A blog post by Dr Paul Willis entitled ‘Storytelling for Science‘ recently got my attention. Paul argues that current efforts to address a deficit of ‘science literacy’ by science communicators should shift to address ‘science equity’. As an ‘outsider science enthusiast’ who has been working hard to engage with scientists through cunning use of online digital media, I have been thinking about the stuff Paul argues rather too much.
- Good STORIES told well can influence culture.
- People connect when STORIES overlap. (David Wallace)
- Interacting with digital STORIES (bits) is getting easier and can increase engagement. ReMix is the most potent.
- To MAKE stuff out of (atoms) from shared digital stories or plans (bits) currently requires a degree of small group collaboration and promises to be very engaging indeed. I think we should explore the possibilities as the tools for production become cheaper and easier to get.
It is becoming clear that there is indeed value in effective use of social media by scientists and I think this aligns well with the idea of science equity through engagement. I suspect that as the ‘internet of things’ plays out and the tools of turning ‘bits into atoms’ (Lasercutters, 3D printers, scanners and the like) find their way to the desktops of outsiders like me there will be even more opportunities for me to engage with science. There are some obstacles. Like the way we currently try to protect Intellectual Property (if you think the ‘piracy’ of music and movies is evil wait till you see what happens when we can print/make copies of cool things). More on that later.
But for now, who wants to join me in exploring ways to provide easy access to science for anyone who wants it?