The Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) says the country needs a population that appreciates science knowledge.
The President of NAS, Prof. Mosto Onuoha, made the assertion at the `NAS Science Media Award’ held in Lagos on Thursday evening.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NAS Science Media Award in its 8th year, seeks to promote excellence in science and science-related journalism.
The Academy is of the opinion that an improvement in science reporting will result in a well-informed public, bringing about greater accountability in policy-making.
NAN reports that the awards are open to all print and broadcast journalists in Nigeria who published science-related stories (health, environment etc) in 2018.
According to him, appreciating science will go a long way in the development of the country.
“It is good to appreciate people that are good in disseminating information especially in science as science changes the way we live and believe.
“As an academy, we want to popularise science in the country and this led to the starting of the Academy Science Media Award.
“The academy strives to push science forward but is saddled with obstacles like finance. This is the part of the roles Vitafoam Nigeria will play as they recognise the value of science,’’ Onuoha said.
The Managing Director of Vitafoam Nigeria, Mr Taiwo Adeniyi, said that the bedrock of what Vitafoam does evolve around science, the ability to innovate and conduct research.
According to him, if science is taken out of Vitafoam, it will not be relevant again, as science has replaced our natural way of doing things to technological advancement, which has led to production in large quantity.
“Beside Corporate Social Responsibility, embarking on this is an avenue to get people interested in science so as to push the country forward,’’ he said.
Ms Caroline Southey, Editor, Conversation Africa, South Africa, said that science reporting had to be done in a tireless and dogged way through adequate research.
Southey who presented the keynote address titled: `Captivating Science Reporting in the 21st Century’, said that she had witnessed that tireless and doggedness in Nigerian Science Journalists.
She said that a captivating science reporting should be done in a competitive way by maintaining facts and pursuing the truth at all times.
Southey decried the spread of misinformation by some journalists, saying that it damaged public trust in the new media and had a devastating effect on the health of a nation.
The Public Affairs Secretary, NAS, Prof. Olatunde Farombi, while presenting the awards to the winners, said that they had 22 entries from which four winners emerged.
He said that two persons from the print media and two from the broadcast media won the awards, saying the winners showed consistency and uniformity to have emerged.