Metafact + ScienceAlert partnership to give facts even greater reach..
Ever since we launched Metafact — our goal was not just to help people source the facts from real experts, but also to give real scientists an opportunity to drive wider impact. As a climate scientist myself, I’ve tried hard to communicate my research, but have found the traditional channels (eg twitter, blogs, magazines) just too time-consuming and difficult. Coming up with a daily stream of interesting tweets, blogs and articles is virtually impossible given the time poverty of the modern researcher.
As scientists, we aren’t experts in daily content creation for the masses— but we are experts in the facts within our fields — which has an immense value in todays Post-Truth world. So we created Metafact where the science communication model is flipped, allowing the public to ask scientists directly to verify facts. We want Metafact to provide a new but more efficient way for researchers to drive wider impact with their work that doesn’t take days of creative writing, mulling over headlines, crunching something into 140 chars or getting rejected by magazine editors!
The model is simple — people ask questions and verified experts register within our community and then share the evidence. The more people who engage with our experts around facts the better. So we have made all answers and scores on Metafact open for republishing by anyone (with attribution). But we are not a media organisation, we are a community of scientists & experts, so it’s important for us to partner with media organisations who align with our purpose.
Today I wanted to make an exciting announcement of our first media partnership with ScienceAlert (one of the largest digital science publishers with millions of monthly readers). ScienceAlert will start to re-publish selected expert answers from the Metafact community through their very large global digital channels.
I’ve long followed and admired ScienceAlert, particularly how they helped pioneer science communication at scale via social media when they started out. I am very excited about our partnership and I will let Fiona Macdonald, CEO of ScienceAlert.com explain a little more about the partnership:
“We have more than 10 million people worldwide read our stories each month, and consistently they tell us that they’re more concerned than ever with trust and transparency. It’s a confusing time for digital media — not only is there a myriad of new publishers out there online, some with dubious editorial standards, but there are now also bad actors deliberately trying to deceive readers. People no longer know who they can trust.
ScienceAlert is a digital-first publication that covers viral stories alongside more traditional science news, but we have always put fact checking first. We have two fact checkers on our small team and carefully verify every word we publish as best we can given the demands of the online news cycle. But sometimes readers also want to hear directly from scientists themselves to put the news of the day into context.
One of the best things we can offer them is access to information that’s been transparently fact checked and verified by experts, which is why we’ve partnered with Metafact to publish their expert responses. This service will supplement our own internal fact checkers and give us access to insightful and educated responses from researchers across a variety of fields. We’re looking forward to working with them more closely.”
The first ever ScienceAlert Metafact answer published came from leading autism and child development researcher Professor Uta Frith from University College London, who eloquently writes an answer about the important of not misinterpreting the ‘rise’ in autism spectrum disorder around the world.
Experts can register here on Metafact to take part and share their own answers. To ask questions and receive a weekly snapshot of the latest facts, you can signup here at Metafact. ScienceAlert also has multiple channels to follow aswell for their science stories which will now include Metafact answers.
Thanks everyone ! We are very excited about our first media partnership with ScienceAlert. By all means message me on twitter here if you would like to talk more about how we could help your organisation!
Ben McNeil — Founder, Metafact.io