Science Communication and Social Media: NASA Moon Landings to Instagramming Astronauts

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via Pixabay

As part of a series previewing the new book, Communicating Your Research with Social Media.. Information about the authors can be found at the end of this post. 

Science communication has evolved into an essential part of the public outreach and education programs of many scientific organizations. Where television documentaries and public exhibitions were once relied upon for these aims, social media platforms have now brought new opportunities for scientists and communicators to interact with their audiences.

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Pilot Study: Why Academics Should Engage With The Community

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Dr Ian Moffat explaining ground penetrating radar to community members during a survey of the Innamincka Cemetery.
Julia Garnaut, Author provided

By Ian Moffat, Flinders University

Australian academics will soon have a new incentive to get off campus and into the community to engage with the people who ultimately fund their research – the taxpayers.

The Australian Research Council (ARC) is currently piloting a new scheme to quantify impact and engagement by academics. It’s part of proposed funding changes under the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

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VIDEO: Brian Cox Neil deGrasse Tyson Communicating Science in the 21st Century

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Brian Cox and Neil deGrasse Tyson’s compelling exploration of what science communication is, drawing on interesting similarities and contrasts between the UK and the US.

“In the UK, we have the BBC – a public serviced broadcaster, in the purest sense of the word – and its mission is to engage and bring people into diversity programming…. What worries me in the US is that when you have multiple channels (such as The Science Channel ) and those channels are “specialist”, you’re in great danger of ghettoising the audience, and you end up preaching to the converted rather that drawing in new people in and introducing them to ideas…” Brian Cox

“I’d like to think that what science communication might be going forward – would include more of a direct statement of relevance to how we live our lives, to the role that science plays in politics, to the survival of our species…” Neil deGrasse Tyson

People Don’t Trust Scientific Research When Companies are Involved

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By John C. Besley, Michigan State University; Aaron M. McCright, Michigan State University; Joseph D. Martin, University of Leeds; Kevin Elliott, Michigan State University, and Nagwan Zahry, Michigan State University

People seem to think industry-funded research belongs in the garbage.
mllejules/Shutterstock.com

A soda company sponsoring nutrition research. An oil conglomerate helping fund a climate-related research meeting. Does the public care who’s paying for science?

In a word, yes. When industry funds science, credibility suffers. And this does not bode well for the types of public-private research partnerships that appear to be becoming more prevalent as government funding for research and development lags.

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Fake News, Echo Chambers and Filter Bubbles: Underresearched and Overhyped

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By William H. Dutton, Michigan State University

Don’t panic: An international survey finds concerns about fake news are overblown. studiostoks/shutterstock.com

In the early years of the internet, it was revolutionary to have a world of information just a click away from anyone, anywhere, anytime. Many hoped this inherently democratic technology could lead to better-informed citizens more easily participating in debate, elections and public discourse.

Today, though, many observers are concerned that search algorithms and social media are undermining the quality of online information people see. They worry that bad information may be weakening democracy in the digital age.

The problems include online services conveying fake news, splitting users into “filter bubbles” of like-minded people and enabling users to unwittingly lock themselves up in virtual echo chambers that reinforce their own biases.

These concerns are much discussed, but have not yet been thoroughly studied. What research does exist has typically been limited to a single platform, such Twitter or Facebook. Our study of search and politics in seven nations – which surveyed the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain in January 2017 – found these concerns to be overstated, if not wrong. In fact, many internet users trust search to help them find the best information, check other sources and discover new information in ways that can burst filter bubbles and open echo chambers.

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What Happens When Scientists Stand Up for Science

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By: Brian Martin, University of Wollongong

The 2017 March for Science was a powerful political statement by scientists. The marchers opposed political interference, budget cuts and lack of support for science at a government level.

More commonly, though, scientists stay in their labs and avoid the public political spotlight.

CSIRO scientist John Church – who initially acted as an individual (not a representative of his research institution) to “stand up for science” in 2015 – is cited as a recent example of the career ramifications that can flow from public activity.

Actually, he’s not alone. For years, outspoken scientists have encountered career difficulties and personal repercussions.

But climate science and the advent of digital and social media shape how scientists speak publicly about science now.

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Video: Communicating Science Using YouTube

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“Using YouTube to connect people who do science, with people who want to learn about science.

YouTube is one of the most effective platforms around for communicating about and learning about science. Yet remarkably, given the number of YouTube users out there with a taste for science, there are surprisingly few scientists making videos.

