essential medium to make science transforming society by bridging scientists, policy makers, industrialists, and general publics. This talk brings together key drivers from Africa, Asia and Europe shaping the latest thinking on the global stage.

Eminent speakers who have been involved in engaging society in STI activities will provide their insights from their different backgrounds and perceive science communication strategies, especially how to tackle with global issues such as United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will be the key to transform the global community to sustainable in the future.

Their common purpose is to evidence not only the power of public engagement but also of scientists for realizing SDGs especially from the aspect of sustainable use of water resources, relevant to Africa. They will also address the surge in science diplomacy activities as one form of public engagement at the policy-making level as well as how the phenomenal growth of ambitious public engagement events reflects a more vibrant approach to co-creating policy among various stakeholders from sciences, politics, industry, academia, multilateral organizations and society based on their experience.

Panelists will further try to consider how they can streamline such public engaging activities to achieve global targets like SDGs, and to make real science and society breakthroughs demands not only discovery, but greater dialogue, diplomacy and inclusiveness.


britoDr Lidia Brito
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Mozambique

Lidia Brito, Ph.D. in Forest and Wood Science from Colorado State University in the USA, was born in Mozambique. She has held senior positions in Mozambique such as Head of the Forestry Department from the Faculty of Agronomy, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs of Eduardo Mondlane University, Minister for Higher Education, S&T and Advisor for Strategic Planning and External Relations of the Mayor of Maputo City.Lidia joined UNESCO in 2009 as Director for Science policy and Sustainable Development at the Natural Science Sector, in Paris, and currently she is the UNESCO Regional Director for Science in the Latin-America and Caribbean region. Her areas of expertise range from forestry and sustainable management of Natural Resources to Higher Education S&T policies and public policies for sustainable development. She has chaired several commissions and task teams in particular in Higher Education, and STI for Sustainable Development. She co-chaired the Scientific Organizing Committee for Planet Under Pressure Conference in London, a major conference for the preparation of Rio+20, and she is a member of several international Boards such as African Foresters Forum Governing Board and she is part of the organizing committee for the 1st Open Science Forum for Latin America and the Caribbean.

schwartzMr MJ Schwartz
University of Zululand Science Centre, South Africa

MJ Schwartz is the project officer at the Unizulu Science Centre (USC) in Richards Bay, KZN (SA). He has been active in the science centre field for over 7 years. He currently runs the Zululand Science Festival, the annual science festival of USC. In 2015 he participated in the Science Circus Africa tour. He regularly presents at science centre conferences, these include the 2014 Science Centre World Summit, the 2013 European Network of Science Centers and Museums (ECSITE) conference, the 2011 Science Centre World Congress and at every conference of the Southern African Association of Science and Technology Centres (SAASTEC) since 2010. He has a honours degree in physics from the University of South Africa and a science communication qualification from the University of Stellenbosch. He is currently undergoing his master degree (part-time) through the University of Cape Town.

matsudaDr Hiroyuki Matsuda
Yokohama National University, Japan

A professor at Yokohama National University, Hiroyuki Matsuda’s research encompasses studies of adaptive management and co-management of marine protected areas, risk analysis and game theory. He is the past President of Ecological Society of Japan, a Scintific Council member of Shiretoko World Heritage Site, a Pew Marine Conservation Fellow since 2007. He is the author of two Japanese textbooks on ecology, one of which focuses on the science and ecosystem management of fisheries. His theoretical work on fisheries management has resulted in new ideas, including the “cyclic advantage model,” of sardine-anchovy-chub mackerel, in which Matsuda proposed a hypothesis for small pelagic fish stock fluctuations, and “target switching,” a novel multi-species management strategy.

tindemansDr Peter Tindemans
EuroScience, The Netherlands

Peter Tindemans received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics at Leiden University, and has since worked in science, technology and innovation policy in the Netherlands, and as a consultant for overseas governments, the World Bank, and UNESCO. He was President of the OECD Megascience Forum, and Chair of European Spallation Neutron Source. He has been active in EuroScience as Founding Member, Governing Board, ESOF Supervisory Board Member, and now Secretary-General since 2012.

ohtakeMr Satoru Ohtake
Japan Science and Technology Agency, Japan

Satoru Ohtake joined science and technology administration in the Government of Japan in 1984, after graduating the Graduate School of University of Tokyo where he was conferred Master Degree of Science in high energy physics. In his public service, he engaged in establishment of Government’s Science and Technology Basic Plans establishing and running research programs in photonics, mathematical science, etc. He used to work in international collaborations like Group of Earth Observation (GEO) and the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor Project (ITER) as a Japanese negotiator. He worked as Senior Executive Director of JST from 2013 to 2015 and now is Executive Research Fellow in Economic and Social Research Institute of Cabinet Office as well as Adjunct Fellow of CRDS in JST.