Macademics: Science Communication

Hey Everyone! It's spooky season officially so I hope you're enjoying the fall weather, I know I am. For this month's #Macademics post, I'm going to talk to you all about science communication.

Science communication is the practice of informing, educating, sharing wonderment, and raising awareness of science-related topics.

With this definition, #Macademics is our form of science communication. I never used to call myself a #scicommer until #BlackinChem happened and that was all I was doing, and honestly it's one of my newfound loves. The whole point of doing #scicomm is to make science accessible to non-experts using whatever means you deem important. My favorite form is using Twitter threads with gifs. Dividing up science in tangible ways, with visual aids, tends to make it easier for people to understand.

What makes this important?

Science is part of everyday life, whether you realize it or not, so being able to take my expert knowledge and relay it to those outside of it benefits everyone. Think about it with climate change. There are scientists that actually study why global warming is happening and what the long term effects of our current practices are. THEY ARE THE EXPERTS! A lot of them use written forms of science communication to explain this to the general public, it's just that *some* people don't pay it any attention. Same goes for those studying COVID-19, but that's a soap box for twitter.


As consumers of these types of content, it's our job to read it AND engage with it. They aren't just talking to hear themselves, THEY KNOW THIS ALREADY. We are the ones trying to understand what's going on and the best way to do that is to read and ask questions. For me, when I'm tweeting or blogging about something chemistry related I want to do a few things:

  1. Teach you something new/refresh your memories

  2. Talk about something that I enjoy

  3. Get people to engage with me to create a dialogue about the topic

Number 3 is my goal in all forms of #scicomm. I try to pick topics that are objectively interesting (I'm a nerd so I think it's all interesting) but that also impact a wide audience. The broader the reach, the higher the chance I get for engagement, in theory. So when you see one of my threads? Ask me about it. I love when people do that and had so much fun during #BlackinChem talking to people and making connections.


The last thing I'll plug about science communication is that while you're a #scicommer in one space, there are plenty of others you can learn from in other spaces. Those that do scicomm on YouTube have my utmost respect! I love watching people get creative with their video content and how they market them. It's amazing.


Here are some of my favorite Black #scicommers on Twitter!

@raventhescimaven

@theresearchher

@Adam_MA_Simpson

@Calimari93

@itsafronomics

@astrotoya

@That_Astro_Chic

@astronaia


Want to see how I do #scicomm? Check out these threads.

Analytical Chemistry

​Ionization Sources

​Mass Analyzers Pt 1. and Pt. 2


People have entire careers based on science communication, while others, like me, use it to complement the work they're already doing. The beauty of it is that it's completely flexible and there are always new directions and skills you can pick up along the way. So far, I'm sticking to written forms of #scicomm, but learning how to create video content is on my list of skills to gain in 2021. Until then, subscribe to devinthechemist.com to follow my #scicomm journey.


- The Chemist

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