Science blogging has become a significant part of professional and public communication of science in certain sectors. In physics, for example, some discussions about new developments have been played out in the blogosphere. Bloggers were influential in forcing retraction of the claimed finding that certain bacteria live off arsenic. In climate science, bloggers played a crucial part in the disclosure of the hacked emails from the Climatic Research Unit at University of East Anglia and in the debates around these documents. Blogs are widely used as add-ons to scientific institutions’ web sites to provide supplementary information on published findings, conferences and other events.
But blogs and related online media forms also open up possibilities for informal exchanges among scientists and between scientists, communicators and lay publics. At a time when much of the emphasis in public communication of science is on interactivity, dialogue and engagement, this panel explores how ‘social media’ are contributing to this kind of exchange. It asks what role ‘social media’ play in facilitating and promoting conversations about science that are open and inclusive.
The panellists are scientists and bloggers:
Ulrike Brandt-Bohne (Germany) blogs with her husband and fellow-scientist Felix Bohne at Science Meets Society and has been publishing a series of scientists’ self-written profiles Under the banner, A Scientist A Day; Martin Robbins (UK) blogs as The Lay Scientist and often stimulates many and strong comments with his observations on issues in science; Bora Zivkovic (USA, though Serbian-born) writes A Blog Around The Clock, is chief editor of the Scientific American blog network and a committed advocate of the large potential of blogs in science communication.
The panel’s moderator / organiser is Brian Trench (Ireland), a lecturer and researcher in science communication, who recently published ‘Scientists’ blogs: glimpses behind the scenes’ in the Sociology of the Sciences Yearbook.
Attendance numbers do not account for private attendees. Get there early!