A New Frontier for Communicating Science: Social Media, Aug 26

Friday, August 26, 2016

Technological advances enable, today and in the future, opportunities for individual scientists to communicate in new and more effective ways. Scientists must take advantage of these technologies and communicate!

To encourage young scientists to communicate their work, I created a new course at Caltech called “Social Media for Scientists.” I will describe this course, where students from multiple scientific disciplines are exposed to important issues involving social media.

Through a deeper understanding of social media concepts, students are able to vastly improve their ability to communicate scientific discoveries and research (see Twitter.com: #caltech107 for a review of the course as presented in the spring of 2016). Students appreciate that social media communications have speeds and connectivities like no other communication methods in history. These new channels must be used properly to positively engage scientific
communities and the public in order to convey the wonderment of nature and science.

At the conclusion of the course, it was found that enthusiasm for communicating science with social media was high for both undergraduate and graduate students that are pursuing scientific and engineering careers. I will end my presentation by outlining what I found to be successful approaches to teaching “Social Media for Scientists.”