Science + Public = ??
I recently gave a seminar style presentation at the 2015 Postgraduate Student Conference about how to engage the public with science.
Nowadays our whole lives are blasted all over social media, from our check-in statuses, amusing tweets, night out selfies, to even pictures of our every meal – we are obsessed with sharing our own and catching up on others #life (don’t pretend you don’t facebook stalk!) and science needs to catch up!
People are vital for science to push forward. Public opinion, accessibility and participation are highly valued to contribute to a greater degree of knowledge. In my opinion, all knowledge should be accessible to anyone – as a human right to freedom of thinking, and learning is a crucial stage in developing your own opinions and freedom – what could be more important?
Public engagement is a real art, and given the high demand, there is becoming a vast supply (Stay tuned for upcoming posts about my top favourite science blogs!) From my active interest and attending this conference, I’ve learnt there is much more to consider when trying to out reach research, finite details of purpose, planning, target, and an array of different techniques – it can be pretty daunting! (especially for a new blogger like me). See more information on my thoughts and top tips from the conference here)
Let’s Talk About Sex!
I’m sure you can imagine that getting participants for research on sex, even when it’s just an online survey (no lab experiments here!), is tricky! Even though our culture is becoming more open and accepting, there is undoubtedly still much taboo around asking people about their sexual lives and promiscuous behaviours. But with a professional touch, ethical approval and use of the internet, in fact many people were very willing to take part in my research. I distributed my survey across popular social media platforms and created this very blog in order to get my research out there!
My Top Tips!
- Be present! – It’s difficult to maintain a blog (as many many bloggers know), but it’s the easiest way to openly write about your research that is accessible to everyone (not just in “academic” style)
- Vlogging – if you’re brave enough, show your face, use videos, interviews, podcasts (…watch this space for my upcoming videos!)
- Keep it simple
- Plan what you hope to achieve (otherwise you may find yourself wasting time!)
- IMPACT! – definitely the word of the moment, that is really driving science forward.
Like / Share / Comment – I love hearing your views and any of your own tips to share…