Scicomm & Future Media: scicomm, social media & technology — where next?

What do I mean by this? Well simply put social media is prefect for reaching a wide audience of people on a global scale in a rapid manner. All models of science communication (Miah, 2017) and citizen science can be utilised, and new models can be developed.

There are limitations, not everyone has access to technology and/or internet or have the skill sets to understand and critically analyse scientific terminology or journals. Misinformation and fake news (Anderson & Raine, 2017) preys on the fears of the public and is counter productive for science communication, causing mistrust between the science community and the public.

A new model is needed to address the concerns of the public and not just the perspectives of the academics and their research. The public are tired of being told what to do, in ways that they do not understand, relate to or want!

What is important to the public? What are they interested in and what do they want?

Maybe more control on things that are important to them, in ways that matter to them, without fancy terminology that they do not understand? Let them lead the way and have the academics support them? They know what they want and the academics know how to do it!

Give them the voting power to guide the progress and areas of research by providing options they want to vote on. Mainstream media and social media can help with this. Just look at I’m a celebrity get me out of here. How quickly and easy many people vote to evict a celebrity or vote them to do a challenge (ITV, 2017). On social media people discuss and debate what is happening on the programme, so why can’t this be used not just for entertainment but also for science communication?

Different media platforms have different strengths and weaknesses (Hill, 2016), but they can all be utilised by blending art and science in creative ways. For example, snapchat, instagram use photos, little text, and short videos, are great for promoting a brand, but not in depth science communication! GameLab taught me this!

People love memes. A series of memes that build up a story. A single photo at a time that builds up a Scicomm comic with information where to find more in depth articles or videos? Hashtags of Scicomm comic strips and trailers so people can follow on platforms that have this? Possibly blending citizen science, science communication, virtual reality, and social media platforms (Rewind, 2017). VR places the user in an environment that people can relate to and immerse in, make choices and give feedback. Haptic feedback can give sensory perception, colour and visual cues can enhance understanding of an issue (Kuchera, 2014).

This is a area that I would like to investigate further as a avenue for Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) Scicomm. There are HS communities on various media platforms, but not much in the way of HS scicomm and I would like to innovate a change that the HS community wants, in ways that are important to them. How do I know this? Because I have HS, am a advocate, activist, and member of the HS community (Facebook, 2017).

Reference List

Anderson, A., & Raine, L. (2017, October, 19). The Future of Truth and Misinformation Online. Retrieved 14 December, 2017, from http://www.pewinternet.org/2017/10/19/the-future-of-truth-and-misinformation-online/

Facebook. (2017). Michaela Parnell (Hidradenitis Suppurativa HS). Retrieved 12 December, 2017, from https://www.facebook.com/michaela.parnell.71?ref=bookmarks

Hill, M. (2016, September 27). The pros and cons of main stream media platforms [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.vertical-leap.uk/blog/pros-cons-of-social-media-platforms/

ITV. (2017). Everything you need to know about the new IAC app. Retrieved 21 December, 2017, from https://www.itv.com/imacelebrity/the-official-app/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-new-iac-app

Miah, A. (2017). Nanoethics, Science Communication, and a Fourth Model for Public Engagement. NanoEthics. 11(10), 139–152.

Kuchera, B. (2014, March 4). Being someone else: How virtual reality is allowing men and women to swap bodies. Retrieved 22 December, 2017, from https://www.polygon.com/2014/3/4/5423330/oculus-rift-vr-gender-swap-girl-mirror-look

Rewind. (2017, September 18). Will virtual reality change how we use social media? Retrieved 21 December, 2017, from http://rewind.co/interactive-vr/virtual-reality-social-media/