Canadian Science Journalist made a difference in South Africa
From www.wfsj.org -
Christina Scott, South Africa’s Canadian-born premier radio and TV science journalist has died tragically in a motor car accident, aged 49. A champion of science journalism, a science communicator, editor, author, mentor, trainer, devoted mother and much admired and loved colleague, she died while doing what she did best, helping others. Christina was giving driving lessons and was just shy of her 50th birthday.
From 1994 to 2004 Christina was science editor at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) for both TV and radio. At the time of her death she was presenter of the popular weekly Science Matters programme on SAFM and managing editor of Research Africa. A woman of substance, she was widely read making her an incisive interviewer, always getting to the core of the matter but in an engaging and friendly manner. Whether she was talking to an astrophysicist about space or a zoologist about velvet worms she was able to make all scientists feel at ease, getting the best from them. One scientist recalls that being interviewed by her was “like being part of a dinner conversation. You would seamlessly go into the interview without realising that the mike was live and you were on air. That is the way it should be”.
What she lacked in height, she made up for in irrepressible energy and her passion for spreading the word of science into every home in South Africa and Africa from shacks to mansions, made her a foremost science communicator and science advocate.
She was concerned about the lack of science literacy in Africa and the impact this had on ordinary people. Consequently, she reached out to young science journalists, either in print or broadcast, taking them under her wing, encouraging and mentoring them. Christina was an active member of the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) and mentored African science journalists under the federation’s first SjCOOP between 2006 and 2009. Always leading from behind and with generosity of spirit, she wondered whether “she was mentoring reporters in Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria” or whether it was the “other way round and they were mentoring me”.
She leaves her three children Nozipho 19, Alexandra 13, and Benjamin 9.