Disseminating the benefits of biotechnology and mobilizing advocates were the main focus of the Scientific forum on biotechnology for communicators held 15 November at Iloilo City, Philippines. Attended by 155 representatives of the academe, media, and government agencies in Western Visayas, the forum was organized by Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines, BMARC (Biotechnology for Life Media and Advocacy Resource Center) and SEAFDEC/AQD.
AQD research head Dr. Relicardo Coloso and BMARC program director Mr. Joel Paredes both agreed that biotechnology needs a “truthful” voice to speak on its behalf.
“The general public needs accurate, science-based facts from legitimate sources in order to better understand the vital role of science and biotechnology in their lives,” said Mr. Paredes. He also emphasized that most consumers or the general public prefer media as their main source of information. That is the reason why it is important for the media and science communicators to work together with scientists/researchers to produce fair, accurate and reliable information.
Meanwhile, Dr. Antonio Alfonso, chief science research specialist of Philrice (Philippine Rice Research Institute) and Dr. Candida Adalla, director of DA Biotechnology Program, updated the participants about the latest development in the application of biotechnology in agriculture to improve agricultural output. AQD scientist and training & information head Dr. Evelyn Grace Ayson discussed the application of biotechnology in aquaculture for food security.