Teaching Science Communication through Blogging and Twitter

8 May

Professor of Journalism Julie Dodd and master’s graduates Hannah O. Brown (MAMC 2014) and Rebecca Burton (MAMC 2014) presented a poster at UF’s first annual Social Media and Sustainability Conference on April 17, at the Marin H. Levin Advocacy Center at the UF College of Law. The conference was hosted by the UF Center for Adaptive Innovation, Resilience, Ethics, and Science (CAIRES).

“Teaching Science Communication through Blogging and Twitter” examined a science writing project in Multimedia Writing (JOU3109). Students had to report and write stories with an environmental, health, science or technology angle and then work toward getting their stories published. Dodd is the instructor for the 150-student course, and Brown was one of the lab instructors.

One of the publication outlets for the students’ stories was Layman’s Terms Media, Burton’s blog that covers science, health and environmental issues. Burton and her blog were recognized by Scientific American’s The SA Incubator, which recognizes the next generation of science writers and journalists. Several students in Multimedia Writing worked with Burton to have their stories published on her blog.

In addition to reading the poster, conference participants could view the blog on an iPad and listen to audio interviews with students who published on the blog. The audio interviews are posted on the blog.

Burton, who created the blog while she was a marine biology and journalism major at Florida International University, is Communications Coordinator for UF’s Florida Sea Grant. Brown taught Multimedia Writing for four semesters while a master’s student. She is Leadership Director at UF Hillel. Dodd and the Multimedia Writing lab instructors received the 2012 UF Office of Sustainability Award for Academic Programs for the EHST project.


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