Inspiring Australia update: Getting a picture of the Australian science media landscape

Thank you to Joan Leach for the Inspiring Australia update.
The Inspiring Australia Strategy put aside some funding for some research into science communication and science engagement in Australia. This is the first of set of ‘at a glance’ discussions of some of the research. Much of this is being further refined for publication, but ASC members get an opportunity to see some of the key findings first.  This will also be put on LinkedIn so discussion is welcome!
One project has tried to characterise the Australian science media landscape. Who are the dominant players? What are the key issues? How does Australia look in comparison to other countries? Some of our research is driven by assumptions (dare we say hypotheses) about how much science content is shared on various media platforms. What about social media?  In some suggestive analysis of a month-long data capture of Australian tweets, we found some interesting things best illustrated by the figure below. The picture below is a “Theme River” and  it gives us a lovely picture of some named entities who are prominent on twitter in Australia. It makes a lovely little graph to muse on. The Twitter data was collected in a collaboration of The University of Queensland and the Collaborative Online Social Media Observatory (COSMOS). The fabulous software (Discursis) we used to make the graph was provided by Dr Dan Angus. More information about the methods, software and research is available from Joan Leach j.leach@uq.edu.au. We will be publishing a full analysis and discussion, but the prominent players are interesting for the diversity of what they do in the science communication space and how much ‘breakthrough’ they are getting on a noisy channel. Happy glancing.
 Discursis Theme River showing prominence of various named entities in the Twitter corpus in time (organised into bins of temporally ordered 2500 tweets).


Discursis Theme River showing prominence of various named entities in the Twitter corpus in time (organised into bins of temporally ordered 2500 tweets).