Eastern Section Meeting

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A Demonstration of the Use of Social Media to Network, Increase Communication and Visibility, and Provide a Public Voice in the Scientific Community


Meetings such as the Eastern Section of AAPG allow people from different background with similar interests-including professors, students, and private sector employees-to network and share ideas. Networking has always been vital in order to promote collaborations and encourage growth professionally and scientifically. Society's ever advancing technology has provided breakthroughs with new networking techniques, expanding the ways science can be communicated amongst one another. A drawback is unfamiliarity with such tools may lead to an unwillingness to engage in their use, or even overlooking their effectiveness. It can also lead to generational gaps in terms of what people are communicating with each other. While experienced scientists may be unfamiliar with things such as Twitter or LinkedIn, the younger generation looks to these social media outlets for news, information, and social interactions.

Social media can provide a public platform for scientific voices. Social media is a form of interaction in the same manner that email and message boards enabled quick electronic communications at the dawn of the internet age. Social media use is especially important in fostering relationships between scientists with a plethora of accumulated knowledge and young professionals and students that need to learn from mentors and experts. Integrating social media into your scientific career can be intimidating, but it is relatively easy and can be rewarding. First-hand experience of the presenter as a member of a communications committee provides evidence in such efforts from another recent professional scientific society, The Clay Minerals Society. By demonstrating the efforts of The Clay Minerals Society in the last year, it is the hope of this presentation to outline how even a small amount of social media activity within a small sector of the scientific community can be rewarding.