To us, this presented a no-brainer opportunity to use YouTube as a way of connecting researchers who are passionate about their science, with viewers who are equally passionate about watching videos about it.

And so we created Science Showcase.

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Marching for Science in the Deeply Red – Deep South

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Chattanooga March for Science – April 22nd, 2017 – Courtesy of Shirley Zapf‎

On April 22nd, we watched as the world marched for science. Major media did a fine job covering demonstrations happening across the nation and around the world. However, most of what we saw on television and online focused on the largest events – which took place in big cities. Getting less attention, were hundreds of marches in smaller cities that brought people together in support of science.

With thunderstorms looming, residents of Chattanooga, Tennessee took to the streets to make their voices heard. Chattanooga is located in Hamilton County, where 56% of voters chose Donald Trump (39% chose Hillary Clinton) in November’s Presidential Election. Statewide, Trump topped Clinton 61% to 35%. With numbers like that, you’d think residents would be less inclined to participate in a political march targeting the policies of a person many of them helped elect.

The following is a Q&A with Sara Scott, one of the organizers of the Chattanooga March for Science. She defines herself as a feminist, leftist, and mother who has lived in Chattanooga for four years. I was interested in hearing her thoughts about organizing a pro-science event in the deep south.

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The SCICOMM 25 (April 2017 Recap)

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Welcome To The SCICOMM 25!

This is where I pull together 25 (or more) of the most talked about science communication stories, determined by the engagement rate of stories I’ve shared on Twitter. Many are written by the world’s leading science communicators.

Some offer tips and advice, while others tackle important issues we need to discuss and debate. All of them are worth checking out.

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Video: The Quest To Communicate Science in the US

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“In this panel, ScIQ producer Bec Gill hosts a panel with three science communication experts, and discusses the future challenges and opportunities of communicating science to the public.”

The panel includes Luis Quevedo – El Mundo, Filmmaker, Jayde Lovell – SciQ, The Young Turks, and Lucky Tran – Science Media Relations Officer @ Columbia University

Can Bill Nye – Or Any Other Science Show – Really Save The World?

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Will Bill Nye’s new show find a wider audience than Neil deGrasse Tyson’s ‘Cosmos’ did? Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images

By: Heather Akin, University of Pennsylvania; Bruce W. Hardy, Temple University; Dietram A. Scheufele, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Dominique Brossard, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Netflix’s new talk show, “Bill Nye Saves the World,” debuted the night before people around the world joined together to demonstrate and March for Science. Many have lauded the timing and relevance of the show, featuring the famous “Science Guy” as its host because it aims to myth-bust and debunk anti-scientific claims in an alternative-fact era.

But are more facts really the kryptonite that will rein in what some suggest is a rapidly spreading “anti-science” sentiment in the U.S.?

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Farewell Chattanooga! It’s Time To Follow My Passion.

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“There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart. Pursue these.” -Michael Nolan

When the clock strikes 5:00 pm this Friday, I’ll turn off the light and shut the door to my University of Tennessee at Chattanooga office for the last time. I’m proud of the many accomplishments my team and I have had – despite facing some significant challenges – and I wish the University continued success.

I have been presented with an opportunity that has not only captured my interest but has also tapped into my passion for doing work that makes a difference in people’s lives.

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People are Taking to the Streets to Defend Science – But it Could Come at a Cost

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By: Joseph Roche, Trinity College Dublin

Scientists protest against proposed cuts against science in the UK in 2010.
Shane/Flickr, CC BY-SA

Scientists around the world are facing a dilemma. A March for Science will be taking place in Washington DC on 22 April, with solidarity marches in more than 500 other locations around the world. Scientists in cities from London in the UK to Tokyo in Japan, Accra in Ghana and Hyderabad in India are all looking to defend the vital role that science plays in society.

The campaign – which calls for science to be robustly funded and publicly communicated as a “pillar of human freedom and prosperity” – is likely to be the largest ever mass demonstration by the scientific community. But every scientist who decides to march will know that, while they are taking part in a powerful movement to protect their discipline, they could also be helping to politicise a field that might be better off remaining as apolitical as possible.

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Video: Science in America with Neil deGrasse Tyson

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This is a  4min video on “Science in America”. It was so well done I felt compelled to share it on this blog. The description says it contains “what may be the most important words Neil deGrasse Tyson has ever spoken.”

