2024 Agenda

All sessions are scheduled according to the United Arab Emirates local time – GMT+4

Opening Remarks

10:00 AM - 10:15 AM

SciComm Recipe: How to rank 1st in Media Mentions for Research?

10:15 AM - 10:45 AM

In this session, the SciComm X CEO will share our own recipe for getting more media exposure for research using the frameworks we developed at SciComm X.

Speakers: Saad Lotefy

Session Type: Hybrid – Short Talk

Strategies for Promoting Scientific Research: A Discussion with the Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Sharjah

10:45 AM - 11:15 AM

In this session, we will discuss various facets to gain a comprehensive understanding of the University of Sharjah’s research strategy and how research communication and engagement fit and align with the UOS strategic objectives.

Speakers: Maamar Bettayeb, Saad Lotfey

Session Type: Hybrid – Panel Discussion

UK Alumni: Real Stories, Real Impact

11:15 AM - 12:00 PM

This panel takes you on a journey showcasing the UK’s strengths in science, research, innovation, and science communication. See how UK alumni have translated their degrees into impactful careers, and learn how you can join them.

Speakers: Eman Amer, Shaimaa El Banna, Samar Abdelazim Ahmed

Session Type: Hybrid – Panel Discussion

Break & Refreshments

12:00 PM - 12:15 PM

Collaborative Success Stories Between Researchers and Science Communicators

12:15 PM - 01:00 PM

Researchers and science communicators collide in this panel, sharing tales of powerful partnerships that brought complex research to life. We’ll explore how this dynamic duo can shake things up in knowledge creation and sharing and learn practical strategies to translate complex research into engaging content that resonates with audiences of all backgrounds.

Speakers: Hamoud Almahmoud, Shaimaa Elbanna, Leon Barkho, Bothina Osama

Session Type: Hybrid – Panel Discussion 

Lunch Break

01:00 PM - 02:30 PM

Research Engagement Think Tank: Academia Perspective

02:30 PM - 03:15 PM

In the first session of the Research Engagement Think Tank, we will listen to the research community. Academics and researchers will take the stage, sharing their perspectives on science communication. We will discuss their concerns, identify potential areas of collaboration, and discover ways to make research accessible and impactful for a wider audience.

Speakers: Jairo Lugo Ocando, Emanuele Fantini, Sima A.Hamadeh

Session Type: Hybird – Panel Discussion

Research Engagement Think Tank: Practitioners Perspective

03:15 PM - 04:00 PM

In the second session of the Research Engagement Think Tank, we will listen to the practitioners’ community. Seasoned science communicators and journalists will take the stage, sharing their real-world experiences in finding the right balance between accuracy and simplicity, the challenges and opportunities they encounter between academia and public engagement, and their insights on effective strategies, engaging channels, and audience engagement approaches.

Speakers: Suzanne Condie Lambert, Bothina Osama, Amy Robertson

Session Type: Hybird – Panel Discussion

Break & Refreshments

04:00 PM - 04:15 PM

Research Engagement Think Tank: Co-Creating Research Engagement

04:15 PM - 05:00 PM

In the final session of the Research Engagement Think Tank, we will co-create the future. Following the insightful panels, this interactive session brings together all perspectives – academia, practitioners, and beyond- to co-create research engament to develop actionable strategies, recommendations, and resources to foster a more productive and impactful relationship between research and communication.

Speakers: Saad Lotfey, Mohamed Elsonbaty, Tevhide Serra Gorpe

Session Type: Hybird – Panel Discussion

Closing Remarks

05:00 PM - 05:15 PM

Masterclass: Generative AI for Communicating Science

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

In today’s rapidly evolving world, using GenAI is not a question anymore. This masterclass offers science communicators a transformative journey into the world of GenAI, a groundbreaking tool with immense potential in the realm of science communication. Through this masterclass, participants will learn how to guide GenAI to produce the desired outputs and tailor its responses, ensuring the AI conveys scientific information in a precise, accurate, and engaging manner, with a focus on the craft of prompt engineering and patterns. By the end of the workshop, the participants will be equipped with a new set of tools and techniques to revolutionize their way communicating science through Artificial Intelligence.

Speakers: Mohamed Elsonbaty

Session Type: Virtual- Workshop

Break & Refreshments

12:00 PM - 12:10 PM

Individual Papers: Science Media and Communication Research in the Arab World

12:10 PM - 01:40 PM

This session brings together six distinguished researchers, each offering an 8-minute spotlight on their groundbreaking work in science media and communication within the Arab world. Prepare to be captivated by a wide range of topics, from innovative communication strategies to emerging trends in science engagement.

Speakers: Monia Isaak, Mohammed Hussein, Sima A. Hamadeh, Tarek Yahya, Noha Mellor, Rim Elfoul, Mohamed Elsonbaty

Session Type: Virtual- Panel Discussion

Break & Refreshments

01:40 PM - 01:45 PM

The value of multimedia for science communication: A case study by KAUST

01:45 PM - 02:30 PM

Discover how KAUST uses photography, conceptual and realistic illustration, infographics, and videos as storytelling tools for effective science communication. In this session, we’ll show you real-world examples of how these tools can make scientific concepts digestible for the nonexpert and talk about the advantages of each tool for different media. By the end of the session, we aim for attendees to embrace a broader mindset, realizing the diverse ways in which multimedia can be harnessed to communicate science effectively.

