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Communication Ambassadors—an Australian Social Media Initiative to Develop Communication Skills in Early Career Scientists

    Authors: Jack T. H. Wang1,7,*, Cheryl J. Power2,7, Charlene M. Kahler4,7, Dena Lyras3,7, Paul R. Young1,6,7, Jonathan Iredell5,7, Roy Robins-Browne2,7
    VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia; 2: Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The University of Melbourne at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Melbourne, Victoria, 3010, Australia; 3: Department of Microbiology, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, 3800, Australia; 4: Marshall Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Training, School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, 6009, Australia; 5: Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, The Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research, The University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, New South Wales, 2145, Australia; 6: Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia; 7: The Australian Society for Microbiology, Melbourne, Victoria, 3065, Australia
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Received 06 August 2017 Accepted 11 September 2017 Published 30 March 2018
    • ©2018 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ and https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Room 76-426, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, 4072, Australia. Phone: +61 7 3365 4611. E-mail: t.wang1@uq.edu.au.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. March 2018 vol. 19 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1428
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    Abstract:

    Science communication is a skill set to be developed through ongoing interactions with different stakeholders across a variety of platforms. Opportunities to engage the general public are typically reserved for senior scientists, but the use of social media in science communication allows all scientists to instantaneously disseminate their findings and interact with online users. The Communication Ambassador program is a social media initiative launched by the Australian Society for Microbiology to expand the online presence and science communication portfolios of early-career scientists. Through their participation in the program, a rotating roster of Australian microbiologists have broadened the online reach of the Society’s social media channels as well as their own professional networks by attending and live-tweeting microbiology events throughout the year. We present the Communication Ambassador program as a case study of coordinated social media activity in science communication to the general public, and describe the potential for its applications in science education and training.

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2018-03-30
2018-06-18

Abstract:

Science communication is a skill set to be developed through ongoing interactions with different stakeholders across a variety of platforms. Opportunities to engage the general public are typically reserved for senior scientists, but the use of social media in science communication allows all scientists to instantaneously disseminate their findings and interact with online users. The Communication Ambassador program is a social media initiative launched by the Australian Society for Microbiology to expand the online presence and science communication portfolios of early-career scientists. Through their participation in the program, a rotating roster of Australian microbiologists have broadened the online reach of the Society’s social media channels as well as their own professional networks by attending and live-tweeting microbiology events throughout the year. We present the Communication Ambassador program as a case study of coordinated social media activity in science communication to the general public, and describe the potential for its applications in science education and training.

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