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Science 2.0: talking about or doing Science?!

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There is no doubt that young scientists are attracted by social network: 56 % of early career researchers use social networking site personally but only 13% professionnaly.

But, despite numerous products on the place (at least 7 major sites only for Scientists), “none of these sites yet seems to have captured the interest of a significant proportion of the scientific community, although this could also be because researchers are unwilling to discuss their work openly. Research in progress is less likely to be publicly discussed, regardless of how useful input could be, for fear of having ideas and results stolen by other research teams“, concludes Sarah Hugget.

At the time being, it is clear that “Science Social Networking” is more a buzz-word than a real practice deeply adopted by Scientists over the world.

David Crotty explained, once again, how science 2.0 failed: “Nearly all of the more visible attempts so far have focused on talking about science, rather than tools for actually doing science.”

David Crotty makes a clear distinction between Science Communication (which is not the core business of Scientists) and the Science itself: “Communication is an important part of being a scientist. It is not, however, the top priority for most. (…) Even without new online technologies, scientists already spend a substantial portion of their time communicating. They share results with peers, plan future experiments with collaborators, give talks, write papers, teach, etc. New social media endeavors ask scientists to devote even more time to communication, but it’s unclear where participants are supposed to find that time“. (…)

Scientists are no different than other humans. Most people don’t blog. It’s not something they’re interested in doing. Blogging tends to attract those with a strong interest in communication, writing, and teaching” (…)

Even counting 600 scientists on Twitter, “you’re still talking about a very small percentage of the tens of millions of working scientists in the world“.

Crotty, David.  Science and Web 2.0: Talking about Science Vs. Doing Science. Posted on Feb. 8, 2010:
Hugget, Sarah. Social networking in academia. Research Trends, March 2010. Online:

Written by hbasset

April 6, 2010 at 6:59 pm

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