Thursday, February 7, 2013

Follow Me On Twitter!

Now, I am usually the person who is all for the new and exciting crazes, whether it is the latest Jeffrey Campbell shoe, the up-and-coming underground rap group, or the new hit Broadway show. One trend that I completely missed though, was twitter. When it came out I thought it was the worst idea ever. Why would I or anyone else in the world want to know what everyone was doing constantly? I don’t really care that @teenageboy had the new McRib from McDonalds or that @highschoolgirl noticed that the popular girl wore missed matching socks on day. Slowly though, my hatred for twitter, tweeting, and twit-picing diminished and after a year of an over-whelming amount of peer-pressure and increasing curiosity I decided to get a one.
My recent step into the twitter world has made me realize one thing about our society: information is accessible.  You can log on to twitter and see what NBC news is covering at any second. You can scroll through your news feed and see a video of the latest presidential address. You can even meander through Tumlbr and read different people’s opinion about anything under the sun. This realization led me to wonder though, if in this day and age, where information can be found in mere milliseconds, why isn’t science more wide-spread?
While going through my endless number of social media accounts, I found my answer: science isn’t available through popular social media. Most of the time, scientific news, like new findings, are released to the public in very complicated jargon that only an expert in the field can understand. Due to this, the news rarely makes it to social media, therefore rarely reaches millions of potential readers. Even if the news does reach Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. it is usually misconstrued therefore spreading false information to the public.
Even though this issue of the inaccessibility of science is prevalent, the solution is very simple. The first step is to step away from only using the language of scientists. This jargon is acceptable when talking to fellow researchers, but when releasing studies to the public they must be simplified in order to ensure that the majority of the public understands the findings. The second step is to make science more exciting. Science currently is presented in a very dry manner, which repels a good amount of the public. If science were made exciting, then people would not only be drawn to it but they would also remember it. The third and final step is to connect the science to an average person’s life. The scientific community must state why the public should care about an issue, even it’s as far fetch and weird as quantum physics. If these steps – simplify, excite, and connect – occur then science will begin to inch into the world of social media, and before we know it, it will be as wide spread as an Instragram picture of food. As science spread more, the more scientific literate our society will become as a whole, which would result in a more progressive, innovative, and all over beneficial society. 

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