Grounding Science Communication: Experiences and Lessons from the Biotechnology Information Center (BIC) in the Philippines
This paper documents the eight-year journey of BIC in the Philippines. Here, we integrate, describe, and document events, processes, and collaborations of organizations involved in making the BIC journey a worthwhile experience. In our eight-year journey, we learned lessons worth passing to the next generation of biotechnology “advocates”. In advocating this highly controversial, very difficult, most debated subject to be grounded at the level of the farmer who makes the decision to grow “biotech” crops, we learned that efforts should be made to first get to know very well our stakeholders before starting to make any intervention. Then as we got to know our stakeholders, we used the most of partnerships and networks by collaborating most of our activities with them. In the course of our journey, we saw the need to continuously educate the stakeholders. In our case, the media and the scientists were the most valuable players; thus, we designed our interventions factoring their needs. Our journey is not complete yet. For as long as the human population continues to grow, and peoples in different parts of the world continue to experience poverty and hunger, biotechnology would always remain a viable option whether our people like it or not. We hope our story can help those who will endeavor to emulate the BIC model with the objective of grounding science communication to better the quality of life of the poor people in Southeast Asia.
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