Highlight: Joining the #SciParty

Out of all the nooks and crannies of the web, the place where I often see the most exciting and unique ways science “gets out there” has to be on Twitter. And that seems to be no surprise as a quick googling of any combination of “Twitter” and “science communication” gives you quite the blast of posts praising and discussing this:

So it’s a hot thing. And how much so? Well I did a Keyhole search on a generally popular hashtag in science communication (#SciComm), and it looks like, between October 24 and 29th, there were roughly 650 posts just to that hashtag with ~3 million unique viewers seeing them. And whereas I can’t speak for the accuracy of Keyhole, I can at least argue that my short time on Twitter so far (@joshkking by the way) would at least agree that things are a’buzz.

And now that we get the point– “Science on Twitter = Good” — Let me tell you one of those cool Twitter things all of you science lovers should be checking out.

Enter the @SciParty

The “SciParty” is a weekly Twitter event, open to anyone, where scientists, the public, and really anyone interested can share and discuss what’s going on in science and science communication. Interested? (you should be) Here’s how to join the party:

  1. Follow @SciParty on Twitter
  2. Each week (at the moment Fridays 1pm EDT ), type #SciParty into your Twitter search
  3. For the hour that follows, join the discussion, and add the #SciParty hashtag to your posts to log them as part of the conversation.

Simple. And if you’d like to see an example of some of the discussion items, check out the @SciParty Moments section that recaps some of the more popular tweets.

Why this is Awesome

For someone like me who’s new to Twitter, this is a great way to learn some of the digital faces of those doing great science and communication work out there. So rather than throwing one’s tweets to the void, the SciParty provides a nice venue to make connections and discussion with like-minded others.

Moreover you get to see and learn a lot of cool stuff! Whereas I had to read the last SciParty after-the-fact, last Friday’s discussion on #SciArt was great. Here’s one of my favorite examples:

Not to mention, this is something that has the potential reach quite a wide and diverse audience while still giving everyone to the chance for direct interaction. It makes me think of a sort of Twitterized-“science cafe” with somewhat broader appeal.

The Background

My understanding is that this cool idea is, right now, the work of @ThePurpleLilac, @DrKarenRing, @SamanthaZY, @TDthesciencemom, and @drmikeographer and has been partying since this October (2016). One of their group (or a guest) moderates each of the party sessions, picking topics and so on. I believe the group is open to and looking for others who might want to moderate a party, so share away and try it out!

And of course I’ll try and stick around to! I imagine #SciParty is a great place to find some more science communication/outreach examples worth highlighting here. And if you have any other great or unique examples, send them my way @joshkking!

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