Scientists on Twitter? Heresy!

My latest post for Canadian Science Publishing takes on the unexpectedly controversial topic of scientists using Twitter.

“Recently, Kirk Englehardt, Director of Research Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology, posted two hotly debated articles: one on why more university researchers aren’t tweeting, and a second on whether Twitter can make scientists better communicators. We had a lively discussion (on Twitter, of course) about the comments flooding these posts, and some of the interesting assumptions that people held about the Twitterverse.

Based on that discussion, this post aims to dispel five key myths that seem to come up in most discussions of scientists using Twitter.

  1. Serious scientists don’t Tweet.

  2. Twitter takes too much time.

  3. You can’t say anything meaningful in 140 characters.

  4. Twitter erases necessary boundaries between students and faculty

  5. Twitter is only for self-promoters

As scientists, we’re trained to draw conclusions from the examination of evidence. Too many scientists dismiss Twitter out of hand based on anything but evidence. Give it a try, test it out, and then draw your own conclusions as to whether or not it will work for you. Hey, if a shepherd in the Lakes District of England who is a professed lover of ‘old things’ can enjoy Twitter – so can you.”

Read more at Canadian Science Publishing.

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2 thoughts on “Scientists on Twitter? Heresy!

  1. I would think science could use Twitter as tool to connect with other projects & Professors in other areas of the Globe. As means to assess on how ideas can be presented and accepted by the public as whole. Connecting with other academics in a way that is quick and effective and can be followed up with emails if necessary. You can set an account for faculty only, you don’t have to involve students, there is Direct Messaging with Twitter, which is very useful. How much you spend on it is up to you and how much time is at your disposal for this product.

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