Speakers: Carolyn Unck

Session Type: Virtual- Short Talk

Break & Refreshments

02:30 PM - 02:45 PM

Ethical Challenges in Science Communication

02:45 PM - 03:30 PM

This panel discusses upholding the core ethical issues in science communication; panellists will explore how unintentional biases may influence the presentation of findings and what considerations researchers must take to report objectively without twisting interpretation. The discussion will also delve into challenges around simplifying specialised concepts for broad audiences in a way that maintains scientific rigour versus oversimplifying to the point of distorting or obscuring understanding.

Speakers: Heba Elsharkawy, Shaimaa El-Banna, Ahmed El-Seragy

Session Type: Virtual- Short Talk

Communication in the Higher Education Sector: Challenges and Solutions

03:35 PM - 04:05 PM

The session reviews observations on the performance of communication officers in various ministries of higher education, universities, and research institutions in the Arab world, and the challenges they face due to a lack of understanding of the mechanisms and policies of news and media organizations. The session aims to find better communication methods for these institutions to achieve their goals in reaching the general and specialized audiences, and building a close and positive relationship with various media outlets. This session will benefit: Communication officers in universities, research institutions, research centers, ministries, and companies. Public relations officers. Media and communication students. Researchers specialized in media and public relations. By the end of the session, participants will gain insights into: – Communication challenges in the Arab higher education sector. – The workings of media institutions. – The agenda of media interests in the higher education and scientific research sector. – Innovative ways of communication in the higher education and scientific research sector.

Speakers: Mohamed Elhawary

Session Type: Virtual- Short Talk

Session inside “1.5” newspaper, the first climate newspaper in the metaverse

04:05 PM - 04:30 PM

A short session inside the “1.5” newspaper, the first climate newspaper in the metaverse in the Arab world, the Middle East, and Africa. The newspaper was launched on the sidelines of the COP28 climate conference in the United Arab Emirates. The session will be about media institutions in the metaverse and the form of media. Virtual meetings will be held inside the newspaper for attendees.

Speakers: Khaled Abdelsabour

Session Type: Virtual- Short Talk

Break & Refreshments

04:30 PM - 04:40 PM

Expertise Vs Popularity in Health Communication (Nutrition case): Voices from the Arab World

04:40 PM - 05:30 PM

This session aims to provide a comprehensive overview of health/nutrition communication realities in the MENA region and the overall impact on public health outcomes, discussing effective communication strategies, addressing trends and emerging challenges, and highlighting innovative approaches to communicate accurate and impactful nutrition information. By including a diverse range of perspectives, experiences and real-examples, this session will provide a comprehensive exploration of the evolving landscape of health/nutrition communication channels, and will offer valuable insights and practical approaches for professionals, decision- and policy- makers, and enthusiasts alike to address current and future challenges in the field of health communication. Finally, in an era of information overload, this session can contribute to improving health media(digital) literacy and how to critically evaluate nutrition health-related information to dispel myths.

Speakers: Sima A.Hamadeh, Maha El Akoum, Farah Hillou, Jacqueline Chehwane

Session Type: Virtual- Panel Discussion

Bridging the gap: Science Journalism Between Practice and Academia

05:30 PM - 06:15 PM

This session discusses the complex relationship between journalistic practice and academic study in the field of media and science communication. Our esteemed speakers will illuminate the critical need for integration between these two worlds, ultimately fueling the growth and dynamism of both journalism and scientific communication professions. We’ll delve into the unique challenges faced by scientific journalists in the Arab region, particularly when it comes to accessing academic opportunities – both within their own countries and abroad. But this isn’t just a session of identifying roadblocks; it’s a proactive exploration of potential solutions and exciting opportunities to bridge the gap between practical experience and academic rigor. 

Speakers: Malak Makki, Hind Taj Alsser Osman, Fatiha Chara, Magdy Said

Session Type: Virtual- Panel Discussion

Break & Refreshments

06:15 PM - 06:30 PM

Media Skills For Researchers and Academics

06:30 PM - 07:30 PM

Engaging with journalists is one of the best ways to get your research noticed and to raise your public profile, which can lead to more collaborations and funding. This workshop addresses any reservations you might have about engaging with journalists and packaging scientific information for non-scientists. It will inform you about the skills needed to interact successfully with the media and will show how seizing media opportunities could help advance your career. 

Speakers: Nehal Lashin

Session Type: Virtual- Workshop

Artificial Intelligence – Will it be a game changer for climate change and environmental coverage?

07:30 PM - 08:15 PM

Artificial Intelligence effectively contributes to finding practical solutions to global challenges, especially in the face of climate change impacts and a better understanding of the ecosystem. The process of monitoring climate change involves large, constantly evolving datasets. Artificial Intelligence systems can assist in collecting and analyzing sets of environmental information to track changes in climate conditions in real-time, enabling opportunities to find solutions that can positively impact our planet more quickly. However, how can journalists harness Artificial Intelligence in covering climate change and environmental issues, particularly in debunking rumors and misinformation about climate change? They can aid in raising awareness of climate solutions, leveraging the information and analyses provided by Artificial Intelligence in light of technological advancements in the environmental and climate sectors. This contributes to the successful and effective achievement of media coverage goals.

Speakers: Tarek A. Tutunji, Karem Monzer, Farah Ahmad, Mohamed Kamal Mohamed Sultan

Session Type: Virtual- Panel Discussion