As fellow scientists we appreciate the difficulty of adding anything to your already busy schedules — so why spend the time to write about your work for The People’s Science? Lots of reasons.
BROADEN YOUR REACH.
Most of us devote enormous energy to our research, at least in part, because we think it can make a difference for people far beyond our corner of the scientific community. Part of that is ensuring that as many people as possible have a chance to learn from it. The People’s Science has built an infrastructure to make connecting your work to a diverse audience as easy as possible, helping you expand your contribution to cutting edge science education for all. Funding agencies such as the NSF favor work that not only produces new knowledge, but exerts a “broader impacts” on society, for instance by advancing education. Posting on The People’s Science allows you to clarify how you’re building such impact. This drives home a broader point: scientists whose research is federally funded really do work for everyone! Providing educational opportunities for the public helps us honor our commitment to the people who keep our science going.
At The People’s Science, we’re all about making connections. Scientists on The People’s Science can connect with their academic peers at other institutions or industries; with professionals in other scientific disciplines; with the upcoming generations of researchers, thinkers, and makers; and with the people, who turn to science to inform their everyday lives. Our built-in tools make it easy for you to control your connections. You can link your account to research groups or other individual accounts to form networks of your collaborations. You can respond to questions and comments by members on your research briefs, and you can leave questions and comments of your own on others’. Users can also follow research groups to be updated whenever those groups post content to The People’s Science, and select briefs will be showcased on The People’s Science homepage– because a priority of our infrastructure is to create links between the scientists who produce research and the people who consume it.
ONE BRIEF, MANY USES.
A single research brief can be repurposed in a variety of ways. Research briefs make great materials for educators, who can present your work to their students in a format that is more approachable than that of the typical journal article. Non-technical summaries of your work can be used to support a pitch for future projects, or to share the results of a collaborative project with members of academia or industry. Finally, for researchers active on social media, a research brief provides an opportunity to share your content with a broader group of individuals, not just insiders.
OUR TEAM DOES THE HEAVY LIFTING SO THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO.
We want to provide a platform to everyone who shares the value of accessible science for all, and not to create unnecessary barriers to that goal. We provide a variety of ‘plug-and-play’ content to make sharing your science a breeze. We have a template for research briefs to help get you started for your first time, or just to save time. If you are interested in sharing the virtues of accessible science with your friends and colleagues, we have pre-written messages that can be shared over email or social media. And if you would be interested in becoming an ambassador for The People’s Science, we have a batch of content ready for you– including materials to help you set up an accessible workshop or brownbag.
FIND NEW IDEAS.
Every researcher was once a non-researcher. At some point, we were dazzled, inspired, and ultimately driven by a new way of looking at the world. Now firmly entrenched in our careers, it’s easy to forget that initial sense of wonder and get lost in the details. Details are important! But expressing your science in a way that uninitiated people can understand is a way of reminding yourself what the big idea is, and getting back to that sense of exploration and joy that got you into this work in the first place. Along the way, communication can help you discover new ideas and ultimately connect more deeply not just with other people, but with your own work.