I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve always found it to be quite a challenge to keep up with what’s new in science. I think it comes down to the fact that there is so much of it and choosing which part to keep up with is tricky for someone (like me) who is interested in an awful lot of it! Science is one of the broadest terms I think I’ve ever come across; it describes everything from microbiology to particle physics and there are more avenues of science than there are branches on a tree!
As a science- communicator- to- be I think that it’s more important than ever that I keep up with what’s going on but where to start? How do I decide what I want to keep up with when I’m already miles behind everything?! I used to use Twitter to keep up with current research, but my feed is far from the science news hub that I want it to be; I most often find myself scrolling through sci comm discussions and what people are up to in their PhDs. The latter is definitely current research and being part of the Early Career Scientist committee in SfAM is helping me to keep track of all the new research that PhD students are exploring. What I’m after though, is research that people are talking about. Yes, people should be talking about all the amazing PhD and postdoc research that is going on and if they’re lucky that will reach the news but until it does, sadly very few members of the public will hear about it.
A revelation was recently made to me about how science communicators are helping lost science souls like me to keep up with the mountain of science happening in the world. Podcasts. Since starting a module called “Science on Air and on Screen” I’ve come to realise that the BBC alone has a vast supply of science podcasts, each aimed at different audiences and each talking about science in a different way.
The Infinite Monkey Cage, for example, makes science funny and after every episode I’m gripped by the humour that they inject into talking about the topics they cover.
Some of the other podcasts, it seems, were made with me in mind; The Guardian’s Science Weekly is what is says on the tin, a weekly podcast about the science that is happening here and now. It’s fab and I definitely recommend it to people in the same boat as me; struggling to find their bearings in the vast ocean of science out there!
If you want to find more then simply typing in “Science” to the BBC iPlayer radio’s search box will provide you with a myriad of other programmes including podcasts from BBC 5 Live and the BBC World Service. If BBC is not your cup of tea then check out my lecturer’s local broad cast on BCfm called Love and Science. A few of my friends have been on it to discuss the science occurring every week and it’s great fun to listen to!
Of course, I have solely focussed on podcasts as a way of digesting science but there are obviously other ways for people who are less audio based than I am. Personally I find it easier to listen to sciencey things rather than read about them, but that’s just me.
Since I’ve gone on about how I keep up with science, tell me how you like to find out about what is going on in the science world!