Quite recently, I met PhD students from humanities who frequently post images and news about their research on social media platforms. As a chemist, I was astounded by the idea that anyone could possibly be interested in any pictures of my synthetic or analytic setup in the lab, let alone about myself – even if I was allowed to show anything before publication in a conventional paper or patent.
Apparently, communication of scientific and research topics in social media, tabloids etc is a thing of our time. But what pictures does science draw of itself on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram? Read more about it in our essay on page 1.
With the ability to gather and publish information very quickly also the possibility of losing facts along the way, even the addition of false facts to attract more attention is likely to happen. Our editor Mariia makes us aware of how fake news and sensationalism in science have changed over time on page 3.
Indeed, science constantly must work on its public image to gain public trust. Could social media platforms be of help here? Dr. Eileen Parkes has some advices in her comment on page 5.
Communication is not only a subject of publishing and tweeting. Of course, it happens between trained professionals and laymen too. Very often scientists struggle to talk about their subjects in easily understandable terms. Dr Johannes Wimmer is giving us some insights into patient communication and self-diagnosis via “Dr. Google” in his interview on page 7.
The pressure to be active on platforms like Twitter and Facebook did leave its mark on our work, too. We got inspired to conduct a little poll for one of our Questions of the Week. Be part of it and participate on Facebook (https://survey.app.do/the-spaghetti-turn) and on our website (http://junq.info/?p=3550).
However, it doesn’t matter whether you use social media or conventional media. Stay curious and dig through the JUnQ to find the hidden treasures!
— Tatjana Daenzer