Full house for media workshop hosted by the Faculty of Science

The Faculty of Science hosted a media workshop on Dec. 7 that aimed to inform and inspire York University researchers about how they can increase the reach and impact of their research by using social media, developing an online brand, and increasing their media coverage. The workshop was filled to capacity with faculty members, postdocs, graduate students and librarians from across the University.

A large group sits in a room and listens to a speaker
A capacity crowd attended the Faculty of Science media workshop. Image: Professor Dawn Bazely

“It’s clear from the broad interest and participation in our media workshop that students and researchers at York appreciate the value of communicating their research and ideas more broadly and that they are eager to try new avenues and tools to do so,” said Dean of Science Ray Jayawardhan, “many thanks to our communications manager Margaret Mroziewicz for organizing the terrific event.”

The event opened with a panel titled “The Power of Social Media and Your Online Brand,” which included presentations by Professor Markus Giesler from the Schulich School of Business and Biology Professor Dawn Bazely from the Faculty of Science. Giesler spoke about the value of rethinking your own research expertise and brand as a venture, and he showcased how he has done this through the Big Design Lab. Bazely talked about the benefits of using social media in the classroom, to share research and ideas and to network and collaborate. A stimulating Q&A followed their presentations.

A second panel, “Getting Your Research into the Headlines,” featured talks by journalists Kate Lunau, editor of the web news site Motherboard, and Joseph Hall, a reporter at the Toronto Star, as well as Biology Professor Sapna Sharma from the Faculty of Science. Lunau and Hall shared their thoughts on what makes a science story great and what scientists and communications professionals can do to help get their research covered in the media. Sharma, who has received extensive media attention for her research in the last few years, spoke about her experience working with the media and how the increased attention has amplified the reach and impact of her research program. After the talks, the audience had the opportunity to ask questions.

The workshop ended with a Twitter 101 session that reviewed the basics of how to get started and use Twitter as researchers. The participants were encouraged to sign up to take over the @YorkUScientists Twitter account for a week.