Dancing with Data at ScienceOnlineSeattle

Do we wilt under the dim glow of mobile devices? Photo by Phil Todelano for the Atlantic

On the grand list of things to worry about, the internet is rarely far from our minds. We brood about privacy, security, and access, and we agonize over whether social media is guilty of making us lonely, reinforcing fast, lazy thinking, and damaging our relationships with each other and the real world.

It’s no surprise that many scientists are skeptical about the utility of social media, and disinclined to invest the energy in exploring how they might use it, right? Why would anyone add yet one more thing – with questionable return on investment – to our grinding workloads?

At COMPASS, we spend a lot of time thinking about mobilizing science and supporting culture change, and I think it helps to start by asking: what do I get out of this? How does it support or improve the hard work I already am doing? In my experience, social media is not just changing the way we can share finished research results, but it’s changing the way we do the work of science. [Read more...]