SOBA: Social Media for Science Outreach

The SOBA community and active social media practitioners in science gather to discuss how social media can be utilized for science outreach.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


May 24, 2012 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-07:00)

Social media has revolutionized communication, including how scientific methods and results are shared. Today, scientists are blogging, tweeting, and participating in real-time, online dialogs with the public and with each. University labs, publications, and science museums are getting into the act as well, spreading interest in science and engaging with their communities through Facebook and YouTube and other channels.

But how do you gain an audience and spread knowledge and enthusiasm for science? What are the pitfalls and opportunities? Join the SOBA community and active social media practitioners in science for a gathering at swissnex San Francisco on how social media can be utilized for science outreach. Speakers Brad Voytek, a UC Berkeley neuroscientist; Amie Wong, Marketing Manager at the California Academy of Sciences; science media personality Kirsten Sanford (“Dr. Kiki”), and others share success stories and lessons learned. Presentations are followed by a panel discussion, audience Q&A, and follow-up conversation at a nearby bar (to be announced at the event)!

*Presentations and discussion live-streamed. Follow the event on Twitter (@sciobayarea and #sobay), like SOBA on Facebook, and visit the ScienceOnline Bay Area blog for event recaps, news, and more.


Kirsten Stanford

Kirsten Sanford (“Dr. Kiki”) is dedicated to making science accessible. She is recognized as one of the top science media personalities in the nation, holds a doctorate in Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology (emphasis in Neurobiology) and a Bachelors degree in Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology from the University of California, Davis, and is a specialist in learning and memory. She has worked for OnNetworks, Revision3, The Video Project, The Science Channel, TWiT.TV, and has appeared on CBS’s The Doctors. Dr. Kiki currently hosts ‘This Week in Science‘, ‘Dr. Kiki’s Science Hour‘, and ‘The Science Chat‘.

Bradley Voytek

Brad is an NIH-funded neuroscience researcher making use of big data,mapping, and mathematics to figure out cognition. His research has appeared in peer-reviewed scientific publications such as PNAS, Neuron, the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, and others. His research in cognition, brain-computer interfaces, and data analysis has been featured in The Washington Post, Wired, and The New YorkTimes. In addition, his public science writing has been featured in Forbes, The New Yorker, The Guardian, The Atlantic, and ScientificAmerican. His non-academic… uh… interests, include explaining the zombie brain with the Zombie Research Society. Really. He has been interviewed by National Geographic, Wired, New York Magazine, and the American Academy of Neurology because of this “research”. He’s an avid science teacher and outreach advocate and he’s spoken at events ranging from elementary schools to venues such as TEDxBerkeley, @GoogleTalks, and SciFoo. He runs the blog Oscillatory Thoughts and occasionally writes for the ScientificAmerican blog.

Amie Wong

Amie Wong is a Marketing Manager at the California Academy of Sciences, one of world’s preeminent science institutions that is home to an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum, 28 million scientific specimens, and world-class research and education programs. She has led the Academy’s social media strategy for more than 3 years and has grown its community base to nearly 90,000 members. Through her social media efforts she works to establish the Academy as a source for science and sustainability content, and also bring awareness to the research that over 100 Academy scientists conduct over 12 scientific fields: anthropology, aquatic biology, botany, comparative genomics, entomology, geology, herpetology, ichthyology, invertebrate zoology, mammalogy, microbiology, and ornithology.

More Info

SOBA is a local meeting of the ScienceOnlineNOW community and is co-organized by David Harris, William Gunn, Megan Mansell Williams, and Aurelie Coulon with support from swissnex San Francisco and Mendeley. These local events are recognized and encouraged by ScienceOnline, a non-profit organization that facilitates discussion about science through online networks and face-to-face events.


Photo: Myleen Hollero

Event Photos