Biotech Updates

Dialogue Among Scientists and Media in Malaysia

October 24, 2012

The Malaysian Biotechnology Information Center collaborated with the Malaysian Agro Biotechnology Institute (ABI) to organize a workshop entitled Dialogue between Scientists and Journalists: Towards better Agri-biotechnology Communication last September 19-20, 2012 in Serdang, Malaysia . The event brought together 70 scientists and journalists to bridge the barrier between them. Experts included Prof. Rofina Yasmin Othman, Former Undersecretary, National Biotechnology Division, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) who gave an overview on agricultural biotechnology; and Dr. Vilasini Pillai from the Secretariat for National Science and Research Council at MOSTI who spoke on regulations in the area of agricultural biotechnology.

A session on Communicating Agri-biotechnology had speakers describing communication strategies, challenges and issues. These presentations provided pointers for the development of viable communication strategies for scientists and how to get media attention. Common issues that were brought up included lack of science communicators, minimal cooperation from the media, inadequate training for media and scientists, difficulties in understanding science, and misinformation.

During the breakout session, participants were divided into groups to discuss a draft of the Best Practices in Communicating Agricultural Biotechnology which will be eventually available in the public domain.

For more information, email Mahaletchumy Arujanan at