In mid-October we were joined by Caroline Reid (@reidscience), science communicator and masters student at the University of Cape Town. Caroline spent time discussing many aspects of science communication, particularly publishing. There were great discussions on preprint servers, the use (and misuse) of traditional metrics, and peer review.
Caroline also tweeted about gender equity in science and highlighted a number of outstanding women in science.
We need gender equality in science to maximize the number of brains thinking about our problems!
— realscientists (@realscientists) October 12, 2016
Caroline also shared with us this royally effed up protractor. WHYYYY.
— realscientists (@realscientists) October 13, 2016
And brought up a really interesting proposal about scientists hosting “press hours” for media enquiries.
Would any scientists here be interested in a scheme like this? Would it work?
— realscientists (@realscientists) October 14, 2016
Caroline kindly obliged in filling out our curator exit interview, and her answers are below.
In general terms, how did you find your week as a curator?
Exhilarating, with highs and lows and periodic energy and exhaustion.
It can be a shock talking to so many. Did you find the sudden rush of interactions (good and bad) daunting?
Having had a bit of social media experience the quantity of tweets was fine: remembering that you just can’t respond to everyone is important.
What were the highlights? Were there any lowlights?
Highlights were when my discussion topics were met with actual discussion. LibGen, publishing, issues in Sci Comm lead to interesting conversations. I also liked response to my sci pop quiz.
I also managed to engage a few people in the fees must fall situation in South Africa, a story that i don’t think was widely spread at the time of my curation. I was glad to be able to raise awareness to just a few more people.
Lowlights were talking about women in physics – a subject close to my heart but easy to ‘troll’. But I knew it would be a volatile day but the comments aren’t personal and it’s still an important issue and i didn’t want to shy away from it.
Did you have a plan? If so, did you stick to it?
Did I have a plan? I had at least twenty tweets lined up for the first five days! It definitely helped for days when i was very busy.
Do you have any tips or advice for future RS curators?
Make a tweet deck account: it’s easier to manage conversations and to schedule tweets.
Don’t take negative comments personally and you aren’t obligated to reply to every comment.
For me, it was useful to have a theme for each day, and tweet with lots of photos and gifs. People love sharing those.
Thanks once again Caroline from all of us here at RealScientists HQ. If you missed anything from her week, the tweets are all collated at the following link.