The world of #scicomm
So what is #SciComm anyway?
Here’s a hint: it’s not a sci-fi comedy television genre! SciComm is short for Science Communication, a young field of science featuring the voices of many science advocates coming together to communicate their expertise in an engaging and easily understandable way to the general public. With the popularity of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, there’s no better time than now to raise awareness about science issues and open up a world of possibilities. Today’s science communicators include a wide range of experts such as chemists, physicists, biologists, geologist, astrologists, and even marine biologists like Danni Washington.
Danni Washington’s role in science communication has grown exponentially over the years along with her ability to reach all ages, primarily young kids, educating them about our oceans and inspiring them to take action. Her passion for SciComm started at the young age of 21 when she co-founded Big Blue & You, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that teaches youth about marine conservation through the arts. Her science communicator status grew as an on-camera personality and filmmaker for a science education video series called Untamed Science, and Ocean GEMS, a multimedia series and program which connects teens to otherwise perceived inaccessible, marine scientists. Some of her most beloved SciComm projects include the promotion of youth in STEM careers which are featured in the TV series, XPLORATION NATURE KNOWS BEST. In addition, Danni is co-creator and producer of Sea Youth Rise Up which inspires youth leadership in ocean conservation policy and advocacy on World Oceans Day held June 8th each year.
why is #scicomm so important?
A crucial part of science communication is accessibility for the general public not only though multimedia, but through hands-on learning and face-to-face outreach. Danni uses her voice to spread the word about the importance of ocean conservation and the opportunities provided by career paths in STEM. As an avid STEM supporter, Danni was named spokesperson at #SciFest, the USA Science and Engineering Festival, which Danni highlights on her blog. She has also held many other speaking engagements such as Algalita POPS International Youth Summit, Blue Vision Summit, and the Girl Scouts National Conference, just to name a few.
For Danni, the microphone is just one to share knowledge and spread a positive message. Now with the growing participation in social media, Danni and other science influencers have found a new level of outreach.
#SciComm's leading advocates
Rob Nelson, Marine Scientist
Rob Nelson, is a marine scientist and the filmmaker behind the successful science series, Untamed Science, in which Danni has participated. Rob’s goal is to make science entertaining and educational, but most importantly accessible to the masses through sites like YouTube.
Jedidah Isler, Astrophysicist
Perhaps one of the biggest stars of SciComm is someone in the field of stars herself. Dr. Jedidah Isler is an astrophysicist and studies blazers - supermassive, hyperactive black holes that emit powerful jet streams. She’s an outspoken advocate for careers in STEM, and works to break down barriers facing women of color. She has delivered numerous speeches and has been a guest speaker for the ever-popular series, TEDTalks.
Samantha Yammine, Neurobiologist
Samantha Yammine is a popular science communicator on Instagram that focuses on neurobiology and sharing her research with the world. Like Danni, she utilizes the digital video platform and believes in harnessing the power of social media to exchange ideas. You can follow her on Instagram at @science.sam.
These are only a handful of notable SciComm contributors. With the interest and popularity of science growing each day, and the ability to share ideas through social media, who knows what new doors science communication will open and what number of future science advocates and voices it will produce. The future is looking bright for science communication. How will you get involved?