Top scientists are not afraid to engage with the public in traditional and social media, according to new research by LSC’s Science, Media, and the Public (SCIMEP) lab published in The Scientist magazine. More importantly, public communication can also help boost their scientific careers.
SCIMEP researchers found that scientists who interact more frequently with journalists had better citation rates. Additionally, social media, specifically Twitter, can amplify the positive impacts of interactions with traditional media. With the availability of web 2.0 tools, the worlds inhabited by scientists, journalists, and the public are beginning to overlap significantly. And this research shows that scientists’ public communication efforts are beneficial to their careers, especially in the presence of new communication technologies. The question is no longer whether scientists should communicate their work to the public, but how best to do it.
This material is based upon work supported by grants from the National Science Foundation to the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (Grant No. SES-0937591) and the UW-Madison Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center in Templated Synthesis and Assembly at the Nanoscale (Grant No. SES-DMR-0832760). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.