Crop Biotech Update

ISAAA Inc. Leads Science Communication Advocacy Through Social Media for PH Biotech Stakeholders

July 6, 2022

ISAAA Inc. took science communication further by combining responsible science reporting and the potential of social media to advocate modern biotechnology and reach a wider range of audiences of various demographics in a two-day virtual workshop in collaboration with the Philippine Department of Agriculture's Biotech Program Office and the SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center.

The online event aimed to encourage different stakeholder groups to engage in activities that can enhance their know-how in crafting effective social media campaigns specifically on topics related to biotechnology and potentially become social media influencers. It was held from June 30 to July 1, 2022, via Zoom and accommodated 35 researchers, scholars, and communications and media personnel from the Philippines.

The topics that were presented included using social media platforms for science communication by Ms. Kamila Navarro, Science Editor at the National University of Singapore's Synthetic Biology for Clinical and Technological Innovation and co-founder of Pinoy Scientists. Mr. Mikael Angelo Francisco, founder of Flip Science and host of the Ask Theory podcast discussed storytelling and blogging about science.

ISAAA Inc.'s very own Ms. Kristine Grace N. Tome (Program Officer II), Ms. Clement Dionglay (Project Associate), and Mr. Eric John Azucena (Senior Information Management Specialist) shared their valuable experiences as writers, documenters, and content producers of the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology's various communication publications, supplements, and social media activities. They tackled important topics such as planning the social media campaign, branding, science storytelling through Facebook and Twitter, using mobile photography and videography as a medium to promote science, and creating scientific data-based infographics.

Also featured were the experiences of conducting successful biotech advocacy campaigns on different levels. Mr. Jerome C. Barradas, Project Coordinator II at the AFNR Knowledge Platform of the Thought and Leadership Department of SEARCA talked about the experiences of conducting a social campaign from an organization's point of view. Ms. Ma. Aileen Garcia, Senior Manager for project coordination and stakeholder advocacy at the International Rice Research Institute, explained how they designed a social media campaign to promote public acceptance of Golden Rice in the Philippines. Lastly, Prof. Rajeev Varshney, Director, Centre for Crop & Food Innovation at Murdoch University in Australia, provided lessons from his experiences as a biotech advocate and science influencer.

ISAAA Inc. Executive Director Dr. Rhodora Romero-Aldemita gave the welcome remarks at the start of the training, while ISAAA-BioTrust Global Coordinator Dr. Mahaletchumy Arujanan summarized the learnings and gave the closing remarks. The virtual training-workshop was moderated by Ms. Zabrina J. Bugnosen of ISAAA Inc. and Ms. Danellie Joy Medina of SEACA BIC.

For inquiries about the activity, please email zbugnosen@isaaa.org.

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