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Redglass Pictures is an award-winning production studio co-founded by Sarah Klein and Tom Mason and based in New York City. Their body of work is defined by a simple idea: that short, cinematic storytelling has the power to touch, teach, and change people. No matter the story or subject, their vision remains the same: give viewers something to care about – something that sticks with them long after the end frame.
http://www.redglasspictures.com/
Music by Ryan Whittier.

Defending Science: How the Art of Rhetoric Can Help

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By: Leah CeccarelliUniversity of Washington

Rhetoric can teach scientists how to effectively communicate what’s going on in the lab to the rest of us. Joshua Mayer, CC BY-SA

Science seems to be under attack in America, so much so that scientists and their supporters are marching in the streets.

President Donald Trump has publicly called climate change a Chinese hoax abetted by greedy scientists. He has linked vaccines to autism despite overwhelming scientific consensus against these claims. Vice President Mike Pence has denied evolutionary science, the very foundation of modern biology. Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s pick for director of the Office of Management and Budget, has questioned the fully established link between Zika virus and microcephaly and wondered whether “we really need government-funded research at all.”

In response, scientists are taking a stand. They are defending their work against what appears to be a new, more aggressive assault in the so-called “Republican war on science,” as the president threatens deep cuts to federal funding of scientific research.

When they march for science, they will do well to consider insights from the field of study known as the “rhetoric of science.”

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Step Up for Science at the Crossroads for Humanity

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By: Alan Duffy, Swinburne University of Technology

Science and technology have helped us picture that we all live together on a single world. NASA / Bill Anders

Globally, science is at a crossroads.

In the USA, a protectionist stance from policymakers and an increasingly inward focus have resulted in a restive public, giving rise to protest across spheres and sectors. This has sent ripples across the world, including in Australia.

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Facts Are Not Always More Important Than Opinions: Here’s Why

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by Peter Ellerton, The University of Queensland

The message over the doorway to London’s Kirkaldy Testing Museum. But don’t be too quick to believe the facts and dismiss the opinions. Flickr/Kevo Thomson, CC BY-NC-ND

Which is more important, a fact or an opinion on any given subject? It might be tempting to say the fact. But not so fast…

Lately, we find ourselves lamenting the post-truth world, in which facts seem no more important than opinions, and sometimes less so.

We also tend to see this as a recent devaluation of knowledge. But this is a phenomenon with a long history.

As the science fiction writer Isaac Asimov wrote in 1980:

Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge”.

The view that opinions can be more important than facts need not mean the same thing as the devaluing of knowledge. It’s always been the case that in certain situations opinions have been more important than facts, and this is a good thing. Let me explain.

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Scicomm on Stage: Faculty and Students Compete for Top Communicator Crown

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Science communication was in the spotlight during the 2017 Research Dialogues event, which took place at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga April 11-12.

The two-day event celebrating research, scholarship and the arts included three competitions where student and faculty researchers had only minutes to offer a compelling plain English description of their work. They included an undergraduate lightning round competition, a 3 Minute Thesis competition for graduate students, and an Elevator Pitch competition for faculty.

As a science communication geek, I love that this university puts on an event like this and focuses attention not only on the research – but also how the research is communicated.

Check out the winners!

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Can March for Science Participants Advocate Without Losing the Public’s Trust?

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What happens to their credibility when scientists take to the streets? February 2017 Stand Up for Science rally in Boston. Adam Salsman, CC BY-NC-ND

by Emily Vraga, George Mason University

As the March for Science nears, questions about whether scientists can and should advocate for public policy become more important. On one hand, scientists have relevant expertise to contribute to conversations about public policy. And in the abstract, the American public supports the idea that scientists should be involved in political debate. On the other hand, scientists who advocate may risk losing the trust of the public. Maintaining that trust is imperative for scientists, both to be able to communicate public risks appropriately and to preserve public funding for research. The Conversation

Little existing research had tested how audiences react when confronted with concrete examples of scientific advocacy. Led by my colleague John Kotcher, my colleagues and I at the George Mason Center for Climate Change Communication devised an experiment to test these questions in the summer of 2014. Our results suggest there is at least some tolerance for advocacy by scientists among the American public.

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Video: The Problem With Thinking You Know More Than the Experts

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By PBS NewsHour on YouTube

“More and more, people don’t care about expert views. That’s according to Tom Nichols, author of “The Death of Expertise,” who says Americans have become insufferable know-it-alls, locked in constant conflict and debate with others over topics they actually know almost nothing about. Nichols shares his humble opinion on how we got here.”

Video: Communicating Science – Facts Matter

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From The Agenda with Steve Paikin.

