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Context and Variation

Context and Variation

Human behavior, evolutionary medicine… and ladybusiness.
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Audiences, Trolls, and Getting Some Science Onto the Internet

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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Earlier this week, the Women in Science group at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign convened a panel on using social media to promote science. Melanie Tannenbaum, Bill Hammack, Joanne Manaster and I were the panelists, and Jo Holley was the organizer.

There were a few things that I found interesting about our varying responses as panelists to the questions we were asked. That variation seemed to map onto the kind of social media we used, and the audience we sought to reach. I am guessing Melanie and I reach the most educated audience, and that the vast majority are adults. Joanne and Bill both have a significant cadre of younger fans – I liked Bill’s analysis that those who watch his great YouTube videos are young gamers… and old gamers. I have a feeling that despite variation in age or education, we are all reaching a highly intelligent, motivated audience.

Anyway, the rest of my comments are interspersed through a Storify I’ve made, where you’ll find more links, pictures, and (almost) full video of the panel. Enjoy! (I cannot seem to get the Storify to embed, so just follow this link for now.)

Kate Clancy About the Author: Dr. Kate Clancy is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois. She studies the evolutionary medicine of women’s reproductive physiology, and blogs about her field, the evolution of human behavior and issues for women in science. Find her comment policy here. Follow on Twitter @KateClancy.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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