HOWTO BE A 21ST CENTURY
SCIENCE COMMUNICATOR
- FIRST STEPS -
Joanne Richardson and Pat Nunnally
River Life, University of ...
WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY
We are equipping the next generation of scientists to
participate in the creation of a more scienti...
WHY BOTHER?
• “An educated citizenry is the only safe repository for democratic values.”
-Thomas Jefferson
• “In a democra...
WHY BOTHER?
• “I'm a big fan of social media for scientists. I think it can do a lot
for your scientific career, do a lot f...
#WHYSCITWEET
It started with this request onTwitter
@ihearttheroad People of STEM: I'm working on a module for a
social me...
#WHYSCITWEET
• @myleskilloneous #whyscitweet a massive multidisciplinary classroom at my fingertips. I'm both the
student a...
IMAGINE FOR A MOMENT
• Envision a community of scientists, global in scale, all learning
from each other, sharing insights...
SO WHAT AM ITALKING
ABOUTTODAY?
• This isn’t about “social media strategy” or “self-branding.”
• This isn’t about getting ...
SO WHATTO SAY?
WHATTO SHARE?
• Share thoughts, resources, and ideas,
• Images, videos, graphics, or text,
• Links, tools, ...
SO WHAT DO I SAY?
WHAT DO I SHARE?
“Science communication” can mean many things, including education
about the principles ...
ON JARGON
Phrases like “social media communications strategy” and “digital
communications” get bandied about a lot.
COMMUNICATIONS
That’s the key word.
REMEMBERTHAT IT GOES
BOTH WAYS
Communications is just as much about listening as it is about
being heard.
WHO SHOULD DOTHIS?
Everyone.
We encourage all of you to participate.
This week, and as you progress in your careers.
WHY SHOULD EVERYONE
DOTHIS?
• You’ll get practice and experience.
• You’ll create a record of your experiences for yoursel...
WHENTO START?
• There’s no time like the present.
• Start now.
WHERE DO WE DOTHIS?
• Here.
• At home.
• In your hotel or at the coffee shop.
• At dinner or in the lab.
• Anywhere.
TO GET STARTED
• Have something to say.
• Have somewhere to say it.
• Cultivate an audience.
• How? Consider these core id...
CORE IDEAS OF DIGITAL
COMMUNICATIONS
• Audience
• Goals
• Measurement
• Listening
• Being Human
• Choosing aTool
AUDIENCE
• Who do you want to hear what you are saying?
• Perhaps colleagues, fellow scientists, students, and
collaborato...
GOALS
• What are you trying to achieve?
• You might foster community, clear up misunderstandings,
educate regarding the im...
MEASUREMENT
• You improve what you measure, so be careful what you
measure.
• Measurement gives you interesting informatio...
LISTENING
• The most boring people at parties are the ones that do all the
talking and never listen back.
• Listen back.
•...
BEING HUMAN
• Have fun. Sound like a human. Have a personal voice.
• Have a sense of humor.
• Use memes. Use lolcats. Use ...
CHOOSEYOURTOOLS WISELY
• If you want to make quick posts frequently, useTwitter.
• If you want to make longer and more tho...
WHAT IS ATWEET?
• 140 characters posted with aTwitter account.
• Say one thing, say it briefly.
• You can reply toTweets an...
WHAT IS A BLOG POST?
• The best blog posts talk about one thing, and end with a
charge or question.
• This isn’t formal wr...
THE ONLY WAY
• When it comes right down to it, the only way to learn this is
to do this.
• So jump in and try.
• This can ...
WANT MORE INFORMATION?
• Do blog posts correlate with a higher number of future citations? By Hadas Shema
In a word, yes.
...
WANT MORE INFORMATION?
• Cutting the jargon: Explaining science to the public by MPR
Communication relies on everyone unde...
SEEYOU ONLINE!
Follow us @RiverLifeUMN onTwitter
Read RiverTalk at http://riverlife.umn.edu
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How To Be a 21st Century Science Communicator - First Steps

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Why should scientists Tweet and Blog? What can it mean for your career?

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How To Be a 21st Century Science Communicator - First Steps

  1. 1. HOWTO BE A 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE COMMUNICATOR - FIRST STEPS - Joanne Richardson and Pat Nunnally River Life, University of Minnesota
  2. 2. WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY We are equipping the next generation of scientists to participate in the creation of a more scientifically literate public.
