I went down to London yesterday to attend the New Scientist Live Festival. It was an awesome experience and I learned a lot about studying the Arctic landscape by using drones or using technology to manipulate the body. Sounds scary, but if you think of people with disabilities it can make a massive change in the quality of their life.
It was also a chance to meetup up with some of the biggest science communicators in the UK. Mafalda, Soph and Charlie pioneered the field of scicomm by using Instagram. Soph won the prize for the best scientific blog in the UK this year and Charlie is connected with the biggest science magazines and she’s involved in the organisation of some science festivals in the UK.
Many argue that the best platform to convey science news is Twitter. I agree but science communication is bringing science to a lay audience, people who don’t have a scientific background and make it more accessible and enjoyable. Since many people spend the whole day scrolling Instagram and YouTube feeds, why don’t use these platform to spread scientific content? Is it a bad or a good idea?
Scicomm isn’t padding each other’s back and talk science to people who are already into it, it’s reaching out a lay audience.
I’m not using Instagram because I want to be famous, science is a niche and there’s no way to compete with the fashion or food industry, for example. I met with these girls yesterday because we believe it’s possible to bring scicomm to the next level by using social media.
Everyone has their own niche and uses Instagram to bring attention to problems such as the role of women in science, ethic in science as well as talking about their research. Nina uses a different approach to bring attention to women in science she makes drawings of past and present female who made a significant contribution to science.
This is the portrait of Emily, the chief correspondent of the Field Museum in Chicago. She has a YouTube Channel TheBrainScoop where she talks about interesting facts about science.
Through Instagram, I helped in the growth of a page called TheSciCommunity, a vibrant and interactive space that brought together scientists around the world, not only in the UK. We joined our knowledge, experience and resources to become the frontline of scicomm on Instagram. We did what scientists do all the time: collaborating because union is strength and it’s impossible to achieve great things by staying isolated. Check the page and learn all about u and feel free to join and contribute the community. We just launched a YouTube Channel and we’re in the process of creating a website too. This will hopefully be a reference point for everyone that wants to do science communication or wants to get the expertise of trained scientists and science communicators.
We created a platform that is the frontline of science communication on social media
Stay tuned for the upcoming meetups. This is just one of a long series.