BRINGING TOGETHER KENYAN AND INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE ENGAGEMENT COMMUNITIES
With the launch of the Falling Walls Engage Hub Kenya, we explored the Science Engagement landscape in Kenya and its lively hands-on and bottom-up Science Engagement scene. We traveled to Nairobi for a 4-day exchange with a group of Science Engagers from Portugal, Greece, Argentina, Ghana and the US, and had the honour to meet among the most successful practitioners and organisations in the country, in partnership with the Mazawo Institute in Nairobi.
The Hub launch event took place on 8–11 March 2020.
AFRICAN SCIENCE AND INNOVATION
How to bridge the gap between science and society? Allowing non-experts to make valuable contributions to scientific questions is central for fostering public trust in science and scientific literacy. As the public is invited in to take more ownership in the process, the scientific sphere gets richer with a more diverse range of voices and perspectives as well.
As a country at the forefront of African innovation with a strong research sector and fast-growing tech sector, Kenya was the ideal location to inaugurate our Falling Walls Engage Hub series. Science and innovation are at the heart of Kenya’s development strategy, and increased investment in science and research aims to accelerate economic growth and address the challenges faced by local communities.
Speakers and participants explored a range of topics regarding challenges, solutions and the future of Science Engagement in – but not limited to – the African context. Themes included strategies and incentives to conduct better Science Engagement (Bernard Appiah); sustainability models and the future of Science Engagement (Ana Faustino & Mazawo Institute); scientific literacy and belonging in science (Julian Ferreras & the Training Centre in Communication (TCC); and women and science in Africa (Stephanie Okeyo).
Hub participants also had the pleasure to take part in Pint of Science Kenya at the Nairobi Planetarium, organised in partnership with Falling Walls Engage and The Travelling Telescope, as well as an educational visit of the Karura Forest in the outskirts of Nairobi, a site known for its exceptional wildlife and biodiversity.
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