For years, science communication to general audiences consisted of classroom visits, museum exhibits, books, and the occasional television series. But the rise of the Internet and social media has shifted the paradigm, creating new tools and connecting audiences so that bringing science to the public is both easier for communicators and has the potential to reach far wider audiences. In this talk, I will discuss the state of online science communication today with a focus on how and why researchers and students can (and should!) engage with the public. Using surveys and other data from popular fluid dynamics blog FYFD, I will characterize science social media audiences and describe successful examples of science communication with broad appeal.
About the Speaker
Nicole Sharp is the creator and editor of FYFD, a popular fluid dynamics blog that has been featured by Wired magazine, Physics World, Gizmodo, BoingBoing, Mashable, Buzzfeed, and others. The blog was established in 2010 and now has more than 220,000 followers. Nicole earned her Master’s degree in aerospace engineering from Cornell University where she studied turbulent boundary layers. She completed her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 2014 with experiments on the effects of surface roughness on boundary layer stability at Mach 6. In 2011, she was recognized as a Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellow. She is an active member of the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics where she serves on the Media and Science Relations committee.
Host: Professor Randy Ewoldt
* Times, dates, and titles are subject to change. Check mechanical.illinois.edu for updated information. This seminar counts toward the requirements for ME 590 and TAM 500.