2500% and counting: Who gives a hoot about science?

2500% and counting: Who gives a hoot about science?

Author: Melanie Bagg – Australian Academy of Science, Australia

Anna-Maria Arabia – Australian Academy of Science
Robyn Diamond – Australian Academy of Science/Media Holdings Group

What does it take to get people who don’t care about science to sit up and take notice? What questions intrigue people who don’t have time to stand still? We have a way to tell the story of science, with extraordinary global appeal.

Social media is increasingly becoming the way we consume news. In the age of fake news and cynicism, the Australian Academy of Science knew it had to do something to outshout the rubbish and provide factual, accurate content in an entertaining way – you could call it credible clickbait.

The Academy has done just that, producing unique science content and growing our Facebook audience from 9,058 to more than 240,000 followers in six months (and no, we didn’t buy our social likes!). This puts us right up there with major media outlets on social. Our purpose-designed videos have been viewed on Facebook 13.5 million times through widespread sharing. And our success is reaching far beyond Australian shores: the Academy is verified as a trusted education account on Weibo in China and our translated content has been viewed nearly 11 million times.

By teaming up Australia’s very best scientists with Australia’s top media and communications expertise, we are creating original videos and articles that are intriguing and engaging thousands of people who don’t give a hoot about science. Our accessible content is rigorously fact checked, reviewed and produced to the highest quality standards.

We will present our learnings since the project launched in October 2017, and explore the latest trends in social media and how scientists and science communicators can take advantage.


The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Show, tell and talk
Theme: Science
Area of interest: Investigating science communication practices