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How do young adults engage with science and research on social media? Some preliminary findings and an agenda for future research


Hargittai, Eszter; Füchslin, Tobias; Schäfer, Mike S (2018). How do young adults engage with science and research on social media? Some preliminary findings and an agenda for future research. Social Media and Society, 4(3):1-10.

Abstract

While considerable research has looked at how people use the Internet for sharing and engaging with various types of content from celebrity news to politics, very little of this work has considered how non-specialists interact with science and research material on social media. This article reviews literature on public engagement with science to note that this area is ripe for research on social-media-based engagement in particular. Drawing on a survey of American young adults’ online experiences, we show that using social media for science and research is at least as likely if not more so as engagement with other topics from similarly serious to lighter domains. We also find that platform matters with young adults much more likely to engage with such content on Facebook rather than on Twitter. We end by proposing more focus on this domain in the area of science communication and work on social media.

Abstract

While considerable research has looked at how people use the Internet for sharing and engaging with various types of content from celebrity news to politics, very little of this work has considered how non-specialists interact with science and research material on social media. This article reviews literature on public engagement with science to note that this area is ripe for research on social-media-based engagement in particular. Drawing on a survey of American young adults’ online experiences, we show that using social media for science and research is at least as likely if not more so as engagement with other topics from similarly serious to lighter domains. We also find that platform matters with young adults much more likely to engage with such content on Facebook rather than on Twitter. We end by proposing more focus on this domain in the area of science communication and work on social media.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Uncontrolled Keywords:Science communication, online participation, sharing, Facebook, Twitter
Language:English
Date:3 September 2018
Deposited On:10 Dec 2018 16:08
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 16:08
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:2056-3051
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305118797720

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