Weekly Digest #53: Science Twitter in 2017
This week’s digest was contributed by Dr. Christopher Madan, our neuroscience expert. Christopher Madan @cMadan is a Postdoc at Boston College (@BostonCollege) studying memory and decision making, particularly what makes some memories last. Christopher uses behavior, neuroimaging, and computational modeling in his research, and will soon be starting at the University of Nottingham (@UniOfNottingham) as an Assistant Professor. We recently collaborated with Christopher on an e-book chapter about effective learning strategies, which is out in press here: Part 1 and Part 2.
Given the current political climate, Twitter doesn’t seem to have as much science as it used to. In this digest, I’ve pulled together articles on why using Twitter may be even more important than ever, some tips on how to adjust the amount of science in your feed (relative to ‘everything else’), and a just for fun – an illustrated taxonomy of Twitter users.
1. Why We Need Scientists On Social Media, Now More Than Ever By Christina Farr, @chrissyfarr
It feels pretty evident that the general public is not as aware of scientific facts and evidence as we, as scientists, would like. This ranges across many topics, with popular ones including climate change and vaccines. As research funding cuts loom, being more proactive about what scientific research is and how it benefits is one way we can try and advocate for funding, as well as public confidence in scientific evidence. In this article, Christina outlines this view in more detail and lists a few scientists on Twitter that have been particularly good at sharing their field of science with the rest of the world.
2. Campaign Launched to Honor ‘Living Scientists’ By Matthew Berger
Recently a new hashtag swept through the scientific community with fervor: #ActualLivingScientist. Many people in the general public may not personally know a scientist, so this was a great opportunity to explain what we, as scientists, do and try and take away some of the jargon that can distance us from the public. By sharing our views on what we research and why, perhaps we can get more people interested in science and how it extends beyond the confines of the ‘ivory tower’.
If you’re getting a bit overwhelmed with the influx of politics on Twitter and want to filter it to increase the science-to-everything else ratio, Micah gives some suggestions on how to use Twitter’s mute settings to get a bit of a reprieve from tweets that might be stressing you out too much.
From time-to-time, I find myself trying to extoll the virtues of Twitter for academics. So, I thought I’d write out my thoughts here so I have a starting point to refer people to. I am sure that most of these ideas are discussed elsewhere, but I thought I’d share my perspective here.
This just-for-fun blog post vividly brings to life 7 different types of Twitter users. Do you recognize yourself in any of them? And if you don’t use Twitter, then why not? Join, and be a Newbie!
An earlier version of this digest appeared on Christopher’s blog here.
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