Science communication on social media largely happens through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (you can find the ScIU blog on all three platforms), but in reality, it extends beyond these three primary sites into platforms such as TikTok, Reddit, YouTube, and more. On any one of these platforms, people from around the world are able to form digital communities where they can talk, educate, learn, advocate, and make new friends. I have been the Social Media Chair for ScIU for over a year now, and in that time, I have learned quite a lot about science communication from social media.
The election is almost here and the election forecasters are in full swing. As of October 23rd, the Economist gives Biden a 92% chance of winning, and FiveThirtyEight has him winning 88 out of 100 “simulated” elections. How should we interpret these claims? If you have a coin and you flip it a thousand times, and it lands on heads 500 times and tails 500 times then you may infer it has a 50% probability of landing on heads and a 50% probability tails. Sounds simple, except, we’re not going to run this election thousands of times, we’re only going to run it once.
Amid this pandemic, you may be having conversations with family members similar to my own. I was talking to my brother about going to the grocery store and buying some eggs for baking when I was pretty strictly told that “no, you shouldn’t because the virus can be transmitted through food.” As a scientist myself, this was intriguing advice. So, I asked him to show me where he had read it. Sadly, nowadays when we are bombarded with news at every corner we turn, we were unable to backtrack his source…
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences (PBS) assistant professor Dr. Ehren Newman studies circuitry in the brain, particularly the circuitry that is associated with the making of stories and the retrieval of memories. Newman’s background as a computational neuroscientist enables him to bring a plethora of new insight into his current field of systems cognitive psychology. Memory is a complex process with multiple facets. “We don’t remember everything that happens to us with equal probability,” he observes. “Instead, we have fragmented memories of things of varying lengths.” So, how do we choose which memories to store and later recall?
On March 20, 2019, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences Professor Emeritus Dr. Brian O’Donnell and Research Scientist Dr. Alex Straiker met with the student community for a Q&A session entitled “Cannabis: Science and Policy.” “IU has been the world center for research regarding cannabinoid signaling,” said Dr. Straiker during his address at the Science Café talk. Having studied cannabinoid signaling for more than 20 years, Dr. Straiker mentions the growing enthusiasm for cannabis use in a variety of forms, like essential oils; not only recreationally, but also for the treatment of anxiety, autoimmune disease, inflammation, and pain management…
Many of us here at ScIU have recognized that there is a shortage of classes to teach science communication at IU and in science programs in general. While not every scientist does outreach everyday, we sometimes forget that the simple act of explaining your science to a grant committee or your neighbor who likes to… Read more »
Six months ago, my credit union sent me a new Visa card. It’s bold and dynamic, featuring a white space shuttle lifting off at dawn as flames and smoke billow from the rocket boosters. Overlying this image are four letters that catch the cashier’s eye: NASA.