Social Media and Science Communication

How can we support science communication across participatory platforms like social media?

Millions of people access scientific knowledge on participatory platforms every day, whether it's a peer-reviewed paper you saw on Reddit, a podcast breaking down health and nutrition research, or a TikTok video telling you to stop taking some multivitamin. Researchers, journalists, and anyone with an interest in science can share, broadcast, re-frame, question, and discuss research on these platforms. That sounds great, but there are problems:

  • Discussing your work online as a researcher is hard, maybe dangerous
  • Platforms aren’t designed to effectively support science communication
  • Different publics have different needs, use different platforms, and have different beliefs

The goal of this project is to support the flow in scientific information online, by supporting researchers to more effectively engage with the public, understanding re-designing online platforms, and studying how different publics make sense of scientific information online.


Our lab members working on this project:

Spencer Williams

Lab director


An HCI Research Agenda for Online Science Communication (2022). Spencer Williams, Ridley Jones, Katharina Reinecke, Gary Hsieh. CSCW 2022: ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work
Paper | Blog

The Effects of User Comments on Science News Engagement (2021). Spencer Williams, Gary Hsieh. CSCW 2021: ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work
Paper | Blog