Post by Jessica Rick
Post by Ellen Keaveny
Post by Alexis Lester
This is the first image I created for this class, and it remains my favorite. I wanted to make a stand alone image that people could read and understand, without a science background and without me standing next to them and defining every single image and term.
Hello artists and scientists alike!
Mel Torres here – you may recognize me as the PhD student studying amphibians as part of the Art of Science Communication course blog last year. I’m glad to be back, and I’m blogging on a whole new subject (…well, sort of! #AlwaysAmphibians). I’m currently taking Visualizing Science at UWyo, and I cannot express how excited I am to learn about incorporating artwork into my science. As an amateur artist in my younger days, I’m enthusiastic for the opportunity to show off the two things that I enjoy; drawing and disseminating scientific research to you!
Author: Chris Petranek, a PhD candidate studying bumble bee physiology
"That some scientists’ social media following outstrips their citation count should not imply a lack of credibility. If all scientists were more Kardashian-like in their ability to influence the public, we might not
be living in a “post-truth” era."
For better or worse, carefully curating an internet presence is a key component of any professional career in 2017. This wholesome avocation can range from maintaining a savvy personal website to merely making sure your Facebook profile won’t preclude an interview. Social media outlets are a great way for others to collect information about you, so you may as well use them to your advantage. For most, that means leveraging personality and interesting content to advertise a product or advocate for a desired outcome. If you know the ropes, social media platforms are great for getting your message to reach content consumers worldwide.
Such an inexpensive means for distributing information widely seems especially well suited to scientists seeking to engage the public. To this end, social media can be so effective some scientists are concerned that online presence is overshadowing the importance of quality research. Thus, the “Kardashian Index”, for pitting online communication reach against citation count.
Neil Hall proposed the "K-index" in 2014 to measure scientists' social media fame (# of twitter followers) with respect to their scientific renown (approximated by citation count).
Reassuringly, these preliminary data suggest one’s social media popularity is correlated with their popularity in the scientific community. However, that some scientists’ social media following outstrips their citation count (“Kardashians”) should not imply a lack of credibility. If all scientists were more Kardashian-like in their ability to influence the public, we might not be living in a “post-truth” era.
“Post-truth” refers to the salient observation by nerds nationwide that lay-audiences are not swayed by torrents of numerical observations. There is thus ongoing debate in the scientific community about whether celebrity influencers are useful for communicating science issues broadly via social media. Some say that the ends justify the means, but others are hesitant to have non-specialists speak out about pressing issues in science (Galetti & Costa-Pereira 2017, Mojarad 2017).
A blog and website by graduate students from science disciplines and departments throughout the University of Wyoming. We hope you connect with our science communication and engagement efforts. Please let us know what you think of the site!