The Laboratory of Advanced Studies on Journalism (Labjor) develops post-graduate studies, research, extension activities, training and consulting. Its objectives are: to develop skills in science journalism and media criticism; promote and provide human and instrumental resources to follow and evaluate changes in press and electronic media; establish exchanges between universities and private companies; identify problems and propose solutions regarding journalism; study and discuss science journalism and science communication in terms of democratization of scientific knowledge; critically discuss Brazilian science policy; contribute to disseminate scientific production in outlying areas; shorten the distance between knowledge “creators” and public opinion; establish a relationship between scientific literature and everyday life; educate scientists to disseminate their production; contribute to a critical reflection about science produced in Brazil.
Labjor was created at University of Campinas (Unicamp) in 1994, as part of Creativity Development Nucleus (Nudecri). The founders of the laboratory are Professor Carlos Vogt, Professor José Marques de Melo and veteran journalist Alberto Dines. It was intended to serve as a research and critical monitoring center of the national media. Labjor was publicly launched in April 1994 through the seminar The press in question, a broad diagnosis of challenges facing news media in contemporary landscape of socio-cultural, political-economic and scientific-technological changes. This event provided agenda of pioneering initiatives. It’s discussions were recorded in a book published in 1997 (upon same title).
The post-graduate course lato sensu in Science Journalism is offered by Labjor since 1999, in partnership with Department of Science and Technology Policy and Department of Multimedia, Arts Institute. The course is free, lasts three semesters and trains professional journalists and scientists to scientific dissemination, to bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and people’s daily lives. For scientists is an opportunity to get an education aimed at disseminating research, which undergraduate courses don’t cover. For journalists, contributes to a better understanding of production of science and national scientific policy. With selection process conducted every two years, maintains an average of 200 registrations for 40 seats, filled by students from different areas and different levels of training.
The Master in Science and Culture Communication (MDCC) was developed by Labjor and Institute of Language Studies (IEL). The aim of MDCC is to educate and train researchers who have a deeper theoretical knowledge on scientific journalism/dissemination, together with an overview of science and technology system and cultural diffusion. The interaction of disciplines offered by MDCC provides training that enables both critical reflection on main achievements of science, technology and culture in today’s society, as well as about the ways the mass or specialized media has been working to disseminate it.
The consolidation of scientific journalism requires development of quality scientific media that go beyond academic territory, aiming not only information, but formation of a public capable of think and take position on issues that arise with the development of science and technology. Publications produced by Labjor play a key role in this task, and serve as workshops for students.
Without losing it’s characteristics assumed since its inception in 1994, with a strong focus on science journalism, Labjor also advanced in research, extension and interaction with general public. The goal is to strengthen existing research lines, with increasing student participation and partnerships with other Unicamp units and other national and international institutions, following the path of excellence already achieved.e