Science communication – Guest curator and podcast launch

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Hi everyone and welcome to my latest blog post.  In this post, I will be talking about my time as a guest curator on @biotweeps on Twitter. This account is hosted by Anthony (@thonoir) and every week he hands over the reins to a new biologist who is allowed to tweet their week to a whole new group of followers.  This gives them the opportunity to explain their work to a new audience and to get some feedback from fresh faces as well. This is a brilliant concept and one which I’m sure will prove very popular in the future; after all, collaboration is key to science communication.

So, my own experience – My week started off by logging in to the new account @biotweeps; I was excited to see new people favouriting and retweeting my tweets; giving me the chance to engage with lots of new biologists.  The whole point of Twitter is to interact with other people and this gave me a great opportunity to do so. As the week progressed, I was able to ask questions to this new audience and get great feedback within the same day. It gave me a chance to explain my own research interests to new people and explain my passions (explaining what a trematode was turned out to be a highlight as you often forget that other people not in your field will not be accustomed to these terminologies and names).

There was a great sense of pride in explaining your field to other people, as I’m sure you also get tired of explaining work to the same people and those in your own field who are not surprised by the work being done. When you explain your work to someone new who hasn’t heard of your field or the work being down, it is a great feeling as it affords you the opportunity to look at your project in a new light.

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 Science communication is paramount to the success of science; we have to bridge the gap between researchers and the general public. Our research can only go so far, but if we can communicate it to a much broader audience then it has an unlimited potential. One of the most important reasons for supporting science communication is that, without it, there is too high a chance that science miscommunication will occur in its place; people getting the wrong ideas, not being educated enough on a certain topic, leads to fear of techniques (GMOs) or methodologies, and so it is our responsibility to communicate with precision and above all else, clarity, so that the public audience can understand what we do and understand that without us, the world would be much worse off.

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I am therefore going to try and bridge this gap by starting my own podcast, centred around “Science communication”.  I will be trying my best to answer questions that need to be answered; inviting guests from the scientific community to explain their work and the impact it will have on the world (the big picture) and engaging with people outside the scientific community so that we can bring together a mix of varying opinions. My podcast will be a mix of solo episodes where I will be talking briefly about a certain subject and answering questions that I have asked people on Twitter prior to recording, guest episodes where I will invite one or two people to talk briefly about their work so that we can get an idea of the work being done in various fields and episodes where I will invite people who work in industry on to the show so they can give us their views on science at an industrial scale. Hopefully this will be the start of something new and exciting that we can all benefit from and take part in.

As always, thanks for taking the time to read my latest blog post; if you have any questions or comments please leave them down below or contact me on Twitter (@drmikeographer). I will be tweeting about all things podcast related so follow me there to stay up-to-date with everything.

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