SCIENCE MEDIA CENTRE OF JAPAN
As Asia’s first Science Media Centre, our goal is to help give science a voice on a national and international scale. Developing the Science Media Centre of Japan (SMCJ) began in 2008, when we found that although the country had a strong R&D industry, scientists were unwilling to talk to the media and focused on talking to the scientific community.
We also found that although the media regarded science as important, there was an overflow of science information, and they had difficulty in finding a scientist who could explain things in a way the average citizen could understand.
As a way to bridge the communication gap between scientists and the media, the SMCJ opened up for service in 2010. We have been helping scientists share their knowledge about controversial issues with the media in order to help society get access to accurate and good quality information.
Not long after we opened, we were faced with covering the March 11 earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima. A huge challenge for a new SMC, but amidst the chaos we managed to send out reliable information, and gain respect from the science community.
Working in Japanese and English has enabled us to take the extra step. As part of the SMC network, we have been able to help the Japanese and overseas media get in touch with scientists from both sides.
Founded: The Science Media Centre of Japan opened for business in November 2010.
Funding: In 2009, Japan's Research Institute of Science and Technology for Society (RISTEX) announced it would fund a three-year research and development project to establish the country's Science Media Centre (SMCJ)