tweeting science

27 August 2012

How it would be like reading to a piece of rock (@N165Mars) which is jeopardized by a car (@MarsCuriosity) equipped with deadly LASER gun in sandy desert area! This rock belongs to another lonely planet miles away from us. No, it is not just a scene from animation film.

A spacecraft (@NASAVoyager2) cruising far away from the earth and is about leave our solar system pushes notifications on your mobile screen periodically with latest updates. No, you are not hero of sci-fi movie.

A humanoid robot (@NASArobonaut) is under development in a laboratory tells the world that he has learnt to operate switches.

Well, this is all reality and these interactions are possible because of Twitter.

If we say America’s space agency (@NASA) along with other agencies are leader in the field of Space, people all around the world are curious to know what they are up-to? Formed 54 years ago, running on budget of almost $18 billion NASA is handling so many projects like interplanetary, comet-missions, satellites, spacecrafts, space telescopes and many more. Same case is with European Space Agency (@ESA). These aspiring projects are carried out by scientists, astronauts, engineers working at different facilities like research centers, observatories, telemetry, Construction and launch pads. Obviously huge information and news are always coming out. Earlier to seek information one has to go on the website and find particular project, related research. To keep a track of specific news was difficult, but now these people and institutes are tweeting the latest news and updates. It makes easy to tap news of your own interest.

You name a thing; it has twitter account, facebook page and blog. In this era of social media on the internet, micro-blogging site Twitter has kept itself at distinct level from others. It is known for its unique usage for sharing thoughts, information, sometimes embedded with multimedia all bounded in character limit of 140. Space agencies are effectively and extensively using twitter to reach out people across the globe having interests in astronomy and space.

In the month of August there was series of censorship and blocking of websites and twitter accounts by the Government of India to avoid the circulation of rumors and hatred. At the same time, on the other side, why can’t govt. take opportunity to encourage research institute to reach to general public through these new ways of media? Bring on the top scientists, technocrats in front of young generation to share and interact on open platform as they never appear in main stream media on regular basis. If Prime Minister Office can understand the importance of twitter surely others can. If Bollywood stars get thousands of followers overnight, I am sure that many geeks are waiting for their role models to come on social media websites. Channelize the existing news in effective ways. Make new stars.

If ISRO has undertaken a project, if DRDO testing new missiles then only news are covered traditional media only a day before the event. These institutes can give informational releases more often on social media to promote their work and do public awareness activity in a way which was never done before. Meteorological dept has many updates every day but IMD’s website design hardly helps in understanding the information. Likewise more than fifteen institutes come under dept of Science & Tech. these are needed to increase quality of internet presence.

With our government’s initiative students are getting Tablet PCs in their hands, it’s time to give them information.

1 April 2014

P.S.

ISRO started its own facebook page after huge response to Mars Orbiter Mission’s facebook page.

I just loved the way Political parties and leaders have joined the social media platform to reach out to the public.

twitter

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