There are nearly endless ways in which scientists can engage in outreach. In a series of blog posts we will explore a handful of outreach outlets, and share stories from people who use these outreach tools. First up, COMICS! [Read more...]
Welcome to week 3 of the SciFund Challenge outreach training class for scientists! Last week we focused on crafting our message. This week we’ll develop skills to deliver that message through blogging. This week’s exercise has five parts: A) take a look at a few science blogs, B) write a blog post, C) comment on others’ posts, D) talk about the blogging exercise in a hangout, and E) keep going with Twitter. As a small note, for those of you with your own blog, please do the blog exercise as we suggest and not on your own blog. [Read more...]
Welcome to Week One of the SciFund Challenge outreach training class! With this class, we have two goals. One: to build outreach skill levels. Two: to build a sense of community among class participants. So let’s get started with both!
For this week, we’ll be diving into the opportunities and pitfalls that outreach presents for scientists. We’ll also get started with Twitter and video. [Read more...]
The first SciFund Challenge outreach training class starts next week and we are excited! For those of you following along at home, here’s our syllabus.
SciFund Challenge Course One: Outreach 101
Course instructors: Jai Ranganathan (Co-founder, SciFund Challenge), Anthony Salvagno (University of New Mexico), Kelly Weinersmith (University of California, Davis), Siouxsie Wiles (University of Auckland)
Course dates: April 29-May 31, 2013 [Read more...]
The first SciFund Challenge outreach training class for scientists launches in a week and we are very excited! Apparently, we aren’t the only ones. When we were planning this class, we were hoping that 50 scientists might be interested in participating. Well, were we wrong. When we opened registration for the class, 171 scientists signed up in less than six days and we had to close registration weeks early.
If you missed the registration window, not to worry! We’ll be running more of these internet-based outreach training classes in the months to come. Sign up for our mailing list to stay in the loop. And everyone is welcome to follow along on the blog, where most class materials will be posted. Consider this the first update on the class, with many more to come over the next month.
So, who are the 171 participants in our inaugural outreach class? Well, we know quite a few things about them from the application forms.
They hail from all over the world, as you can see on this handy map. The majority are in the United States, but 18 countries are represented.
The vast majority of the participants are in academia (no big surprise), with more than half being graduate students or postdocs.
Most of the folks involved in the class are biology types, with a strong emphasis on ecology/zoology/conservation kinds of things. This isn’t surprising, as we had only just begun with our promotion campaign about the class, when we got flooded with people and had to stop early. We had started getting the word out with primarily ecology-related circles of people, hence the disciplines represented.
|Scientific discipline||Number of participants|
|Molecular and celular biology||10|
Calling all scientists who engage in outreach!
The #SciFund Challenge is running a free outreaching training class for scientists, and we would like your help! We want to convey the diversity of approaches to outreach and experience with outreach, and so we are looking for ~5 minute videos from people engaged in science outreach. If you are interested in having your voice heard, we would love for you to record yourself answering one or more of the following prompts:
Why did you start doing outreach? Why do you continue to do outreach?
What has been your outreach journey?
Has doing outreach helped you/your scientific career? How so?
Has doing outreach hurt you/your scientific career? How so?
If there have been outreach obstacles, have you been able to overcome them?
How have you managed to keep doing outreach while continuing to do science?
How has your academic institution been supportive/not supportive of your outreach?
What if you research deals with “sensitive” issues?
What’s your outreach great story?
- What’s your outreach horror story?
After you record your video, please e-mail us at SciFundChallenge@gmail.com. Please provide your name, institutional affiliation (if any), and information about the kind of outreach you do (e.g., link to your blog). We will give you access to a DropBox folder where you can place the video. After we receive the video we will place it on YouTube, and will make a public post on our blog to share the responses we received.
Because our outreach class is running in May, we are going to need your videos soon! April 27th would be the absolute deadline, but if you could send your video in the next week (by April 20th) that would be very much preferred.
By sending us a video you are giving us permission to edit the video, put it on YouTube and our blog, and share it with students taking the course. Editing will likely include adding a title slide (with your information and a note about the video being part of the SciFund online training course). We may also edit your video response into a longer video including the responses of others, but we will be sure to indicate who you are and your affiliation.
Thanks so much for your help!
Well, that was fast! 170 folks have signed up in less than a week for our SciFund Challenge outreach training class for May. We are a bit amazed and overwhelmed, considering that we were hoping for a total of 50-100 participants for the course. So that we don’t get more course participants than we can handle, we are closing course registration early, effective immediately. If you didn’t manage to register, not to worry! We are planning all sorts of follow-up classes for the months to come. If you would like to keep informed about upcoming SciFund Challenge classes, as well as other SciFund news, sign up for our e-mail list.
Check out this excellent AMA on Reddit by the good folk from Microryza as well as a number of the scientists engaging in crowdfunding over there. Bummed I wasn’t able to see it evolve in realtime (I missed it due to being on a plane from Lisbon!). There are some wonderful answers to questions we over here at #SciFund get a lot, as well as some insights into the process, and, some links to fantastic projects!
A few days ago, Ethan Perlstein provided some guidance over at the Microryza blog about how to succeed at science crowdfunding. His bottom line? The secret is to hustle, hustle, hustle during a crowdfunding campaign to get the word out and to get media attention. With all respect to Ethan, if all researchers running campaigns follow his advice, then that’s the end for science crowdfunding. And that would be a tragedy because science crowdfunding has the potential to solve one of the key problems of our time: the giant gap between science and society. [Read more...]