African doctoral students have been charged to find a link between their researches and the problems faced by their society. This advice was made by Dr. Connie Nshemereirwe last Saturday at an online seminar organized by the Department of Communication & Language Arts, University of Ibadan for its doctoral students.”The seminar tagged Science and Policy Facilitation was meant to assist the doctoral students of the department find their feet after their studies,” said Professor Ayo Ojebode, the Head of the Department. This seminar is one of the series of seminars targetted at strengthening the capacities of the PhD students on conducting researches and buiding careers after completing their PhD research.
Dr. Nshemereirwe, who is a Science and Policy Facilitator, posited that the few PhD holders on the continent are leaders in their own right whether they are aware or not and are expected to be part of the solutions to the problems faced by different countries within the continent. She decried the wide gap that exists between policy makers and researchers in Africa. She advocated that the narrative of scientists trying to understand the problem not sitting with the politicians trying to solve the problem in the same room must change. This could only happen if only more researchers are not only conducting policy relevant empirical investigations but are also making attempts to let policy makers understand the importance of such endeavours with little or no scientific jargons.
“The space between science and policy is wide open, and really appreciates a scientist who not only knows her science, but who can also speak plainly and tie the science to societal problems,” Nshemereirwe noted. She identified the fact that policy makers need more scientific minds to interact with them. She observed that a trained scientist has a number of transferable skills and knowledge which could assist in plugging identifiable loopholes in policies made by those in government. She therefore charged the audience to key in their vision into solving the problem of their country asking them “what impact would you like to have, and have you explored all the different ways in which you can do that, including creating your own way?”
The seminar had in attendance the Departmental PG (PhD) Coordinator, Dr. Bisi Olawuyi.
According to Global Young Academy, Dr. Connie Nshemereirwe, an independent science and policy facilitator, is a trainer, writer and speaker. She is on the steering committee of the Africa Science Leadership Programme (ASLP) based at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. She also works with the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR) based in Nairobi, Kenya.