Numerous free online tools are available to scientists interested in communicating their research to the public, but which of these are most impactful? In this session we will discuss the lessons we learned from hosting a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” (AMA), and the benefits to the scientists and non-scientists who participated. Reddit is an interactive social news website with 70 million monthly users who submit and rate content. A subset of Reddit, AMA, allows people to share their expertise through an online question and answer session. Few non-scientists have the opportunity to connect with researchers and ask about their work; an AMA solves this by enabling near real-time communications between scientists and a broad and varied audience. In May 2013, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory marine biologists Craig Aumack and Andrew Juhl hosted an AMA from the Arctic, where they were conducting marine ecosystem research. Their AMA generated 199 questions and comments in 24 hours and had 1950 unique page views, amplifying their other outreach efforts and providing the public a window into the world of scientific fieldwork.
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