  3. 3. WHY BOTHER? • “An educated citizenry is the only safe repository for democratic values.” -Thomas Jefferson • “In a democracy, it is very important that the public have a basic understanding of science so that they can control the way that science and technology increasingly affect our lives.” - Stephen Hawking • "Scientific literacy may likely determine whether or not democratic society will survive into the 21st century." - L. M. Lederman, Nobel Laureate • Adequate scientific literacy is a critical component of a healthy society.
  4. 4. WHY BOTHER? • “I'm a big fan of social media for scientists. I think it can do a lot for your scientific career, do a lot for your networking skills, and get you an amazing support group. It can also help you get a broader education, finding out about science outside your subfield, and give you a crash course in how to communicate with people outside your field.”* - scicurious • So it’s good for your career and your discipline too. *Emphasis ours.
  5. 5. #WHYSCITWEET It started with this request onTwitter @ihearttheroad People of STEM: I'm working on a module for a social media workshop. Help me? Answer this Q:Why do you tweet?#WhySciTweet (RT? kthxbye).
  6. 6. #WHYSCITWEET • @myleskilloneous #whyscitweet a massive multidisciplinary classroom at my fingertips. I'm both the student and the teacher. For FREE!#nohomework • @ihearttheroad #WhySciTweet MT @kirkenglehardt So many things I read each day make me go "WOW" I feel compelled to share so others can react (& learn) too. • @LouWoodley #whyscitweet No one can be everywhere at once - live tweeting of events allows you to share your experiences and share in those of others. • @DrStelling #WhySciTweet Because aTwitter account is the digital equivalent of a business card. And it's an interactive card, too! • @JessicaHellmann @ihearttheroad #WhySciTweet I tweet to try out ideas, help amplify science voices, share results; I listen as quick/easy way to stay current • @paulacroxson #WhySciTweet Because it keeps me more up-to-date with what's going on in my field than I ever was before!
  7. 7. IMAGINE FOR A MOMENT • Envision a community of scientists, global in scale, all learning from each other, sharing insights and perspectives. • We have the tools. • We’ll give you the ground rules to get started.
  8. 8. SO WHAT AM ITALKING ABOUTTODAY? • This isn’t about “social media strategy” or “self-branding.” • This isn’t about getting more likes, hits, props, retweets, or shares than anyone else. • This is about doing work.
  9. 9. SO WHATTO SAY? WHATTO SHARE? • Share thoughts, resources, and ideas, • Images, videos, graphics, or text, • Links, tools, articles, blog posts, retweets, and quotes. • Ask questions, solicit opinions and seek knowledge.
  10. 10. SO WHAT DO I SAY? WHAT DO I SHARE? “Science communication” can mean many things, including education about the principles of the scientific method, explanation of the results of current research, reinforcing the community of science fans, and facilitating communication between scientists.” - Josh Witten
  11. 11. ON JARGON Phrases like “social media communications strategy” and “digital communications” get bandied about a lot.
  12. 12. COMMUNICATIONS That’s the key word.
  13. 13. REMEMBERTHAT IT GOES BOTH WAYS Communications is just as much about listening as it is about being heard.
  14. 14. WHO SHOULD DOTHIS? Everyone. We encourage all of you to participate. This week, and as you progress in your careers.
  15. 15. WHY SHOULD EVERYONE DOTHIS? • You’ll get practice and experience. • You’ll create a record of your experiences for yourselves and for others. For this year and for next. • You’ll start to establish voice and explore the tools.
  16. 16. WHENTO START? • There’s no time like the present. • Start now.
  17. 17. WHERE DO WE DOTHIS? • Here. • At home. • In your hotel or at the coffee shop. • At dinner or in the lab. • Anywhere.
  18. 18. TO GET STARTED • Have something to say. • Have somewhere to say it. • Cultivate an audience. • How? Consider these core ideas...
  19. 19. CORE IDEAS OF DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS • Audience • Goals • Measurement • Listening • Being Human • Choosing aTool
  20. 20. AUDIENCE • Who do you want to hear what you are saying? • Perhaps colleagues, fellow scientists, students, and collaborators, the next generation of scientists, the general public, policy makers, funders and patrons, industry professionals, friends, family, and peers. • Where is your audience? • Notice and adapt if the audience you have is different than the audience you want.
