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Mon Oct 25, 2021CERF First-Timer Orientation
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Social Media and Science

Duration: 9 am - 11:30 am | Cost: $25
Lead Convener:  Jeff Clements

With substantial technological advancements over the past couple of decades, the ways in which people communicate have drastically changed and the outlets by which information is shared and obtained (often simultaneously) have branched in many ways. As such, the landscapes of academia and science have shifted and continue to shift in new and exciting ways. How scientists interact with one another, the ways that scientific information is disseminated, and methods of scientific outreach/education have changed, in many ways becoming more efficient.  One way in which scientific networking and outreach have changed is through the advent of social media. The use of social media has not only allowed scientists to engage in more efficient public outreach and education, but has provided a unique platform for communication and networking within the scientific community.

However, although often positive, there are negative implications of social media as well. For example, keeping social media sites up-to-date can be time consuming and distracting. Given the increasing interest and expansion of social media among the scientific community, this workshop will provide researchers, scientific professionals, and students with the skills and tools to enhance their professional outreach through the use of social media. In general, this workshop will introduce various social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc.) and provide tips on how to utilize them to enhance outreach and networking. The workshop will also explore how to optimize the use of social media for the research needs and goals of both early-career (students and recent graduates) and well established scientists.

More specifically, the workshop will address these aspects of social media and science in the following structure:

1. Social media platforms - This portion of the workshop will introduce various social media platforms, both professional and non-professional, including LinkedIn, ResearchGate, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Tumblr. Attendees will be guided through a tour of each platform and what advantages each offers for researchers and students.  

2. Blogging and website building - Blogs and websites provide an excellent platform for disseminating research to a general audience and showcasing yourself or your lab. This portion of the workshop will explore various blogging and website platforms, such as WordPress, Blogger, Ghost, and others, and how to utilize them to your benefit.  

3. How to use social media for science - Social media can be used for science in a variety of ways, with some serving better than others. This section of the workshop will provide tips to optimize the use of social media for scientific purposes and will outline the benefits of using social media for science.

Examples of how scientists are currently using social media will also be explored along with “dos and don’ts” of using social media for science.

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