Exploring the Use of #SocialMedia by Scientists w/ Dr. Heather Doran (@hapsci) #SCICOMM: A Social Media Lab Public Lecture

Please join us at the Social Media Lab on Monday June 22 for a talk by Dr. Heather Doran, Project Officer (for) Public Engagement with Research from the University of Aberdeen.

Dr. Doran’s talk will explore the use and future role of social media in the communication of science and research. The lecture is part of the Social Media Lab’s exploration of how social media is changing the ways in which people communicate and disseminate information and how these changes impact the social, economic and political structures of modern society. Attendance is FREE but please R.S.V.P. on Eventbrite.


When: Monday June 22 from 10:30am- 11:30am

Where: The Ted Rogers School Management Social Media Lab 10 Dundas St East, Toronto, Canada.  (When you enter 10 Dundas  St. E., look for the elevator bank (marked as Office Tower) next to the Starbucks Coffee on the 1st floor. Take the elevator to the 10th floor, go pass the 1st set of glass door and our office suite #1002 will be on the right.

Abstract: The way social media channels work and how we use them is constantly changing. In this rapidly evolving area there are many opportunities for scientists to engage with public audiences via social media channels but also many barriers. Support and advice for how scientists can get the most out of social media is often sporadic and is presented with different foci depending on whether training is delivered by individuals, institutions or funding bodies. Different policies and opinions can lead to confusion as to whether social media should be used and if can it offer real benefits. Individual social media accounts have also come under scrutiny for being ‘self-promoting’. The use of social media for engagement with public audiences is not yet recognised as an important tool and skill within scientific careers and is seen as a fringe activity. Should it be? What happens when the use of social media does backfire? Does social media offer a platform for the underrepresented voices within sciences? I will be exploring many questions around the use of social media by scientists as part of my fellowship and at this talk will present my findings to and what I hope to achieve by the end of 2015.

Bio: Heather is currently undertaking a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travel Fellowship to gather international perspectives on use and future role of the communication of science via social media. She is a Project Officer in public engagement with research at the University of Aberdeen and previously completed a PhD in Molecular Pharmacology at the University of Aberdeen. Since her PhD she has explored the communication of science using a number of online platforms and has run a number of training modules on social media use for researchers and spoken at a number of conferences about social media use by the academic community. During her PhD she was a co-founder and editor of Au Science Magazine, a student led science publication. She is currently Chair of the British Science Association Branch in Aberdeen. She blogs at www.heatherdoran.net and Tweets @hapsci where you can follow her Fellowship journey.