Friday, April 13, 2012

Science 140: Tweeting for #science

If you think you can explain a scientific principle in 140 characters then Science 140 would like to hear from you.

A new social media project coordinated by science bloggers Humphrey Jones (@thefrogblog) and Maria Daly (@maria_daly), the aim is to communicate science in an innovative way with contributors submitting their science definitions, biographies and explanations in 140 character snapshots.

After 24 hours online, the organisers say they have had hundreds of tweets offering explanations on everything from the definition of science to forces to aerodynamics to astronomy.

This project reminds me of a book I was given last Christmas called Tweeting the Universe by Marcus Chown (@Marcus Chown) and Govert Schilling. They tried to do a similar thing but with a narrower focus on astronomical topics (hence the title). Why is the sky blue? What is a black hole? etc.

They faced the challenge of converting what was a popular twitter stream into something that somebody would like to read in book form. A challenge, in my view at least, they didn't really deliver on.

Hopefully, with a broader remit, Science 140 will have more success when they release the curated results of the project in book form later in the year.

Speaking about the project, Humphrey Jones of Science 140 said “As a science teacher it’s always exciting to explore new ways of communicating science to young people and the general public. There is a very active science community on twitter and a project like Science 140 seems to be getting their attention. I think people love that their short contributions could be included in a book. We don’t want all the tweets to be too serious - science can be fun too".

You can find out more about Science 140  on the project website and on twitter @science140


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