“Long before the term “fake news” made its way into headlines and presidential Twitter accounts, scientists have been trying to figure out the best way to battle back against distrust of experts. Timothy Caulfield, author of “Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash,” joins The Agenda to discuss science communication and why he believes doubling down on science is the answer in a time of alternative facts.”

“Tenure can withstand Twitter”: We Need Policies That Promote Science Communication and Protect Those Who Engage

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by Cassidy R. Sugimoto

As scholars, we often take for granted the rights of tenure for freedom of inquiry and research, without acknowledging our responsibilities to engage the public in discourse around this research. This obligation was made explicit in the American Association of University Professors’ (AAUP) 1915 Declaration of Principles on Academic Freedom and Academic Tenure which states that scholars should “impart the results of their own and of their fellow-specialists’ investigations and reflection, both to students and to the general public, without fear or favor.” The responsibility to engage in the public discourse of science is a latent variable in academic freedom that has not historically received the kind of attention it deserves. The rise of social media, however, brings new opportunities and complexities to the issue.

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Video: UCSD Scientists Explain How They Spend NIH Funds

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This video, by Neuro Transmissions,  does an excellent job explaining exactly what we get from federal funding for the National Institutes of Health.

“President Trump’s proposed budget will cut $7 billion in NIH funding – over 20% of the total NIH budget. You might be wondering, where does that NIH money get spent? This week, we interviewed some University of California – San Diego neuroscientists to tell you about their NIH-funded research and how it impacts society.”

 

The Role of Science Communication in Political Activism

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In a letter to JCOM: The Journal of Science CommunicationJoseph Roche and Nicola Davis take a look at how the relationship between science and society evolved – or devolved – in 2016, and share some ideas for turning things around.

They ask an important, and somewhat worrisome, question:

“Will science once again be regarded with suspicion by a society that feels excluded from its practice and is apathetic about its benefits?”

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The Importance of Research on Science Advocacy

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From JCOM: The Journal of Science Communication

The relationship between science, scientists and advocacy has been the focus of researchers and science communicators since a very long time. Nevertheless, the debate on whether should scientists take an active and public role in advocating for the importance and social implications of their research is more actual than ever. With governments in several countries shrinking budget for research funding – as recently announced by the US government – or climate change issues being openly denied by politicians and other public figures, it is important not to forget the vast amount of research that is already available on the topic of advocacy in science.

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5 Papers Exploring Scientists as Public Intellectuals

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Some interesting papers from JCOM: The Journal of Science Communication exploring the concept of scientists as public intellectuals.
  • WHY SPEAK?
  • SCIENCE COMMUNICATION AND THE PUBLIC INTELLECTUAL: A VIEW FROM PHILOSOPHY
  • EVOLUTION OF A PUBLIC INTELLECTUAL: CORAL REEF BIOLOGIST JEREMY JACKSON
  • BABELFISH AND THE PECULIAR SYMBIOSIS OF PUBLIC INTELLECTUALISM AND ACADEMIA
  • CONSIDERING THE ACADEMY: ACADEMICS, PUBLIC INTELLECTUALS AND ACTIVISM

Higher Ed Highlights #4: Stories for University Communications and Marketing Professionals

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Keeping up on higher education and Marcom trends is important for those of us working in university relations roles. I have started saving some of the stories that seem most relevant and/or interesting, archiving them here on marcommunique.com in a new series I call Higher Ed Highlights.

New editions of Higher Ed Highlights will be published as often as time permits. Let me know what you think.


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“Chatt About Science” – What it Takes to Start a Science Cafe (Q&A)

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Dr. Sarah Webb and Dr. Deanna Beasley outside a Chatt About Science event.

Can I interest you in a shot of science with your caramel macchiato?

Science cafes are popping up across the country and around the world.

The concept is simple, researchers chat with the public about their exciting work at a coffee bar, ‘real’ bar, or another public place. Instead of a technical presentation, the researchers share their stories in language easily understood by a diverse audience of non-scientists. Conversation, questions, and debate then follow with the goal of boosting public understanding of – and support for – science.

Most major cities have science cafe programs, but when freelance writer Dr. Sarah Webb moved to Chattanooga in 2012, she was surprised that the city didn’t have its own. It took a few years, but she started one herself – calling it Chatt About Science.

The first event took place November 2016. She’s currently planning number six. Each Chatt About Science attracts an average of 20 people to a local coffeehouse to learn about science. So far, topics have included plant ecology, chemistry, memory, urban ecology, and water quality.

