Scientific dissemination is a necessary activity; It brings scientific knowledge closer to society in such a way that those who are interested in learning – experts or not – can inform themselves clearly and concisely about it.
Scientific dissemination has an important role in society; It allows to eliminate myths, to inform in a simple way and to bring people closer to the sciences. In recent years, social platforms have served as a means to carry out this work.
YouTube has not been the only social platform used for this purpose. In Mexico, two biologists have made Twitter a medium through which they talk about two groups of very misunderstood living beings that can sometimes cause fear or revulsion. The accounts @arachno_cosas and @fungi_cosas are two profiles dedicated to scientific dissemination; the first one talks about arachnids and the second one talks about fungi.
Master of Science Diego A. Barrales Alcalá, who is also a member of the National Collection of Arachnids, is the scientist behind @arachno_cosas. In an interview for EL UNIVERSAL Tech Bit, he explained that he decided to create the account “due to the lack of objective, clear and easily accessible information about the arachnids that are often feared, vilified and misunderstood. Also because within this group of organisms there is a fraction of species that can pose a serious risk to human health, therefore, knowing what they are and being able to identify them is of utmost importance. “
The M. en C. Barrales approached the arachnids due to the anxiety that spiders caused him as a child, which led him to inform himself and learn more about these animals. “In free time I read about them in the school library, then I started looking for them and looking at their varieties.”
For her part, the biologist Sandra Castro Santiuste is a mycologist, a teacher of biological sciences and a future Doctor of Science from UNAM. She approached mushrooms thanks to a teacher; His taste for these living things prompted her to study them. Regarding his Twitter account, he explained that @fungi_cosas aims at scientific dissemination and the idea was inspired by the work of Diego A. Barrales on his arachnid account.
“One day in June of last year, a tweet from @Arachno_Cosas appeared on my timeline. As a biologist, it caught my attention and I liked seeing how she explains to those who share a photo of an arachnid. So I wondered if I could do the same with mushrooms. I remember I wrote him a couple of questions and he [Barrales]plus some followers encouraged me to open an account with a similar purpose. “
Both scientists agree that using Twitter has advantages such as speed and easy access to it, in addition to allowing them to reach diverse population sectors. The biol. Sandra Castro also said that the format of this platform, writing in 280 characters, “makes the information more concise and summarized, so expressing an idea in a small space can be more useful because learning is easier.”
Regarding the importance of scientific dissemination in an era where fake news is a sadly common situation, M. en C. Diego A. Barrales Alcalá mentioned that “the manipulation of information can have different immediate, or medium and long term, both socially and biologically.
“Recently, the news of the existence of a spider capable of killing the unwary person who touched it was spread, which is obviously false. But the force with which this type of news is transmitted manages to embed them in the popular imagination and cause Consequently, we prefer to apply “the chanclazo” to any spider we see instead of relocating it. This, in the end, can cause a dent in the arachnid populations we have and leading to the loss of natural capital. “
For her part, biologist Sandra Castro expressed that “it will always be important to bring scientific knowledge to the population, but now more than ever it has become relevant. Unfortunately, fake news abounds; we are all so easily connected that sometimes lends itself to poor dissemination and the creation of controversies. That is why it is necessary for us, researchers, or people close to science, to put true and verifiable scientific knowledge within the reach of people in a simple and friendly way. to counter false ideas about any situation or problem. “
Both scientists consider that one of the greatest challenges of scientific dissemination is finding the right way to connect with people as well as ensuring that the shared information reaches audiences in an objective, simple and fun way.
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