The cost of being heard…

Communication is no longer just about writing an essay or scientific paper… it’s so much more!

This course is amazing!!! Every session is about something new, something so very different from the last session, and yet something that can be so intrinsically related that once you make the link it’s like the missing puzzle piece now fits and a world of knowledge is available to you.

Puzzle Globe

Original image by: flyingpurplemonkeys

Science, to me, has always been about the written work, the discoveries of the past and the discoveries of the future… the hypotheses that are tested and the written works that present those discoveries to the world. However, a recent stumbling block for me during my time off from my studies, was that I had very limited access to that pool of resources. I would find news of some recently published work or fantastic new discovery… but unless I wanted to pay for every article of interest I was essentially “cut off” from the world of science and it’s treasures.

Today I discovered something completely new to me. A way for scientists to communicate outside the boundaries of printed research. A way for me to communicate with others who share my passions no matter the distance.

Logic tell us that the technology of today means that we can communicate instantly with people who are half a world away with “the flick of a wrist” as Black Angus would say. So it stands to reason that in order to get our science out into the wide world community, it is not sufficient to simply write a scientific paper or two and post it in an online Scientific Journal. The cost of scientific articles, even those available online, is just astounding when you think about how much each one can cost, and then add up how many we would need to read to stay abreast of the most current research in our fields.

Solution???

How about

Twitter Logo  or  LinkedIn-Logo  or  facebook logo

Original twitter image by: Jon Gosier

Original linkedin image by: ekelly89

Original facebook image by: marcopako 

What? you say…. ‘kids’ these days spend all their time chatting and hooking up with their friends on Facebook and you think it’s going to help my science career?

… Well quite possibly (according to Heather Bray and Mike Seyfang and others at Adelaide University and beyond) YES!!! In the past two days I think I have created more accounts and joined more forums and platforms than I even new were available but I am really starting to see the benefit. Why shouldn’t we express our love for science and research with a quick tweet or status update? Why shouldn’t we create a small video and post it online for all to see?

It seems to me that if we want to achieve new heights in the scientific world it is no longer about impressing the scientist in the office next door. They already have a passion for science. What we really need to achieve is gaining the attention of someone who has absolutely no idea and maybe even no interest in science. We have seen time and time again, that distrust in science can stand in the way of developments, for example the work of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority is often thwarted by the farmers and irrigators who don’t always hold the scientific knowledge. If we plan to make a difference in the world it is the non-scientist who will stand against what we are doing. Generally, it is one’s lack of understanding which leads them to distrust and oppose. And what better way to reach them than through social media? Perhaps, the more we communicate with them, in a medium they understand and have some control over, they will learn to trust us again and to appreciate the reasoning behind our passions, and they too may even grow to like it 🙂

Check this out and see if you might be convinced also…

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