In this Q & A, Dr. Sarah Webb shares what she learned as she brought Chatt About Science to life. Hopefully, this will inspire you to do the same in your community. Continue reading

Outreach – Why Reach Out?

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by Alan Duffy, Swinburne University of Technology 

As I write this on-site at the Australian Astronomical Observatory, home for the next three nights to the BBC/ABC Stargazing Live show, I’m struck by the number of scientists working hard to explain their science to the nation. They’re taking significant time away from their research, sitting in freezing conditions and working incredibly hard to make public science understandable.

Why? Because it matters.

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How Scientists Should Communicate Their Work in a Post-Truth Era

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By Andy Miah, University of Salford

It’s not an easy time for scientists to talk to the wider public. The US president, Donald Trump, has called global warming “bull—-” and a “Chinese hoax”. In the UK, leave campaigner and MP Michael Gove famously declared that people “have had enough of experts”. But now UK MPs have published a report arguing that there should greater backing for public dialogue and engagement with science.

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The SCICOMM 25 (March 2017 Recap)

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Welcome To The SCICOMM 25!

This is where I pull together 25 (or more) of the most talked about science communication stories, determined by the engagement rate of stories I’ve shared on Twitter. Many are written by the world’s leading science communicators.

Some offer tips and advice, while others tackle important issues we need to discuss and debate. All of them are worth checking out.

Continue reading

Video: How to Effectively Communicate Science in a Policy Era of Alternative Facts

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Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

From the origins of the universe to the daily determination of justice in our courts, facts are foundational to our lives. What happens when facts are dismissed, suppressed, seen as optional or even replaced with “alternative facts”?

Watch live as Lawrence Krauss, internationally renowned theoretical physicist and director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University, and James Weinstein, the Dan Cracchiolo Chair in Constitutional Law at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU, have a dialogue about ramifications and strategies to effectively communicate facts in our current political reality.

Visit the event site on the web.

Event Date: February 14, 2017

A Scientist With a Fascinating Story? Some Tips on How to Make it Soar

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by Marina Joubert, Stellenbosch University

It’s hard to pin down what makes one press release, statement or event more newsworthy than the next. Journalists use differing sets of news values to decide whether they’re interested in a specific story and must then convince their editors, whose titles face increasing competition in an information rich world.

Scientists must remember this when they consider public engagement. These researchers may believe they know what science news matters most and should be communicated. Then they’ll be dismayed at the muted media reaction to some news releases that they deem important – and equally surprised when a story they didn’t consider “big news” goes viral.

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When Politicians Listen to Scientists, We All Benefit

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by Ken Baldwin, Australian National University

The Trump administration has just confirmed the appointment of Scott Pruitt, a known climate change denier, as head of the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Elsewhere, in 2014 the government in Sweden misrepresented research on the state of the wolf population to justify hunting them.

And in the United Kingdom in 2006, a parliamentary committee found that the government “twisted” science for political purposes. More recently, Nobel Laureate and Royal Society president Paul Nurse lamented politicians ignoring scientific evidence.

Are we seeing a shift in the way that some politicians use or misuse scientific expertise?

Science has evolved over many centuries to become an integral part of modern society, underpinning our health, wealth, and cultural fabric. Yet scientific evidence is often wilfully disregarded by politicians worldwide.

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Higher Ed Highlights #3: Stories for University Communications and Marketing Professionals

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Keeping up on higher education and Marcom trends is important for those of us working in university relations roles. I have started saving some of the stories that seem most relevant and/or interesting, archiving them here on marcommunique.com in a new series I call Higher Ed Highlights.

New editions of Higher Ed Highlights will be published as often as time permits. Let me know what you think. Continue reading

Seven Things to Keep in Mind if You’re Going to March for Science

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by Will J Grant, Australian National University and Rod Lamberts, Australian National University

On April 22 scientists around the world are downing microscopes, pipettes and lasers and declaring it’s time take a public stand and be counted. Standing shoulder to shoulder with their scientific kindred, they’ll raise fists to the sky, united with one voice and shouting “science is… [insert message here]!” The Conversation

The question is: what is the message?

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Higher Ed Highlights #2: Stories for University Communications and Marketing Professionals

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Keeping up on higher education and Marcom trends is important for those of us working in university relations roles. I have started saving some of the stories that seem most relevant and/or interesting, archiving them here on marcommunique.com in a new series I call Higher Ed Highlights.

New editions of Higher Ed Highlights will be published as often as time permits. Let me know what you think.


