Bonn, Germany: Getting Started (With Social Media)

Flags in bonn. Germany, DLR

I now understand why so many of my emails from EURAXESS staff members began with “Greeting from sunny Bonn,”… This city has made for a lovely setting of what has already become an excellent trip. I’ve met some amazing people already, and its only been 24 since we got started.

For now, some of the Coles Notes, take-home lessons I learned today from our presenter Yan Luong about how to develop your online presence and why it is important for scientists:

  • Your online presence matters, even for Google Scholar. Think twice before you shrug off social media as not being important for your academic career, it may make the difference in getting those extra citations you’ve been fighting for.
  • Related to the previous point: you should have a website, and it should be responsive. Unlike your Facebook account, you control your website, and it would be too bad to invest tons of time in someone else’s site only to see it go the way of MySpace.
  • Videos have come full circle, and now that they are often shown muted on Facebook, more and more people are making videos without speech. Thats right, silent movies are back in.
  • There is huge potential in Periscope. It is a simple app that allows you to stream video live from your cell phone, and other people can watch it and chat on their cell phones. Only for smartphones. The fact that this is possible at all is amazing, but what it means for conferences, talks, and well innumerable arenas of social change, well… Just check it out on your phone!

European Science Tour!

Well this is going to be pretty wild. I’m at the Toronto airport about to embark on a trip to Europe in the name of Science! Last October I won the EURAXESS North American Science Slam, and a trip to Europe is my prize (access to Europe, EURAXESS… get it?). Winning was a huge surprise, and I find myself surprised now that the time for the trip is suddenly here! Where does time go? Perhaps I’ll find a physicist I can ask…

Anyway, what’s the plan? Well, each regional Science Slam winner from ASEAN, Brazil, China, India, Japan and North America (thats me), will be meeting up in Bonn (Germany) to begin our adventure. We’ll have a Science Communication workshop early in the week before heading to Brussels (Belgium) to meet with representatives of the European Commission. From there, all of the science slammers will be splitting ways to visit a European research facility of their choosing. I’m headed to Copenhagen (Denmark), to meet some researchers in the Faculty of Science Education.

I’ll be taking pictures, tweeting when I have WIFI, doing my best to take some big deep breathes now and then, and will do my best to share my knowledge here once it’s all over.

June is flying month.
June is flying month.