LIVE SCIENCE IN THE VALLEY OF THE LAST DINOSAURS: A PUBLIC WINDOW INTO THE WORLD OF PALEONTOLOGY
Researchers and science educators from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Denver Museum of Nature & Science along with collaborators from Brooklyn College, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Yale Peabody Museum, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Marmath Research Foundation were joined by young scientists and citizen scientist volunteers of all ages. The production team consisted of high school and college interns, public science outreach professionals and research scientists. To expand the reach of the project, a bilingual intern maintained a parallel Spanish website.
Thousands of online viewers watched, contributed and shared these authentic experiences with their communities during the live portion of the project, and many more continue to access the archived website and social media content. This project exemplifies how social media and real-time interaction with scientists has the potential to connect the public to science as it unfolds, removing myths and stereotypes about how science happens and who scientists are. Similar initiatives also help to create citizens who are more connected to the process of science and can utilize that understanding in their lives through more informed decision-making.