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Learn to Spot ‘Alternative Facts’ in Science

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The Volkswagen emissions scandal and past promotions of tobacco are two examples of “alternative facts” in science’s past, a researcher warns.

“In everyday life, we recognize that we should think twice about trusting someone’s decision if they have a significant vested interest that could skew their judgment,” says Kevin Elliott, an associate professor at Michigan State University who specializes in the philosophy and ethics of science. “When reading the latest scientific breakthrough, the same tactic should be applied.”

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Scientific Papers Have More Impact if They’re ‘Stories’

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by Futurity.com

An analysis of more than 700 scientific papers on climate change suggests writing style can boost an article’s impact.

The researchers’ idea was that papers written in a more narrative style—those that tell a story—might be more influential than those with a drier, more expository style. Psychology and literary theory have long held that if you want someone to remember something, you should communicate it in the form of a story.

Higher Ed Highlights #1: Stories for University Communications and Marketing Professionals

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If you are like me, each day your inbox gets flooded with eNewsletters from professional societies and other news sources. They include many stories that you would like to read, but you just don’t have the time…so you click delete.

Keeping up on higher education and Marcom trends is important for those of us working in university relations roles. I have started saving some of the stories that seem most relevant and/or interesting, archiving them here on marcommunique.com in a new series I call Higher Ed Highlights.

I will continue saving stories as I see them, publishing new editions of Higher Ed Highlights when I think a particular post has enough content to be valuable to readers of this blog.

Let me know what you think. Also, if you have suggestions for making this more useful as time goes on I would love to hear them.

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Communicating Climate Change: Focus on the Framing, Not Just the Facts

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by Rose Hendricks, University of California, San Diego

Humans are currently in a war against global warming. Or is it a race against global warming? Or maybe it’s just a problem we have to deal with?

If you already consider climate change a pressing issue, you might not think carefully about the way you talk about it – regardless of how you discuss it, you already think of global warming as a problem. But the way we talk about climate change affects the way people think about it.

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The SCICOMM 25 (Feb. 2017)

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Image (2) SCICOMM-25-300x280.png for post 1623Welcome To The SCICOMM 25!

This is where I pull together 25 (or more) of the most talked about science communication stories, determined by the engagement rate of stories I’ve shared on Twitter. Many are written by the world’s leading science communicators.

Some offer tips and advice, while others tackle important issues we need to discuss and debate. All of them are worth checking out.

Continue reading

Your Essential ‘How-to’ Guide to Choosing Article Titles

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This article has been republished from the Impact on Social Sciences blog.

One of the key tasks for an article author who wants to be cited is to quickly persuade people to click on the title of their piece and learn more from the abstract or book outline and then from there to persuade them to download the whole article. Here we present a simple ‘how-to’ guide to choosing article titles.

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Rebranding a Research Institute: 6 Steps to Success

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problem-solvedWhether you’re a research institute seeking new grants or a university trying to recruit students, the messages you send to your stakeholders can make you – or break you.

If you spend time pushing out news releases and filling your website with content without thinking about how the pieces connect to tell a cohesive story, you’re missing a huge opportunity to build your reputation.

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Real Researchers Star in a University’s Creative TV Spot

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If you’ve ever watched a college football game, you’ve seen a university public service announcement (PSA) airing at halftime. You know the spots I’m talking about too. They usually feature a deep voiced male spouting off about commitment, excellence, and scholarship. They often include beautiful campus shots, maybe a peek inside a classroom, a scene in a lab, and maybe another with students doing something fun. And they always end with a university logo and an uninspired tagline.

At Georgia Tech, a lot of effort has been put into being different. Continue reading

Communication Planning: Start By Looking in the Mirror

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shutterstock_111876380A CASE STUDY

Are you happy with what you see when you look in the mirror?

When I started working on the strategic communication and marketing plan for research at Georgia Tech, my first goal was to fully understand our internal audience. It’s really the most important audience, because without the support of your own people – any communication you do is bound to fail.

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What REALLY Happens When Researchers Work with the Press?

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Woman pointing a camera

Credit: PicJumbo

Over the past week, the Internet was abuzz following the publication of a study in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly (Building Buzz: (Scientists) Communicating Science in New Media Environments) which showed that a researcher’s scientific impact gets a boost from not only the news media but from Twitter too!

The study provides additional evidence to support what those of us working in science communication have been preaching for years – that public/news media outreach by scientists can have a direct (and very positive) impact on their work and reputation.

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