“… how can we tap that collective intelligence to unleash the full power of design thinking [journalism]? The designer [journalist] must not be imagined as an intrepid anthropologist, venturing into an alien culture to observe the natives with the utmost objectivity. Instead we need to invent a new and radical form of collaboration that blurs the boundaries between creators and consumers. It’s not about ‘us versus them’ or even ‘us on behalf of them.’ For the design thinker [journalist], it... Read more
Paige Brown: ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I am a Bio/Nanotechnology scientist turned journalist, with an M.S. in Biological & Agricultural Engineering. Science is my interest, but writing is my passion. I translate science into story, and my dream is to inspire a love for science in every reader. I am also a new PhD student at the LSU Manship School of Mass Communications, focusing in science communications and policy. I currently conduct research on the communication of science—specifically climate science—to various publics, and I write about all things science on a daily basis. Please feel free to ask me questions anytime, and follow me on Twitter @FromTheLabBench.
I’m always ready for a challenge, and I live to be inspired by science.
Paige Brown: All Posts
Ok, so they aren’t exactly “kids.” (I’m just getting old.) But I’ve been surprised and impressed by the intuitions many of my undergraduate students at LSU have brought to our Strategic Social Media #Manship4002 discussions. These senior public relations and mass communication students aren’t scholars of social media, but they “get” social media in ways that many scholars don’t. I let them have their own words here, so that we scientists and science communicators can learn from a younger generation... Read more
“Throughout history, social movements have been, and continue to be, the levers of social change. They usually stem from a crisis of living conditions that makes everyday life unbearable for most people.” – Networks of Outrage and Hope According to Manuel Castells, the capacity of mass self-communication afforded by digital technologies today, such as Facebook and Twitter, has empowered the social actor to overcome fear and embrace the hope of change in community with others. According to Castells, fear is... Read more
In Democracy’s Forth Wave: Digital Media and the Arab Spring, Howard and Hussain provide many compelling explanations of how and why digital and social media platforms including SMS, Twitter, Facebook and blogs played a role in recent political changes in the Arab Spring. “Democratization movements had existed long before technologies such as mobile phones and the Internet came to these countries. But with these technologies, people sharing an interest in democracy built extensive networks, created social capital and organized political... Read more
In his Sunday column in the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof proposes that academics, professors have been accomplices in their own “marginalization” from American life and public intellectualism. He boldly states that there are fewer public intellectuals on American university campuses today than a generation ago. But where is his basis or evidence for this statement? “SOME of the smartest thinkers on problems at home and around the world are university professors, but most of them just don’t matter in... Read more
Exactly three years (and a couple days) ago, I *e-mailed* my first "science newsletter" to a couple family members and friends. I was struggling emotionally at the time in a Biomedical Engineering PhD program at Washington University in St. Louis. I wrote: "Chad suggested I start a science newsletter, called 'From the Lab Bench'. Here is the inaugural edition... to appear once a month!! Disclaimer: I'm starting this for fun, and because I want to learn how to write better (in case my dream of being a... Read more
This week I’ve been reading Spreadable Media by Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green. The book provides compelling arguments for both the fact that “if it doesn’t spread, it’s dead,” and the idea that sharing is not a passive activity for digital natives, but a social construction of value and meaning made even more prominent by digital networks. “‘Spreadability’ refers to the potential – both technical and cultural – for audiences to share content for their own purposes, sometimes... Read more
"Media are to us as water is to fish. This does not mean life is determined by media -- it just suggests that whether we like it or not, every aspect of our lives takes place in media." - Deuze Based on an assigned reading from my “Future of Media” graduate course at LSU, below are some of my takeaways from Mark Deuze’s “Media Life” book: We aren’t leaving social networks anytime soon. “The global uptake of online social networks... Read more
“Changes in climate will doubtless be a key force in the future evolution of social systems, including all aspects of social, economic and political life, while impinging on the health and well-being of the individuals who populate them.” – Rosa & Dietz 2012 Human actions can and do shape the global climate. It is our environmental behaviors in the end that either mitigate or contribute to global climate change today. Even though our fundamental values, attitudes, beliefs and intentions often contribute... Read more
This is a Q&A with Emily Darling on the use of social media for scientists and science communicators. Emily has conducted research with @WhySharksMatter on how Twitter can benefit conservation scientists. Emily is a marine ecologist working towards real world conservation and management solutions for the challenges facing our oceans. Her research focuses on multiple stressors, climate adaptation and marine reserves on tropical coral reefs. I interview her electronically below: Me: You have written and researched extensively on the benefits of social media, including Twitter, for scientists.... Read more