“Quick flag thanks to Twitter” | EOS Science

When the Icelandic volcano Fagradalsfjall erupted on March 19, the whole world was informed a few minutes later, thanks to a few tweets. You can follow the blast straight from your living room, as it were.

The same proximity applies to the science itself. Geologists were not shy about sharing their first results with the world, as they launched their first explanatory test balloons. Everyone can look over the shoulders of researchers in the field, seismologists behind their monitors, or geochemists in their labs.

The discussion also took place on Twitter. Webinars have been organized where the latest news of the ongoing research is brought to you. It was so cool that you can immediately start using it with the students. By the way, remind me of the Annals and Bulletins from the beginning of the last century, where you can also find the results of scientific discussions, and thus gain insight into the way in which certain ideas appeared. Now it happened online.

This story was repeated when La Soufriere in Guadeloupe was about to explode. Every morning you can quickly check on Twitter whether the magma has already given up or not. On the eighth of April, it’s time. For the third time this year the prize was in La Palma, when he heard the Cumbre Vieja volcano – and felt it again. Until then, we followed the volcanic eruption closely and received daily updates on the progress of lava flows, earthquakes, etc.

This is the power of social media. They are at their best a bountiful source of the latest discoveries about phenomena unfolding at the present time. This information is available not only to scientists, but also to interested lay people.

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All this encourages you to think about the classic forms of communication between scholars and the general public. We no longer have to wait for research results in a “polished” version and after peer review to be read in a scholarly publication, or for the university in question to graduate with a racy press release. We do not have to wait until the next conference to hear the latest developments regarding the current volcanic eruptions.

Scientific publications and conferences continue to play a fundamental role in scholarly work. However, they take on a different, and perhaps more reflective, meaning in this fast-paced electronic world of science.

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