Blogging and social media training gave new tools for better science communication
"What if all of the world’s problems have already been solved, but the answers are buried in reports and articles that nobody reads?” was the main question of the BONUS young scientists’ training on blogging and social media on 7 March. Luckily many great tips for how to avoid that scenario were shared on the day!
The training gathered almost 30 enthusiastic young scientists from all around the Baltic Sea region together to the online session to hear how science could and should be popularised, and how to use different channels for more effective science communication. The training was sponsored by PE2020 and the trainers were experts from a science communication company Kaskas Media.
The training covered the best practices of the three most important social media channels for scientists. Participants were told some secrets of Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as Wikipedia, which turned out to be of some surprise for many participants. The trainer Liisa Mayow from Kaskas Media described Wikipedia as one of the most powerful public engagement tools, since it reaches more than 450 million people around the world, and it is one of the first sites to come up when searching for almost anything on the web. It is also an important source of information for media, policymakers, experts in other fields, and researchers in developing countries where information resources can be limited.
The usefulness of different social media channels was easy enough to agree by all participants, but equally, many admittedly used these channels very little or not at all for various reasons: it takes time, getting followers is not so easy and it is sometimes hard to come up with anything interesting. These worries seemed to fade away at least a bit when participants were shown great examples of science communication related to Twitter accounts with tens of thousands of followers. Science can be highly interesting and also humorous, when one just has the right words for it!
Another part of the training session was all about blogs and blogging in the field of science. After receiving a brief introduction for the steps of composing a blog post, the ‘blog clinic’ started and participants had a chance to generate some good blog post ideas with immediate tips and comments from trainers. The participants were also asked to brainstorm for innovative blog post titles and consider great form(s) for blog posts. The results of the blog clinic will soon fill up the bonusprojects.org website with fresh, innovative and interesting blog posts from both old and new BONUS bloggers!
For further information, check the event page.