Media Release

06/08/2013
Social media stars present a night of hilarity and science
A group of ‘science superstars’ helping to make science cool and cutting edge via social media will meet fans offline and in person at JCU in Townsville next week.

Social media stars present a night of hilarity and science

First published August 6, 2013

A group of ‘science superstars’ helping to make science cool and cutting edge via social media will meet fans offline and in person at James Cook University in Townsville next week.

Hosted by stand-up mathematician and comedian Simon Pampena, the Science SuperStars have built a business model around dissemination of science information through internet distribution.

The people behind Facebook pages, YouTube Channels, and Twitter feeds such as I F*cking Love Science, Science is Awesome, Science Alert, Minute Earth, ASAP Science, Smarter every day, Biology with a Twist and Veritasium will be at the event.

“This event is a rare opportunity not just for Townsville but for Australians in general to meet and ask questions of a group of young and engaged scientists who have realised the tremendous potential that social media affords them in reaching out to their audiences,” said John Chandler
, Director of Business Development in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at JCU.

He said the Science Superstars help form the vanguard of the new generation of online science communication.

Mr Chandler said the event was designed to increase young Australian’s knowledge of science, with a view of improving participation in science degrees.

“When used to excite, entertain and inspire, social media becomes more than just a powerful communication tool, it can also educate,” Mr Chandler said.

“Facebook pages like Science Alert which is based right here in Australia is helping local researchers and universities like our own communicate our findings to a wider audience.”

Mr Chandler said by uploading spectacular pictures of nature and videos of natural phenomena, by sharing a funny science meme or even just by providing interesting close-up shots of animals, social media can be enough to attract thousands to catch on and share the message about the wonderful world of science.

“A tweet or facebook post can almost instantaneously disseminate scientific information to the masses, to people sitting at home in front of the TV, to commuters on their daily travel or realistically pretty much anywhere –they can be learning, sharing and getting involved in science with the touch of a button on their favourite devices.”

Mr Chandler said securing the Science Superstars was a coup for both JCU and northern Queensland. There were only two other shows planned for Australia, one in Sydney, which sold out in one hour, and the other in Canberra.

Cost: Free

When: Tuesday 13 August 2013, 6.15-8pm

Where: Sir George Kneipp Auditorium, James Cook University

Building 26, James Cook Drive

For interviews, contact John Chandler on (07) 4781 5388 or 0412 296 595.

JCU Media contact: Caroline Kaurila (07) 4781 4586 or 0437 028 175