  21. 21. GOALS • What are you trying to achieve? • You might foster community, clear up misunderstandings, educate regarding the importance of your work, connect long- term scientific work to day-to-day media and news. • I encourage you to set your goals, to define success for yourself in terms of the work you do.
  22. 22. MEASUREMENT • You improve what you measure, so be careful what you measure. • Measurement gives you interesting information, but remember what it really means. Having a lot of followers or hits doesn’t necessarily mean that your material was read thoughtfully. • Look for conversations that have been sparked, connections made with colleagues, thoughtful comments, knowledge gained.
  23. 23. LISTENING • The most boring people at parties are the ones that do all the talking and never listen back. • Listen back. • Pay attention to what interests you, and also to what you don’t engage with. Use that information to guide your own work. • Comment, reply, retweet, and follow-up.
  24. 24. BEING HUMAN • Have fun. Sound like a human. Have a personal voice. • Have a sense of humor. • Use memes. Use lolcats. Use rage faces. Reference trends. • But... don’t be frivolous or descend into a chaos of inside jokes.
  25. 25. CHOOSEYOURTOOLS WISELY • If you want to make quick posts frequently, useTwitter. • If you want to make longer and more thoughtful posts less frequently, think about blogging. • Choose the tool that matches the job that you want doing.
  26. 26. WHAT IS ATWEET? • 140 characters posted with aTwitter account. • Say one thing, say it briefly. • You can reply toTweets and you can include links or images. • You need aTwitter account to post, but you don’t need one to read.
  27. 27. WHAT IS A BLOG POST? • The best blog posts talk about one thing, and end with a charge or question. • This isn’t formal writing, sound like a human. It’s okay to not know all the answers, or to lack a profound conclusion. • Pictures and links are always popular, and the post does not have to be long. • If you’re struggling to start, try to aim for 100 words.
  28. 28. THE ONLY WAY • When it comes right down to it, the only way to learn this is to do this. • So jump in and try. • This can be the start of your digital portfolio, or just a skills- building exercise that may be useful years down the line.
  29. 29. WANT MORE INFORMATION? • Do blog posts correlate with a higher number of future citations? By Hadas Shema In a word, yes. • Do blog citations correlate with a higher number of future citations? Research blogs as a potential source for alternative metrics By Hadas Shema, Judit Bar-Ilan and MikeThelwall This is the actual paper.Again, yes, however they refer here to a specific form of blogging called “research blogging” and this is a young field. • Science CommunicationTips:We Can HearYou By Scicurious Excellent summary of the best reasons to participate in social media as a scientist, as well as solid advice on how to notice and avoid potential pitfalls. • TL:DR by Neuropolarbear On the benefits of brevity.  Numbers tells us that if what you write is too long, or waits too long for the reveal, then nobody will read it. • The role ofTwitter in the life cycle of a scientific publication By Emily Darling, David Schiffman, Isabelle Cȏté, Joshua Drew From pre-review works in progress to communicating published findings, this paper explores the role ofTwitter and its broad audience with regards to the world of scientific publication. • Lessons Learned: My First Press Release By Emily Peters Solid advice on how to deal with putting yourself out there – how to prepare both your work and yourself.
  30. 30. WANT MORE INFORMATION? • Cutting the jargon: Explaining science to the public by MPR Communication relies on everyone understanding the language used.  Speak to your audience using language they understand. • Scicurious Guest Writer: Societal challenges to science communication in Nepal By Roshan Karki On what can happen when you bump up against cultural challenges and apathy. • Finding an audience with social media By Josh Witten  Figuring out audience.  Who are they, where are they, and what do they want to hear? • A NoteTo Beginning Science Writers By Carl Zimmer A very clear discussion of the basics, including information on how to get into the business of professional science writing. • What the ScienceTells Us About “Trust in Science” by Liz Neeley Does advocacy by scientists erode trust, credibility, and reputation for objectivity? What does trust in science even mean?  This is part of an excellent series on evidence based analysis of science communications. (Spoiler alert: It depends.) • People of STEM:Why DoYouTweet? by Jessica Morrison #whyscitweet  An ongoing discussionTwitter on why scientistsTweet. • Storytellers Who Know Science, Scientists WhoTell Stories by Pat Nunnally Thoughts on the future of communications and science careers.
  31. 31. SEEYOU ONLINE! Follow us @RiverLifeUMN onTwitter Read RiverTalk at http://riverlife.umn.edu

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