Why I Started Sciworthy.com

17 February 2014 by Matt Shipman, posted in Uncategorized

Sciworthy

Image provided by Graham Short

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Graham Short, a researcher at the California Academy of Sciences and founder of the science news site, Sciworthy.

Graham-Short1

Graham Short

Sciworthy.com is a newly-launched science news platform for emerging and established scientists (grad students, post-docs, and Ph.Ds) to summarize their scientific research papers for a non-scientific or lay audience in order to share with family, friends, the general public, and even fellow scientists in other specialties. Each posting includes an engaging headline, the non-technical summary, a large photo, and a link to the original paper. You can learn more about Sciworthy’s mission at http://sciworthy.com/how-it-works/

As a research scientist at the California Academy of Sciences, I study the evolutionary relationships among seahorse and pipefish species through DNA sequencing. Typically, when I try to explain what I do in the lab to my friends and family, I get the “deer in headlights” look. I wanted an effective way to communicate my research as well as that of other scientists in order to enable the public at large to become more engaged in learning about current scientific research. I couldn’t find a medium that does this, so I decided to work with some scientific and technical friends to create one.

Our vision is to draw attention, through blogs and social media, to important scientific research conducted by individual scientists and labs and elevate it to the same level as big science news, and to encourage science communication for the benefit of the general public and science news enthusiasts. In addition, raising the profile of scientists’ research through news and social media may lead to gaining more public support.

I’m looking forward to growing Sciworthy into a mature open science news platform. To do so, I need your help: I’m asking grad students, post-docs, Ph.D’s from universities and organizations to sign up and encourage public information officers (or PIOs) from universities to share information about Sciworthy.com with principal investigators, grad students, and postdocs.

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