"Talking Dogs and Galileian Blogs: Social Media for Communicating Science"

That's the title of the talk I gave yesterday at Vanderbilt, and here are the slides:

The central idea is the same as in past versions of the talk-- stealing Robert Krulwich's joke contrasting the publication styles of Newton and Galileo to argue that scientists spend too much time writing technical articles aimed at an audience of other experts, and need to do more "Galileian" publication aimed at a broad audience. And that social media technologies offer powerful tools that can enable those who are interested to do this kind of communication with relatively little effort.

This version of the talk is a little more image-based than older versions, reflecting a general shift in the way I give talks these days, which might make it less comprehensible from just the slides than older versions. But then, that's just more reason to invite me to give it live and in person at your place of work...

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> scientists spend too much time writing technical articles
> aimed at an audience of other experts,
> and need to do more “Galileian” publication
> aimed at a broad audience.

Doesn't get tenure or win grants. Only for old people who already have tenure. Not seen as valuable by those who hold power (i.e. can grant tenure).

Would you advise a new hire in your department to do this?

By Michael Richmond (not verified) on 27 Mar 2015 #permalink

I'm aware of the obstacles, and that's part of why I go places and give these sorts of talks. The point is not just to encourage young people to use social media to communicate science, but to make an argument to the more senior folks who will be evaluating the younger folks for jobs that this is a valuable thing to be doing, for the scientific community as a whole.

Using social media to communicate science is an excellent idea as it educate people on new scientific discoveries on a platform that everyone uses. More scientific information will be spread out across the world at a faster rate because the majority of people are constantly on social media.

By Palesa Zulu (not verified) on 29 Mar 2015 #permalink

This post has opened my eyes to the many possibilities which social media hold for modern science. Being part of the "fear of missing out" generation myself, I know just how often and readily people depend on social media. Up until now I saw social media merely as a form of entertainment and not as a way to bring awareness to the general public on subjects such as science, but creating such easy access to such resources could encourage many to pursue the noble field that is science. I think that in recent years, science has become a more popular profession and will hopefully continue to do so. I believe media is to thank for this and we should continue boosting the effects of said social media and continue spreading awareness throughout the general public and more rigid circles of society.

By Sharon Ellman (not verified) on 30 Mar 2015 #permalink