We are very excited to have Caroline Reid (@reidscience) as our curator this week! Caroline is a Masters student at the University of Cape Town as well as a science communicator. Here’s how she describes her work in her own words:
I studied physics at University. However, the laboratory wasn’t for me, but I still felt the allure of lasers and leptons and Laplace transformations. The solution was not complex (insert groan here) and I shimmied over to science communication, and later, research in science communication.
Have you ever felt brain-hurt? It’s usually partnered with a creased forehead. That feeling in the skull when your mind is trying to understand something new and crazy and beyond-imagination. I felt brain-hurt a lot during my high school physics classes. The difference between speed and velocity, light can be a wave and a particle, the universe could expand forever or crunch, all the old favourites. They’d all give me brain-hurt, but it’s just your brain getting stronger, and it’s fun to fathom how wonderful our universe is.
Should we be able to trust science communicators? Emphatically yes! However, a lot is changing in the field of science communication. We’re no longer just printing letters on paper, we’re blogging, we’re vlogging, we’re making podcasts, tweets, science lates, festivals, radio shows, and the public embrace of science is growing because of the internet. Science journalism online is striding forward, but the research is struggling to keep up. We have to know what the internet is doing to our science news so that we know how to consume it responsibly. This is where I come in. My research is evaluating the landscape of science journalism online so that everyone can assess what’s going well, what needs improvement, and to celebrate in the incredible amount of science that is freely available to everyone with internet access.
I am the UCT representative for the South African Communications (SACOMM) Emerging Scholars, doing my bit to involve how we talk about science in communication rhetoric around South Africa.
I’m writing my own sci fi novel, my first, with plans to finish it next year (let’s see if we stay on schedule!) I also enjoy amateur photography, especially documenting the majesty of Cape Town and all its botanical beauty.
Please welcome Caroline to Real Scientists!