Getting Real About Our Virtual Future
by Tim Jones, Science Communicator at Freelance on Sep 27, 2011
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Slides from a talk made to the Jonge Akademie of the Dutch Royal Academy of Arts and Science in March 2009. ...
Slides from a talk made to the Jonge Akademie of the Dutch Royal Academy of Arts and Science in March 2009.
As with any communication medium, and particularly a new one, virtual worlds offer advantages and disadvantages in the context of science and science communication. Scientists who are geographically separated can collaborate via their avatars. Data can be visualised and interacted with in new ways. And the public and scientists can engage with a sense of intimacy that makes the participants feel visible, involved, and able to interact with one another. Yet the technology is young, interfaces are difficult to use and, for most people, virtual worlds are still a mystery. The presentation will include: a brief introduction to the basics of virtual worlds; examples (using screenshots) showing how virtual worlds are being used by scientists and science communicators, a critique of benefits and limitations, and a discussion of likely future developments.
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