Lunch and Learn

Making science fun and exciting through social media

Learn from leading science journalists and lab communicators

Tuesday, August 9th
13:20 - 14:05
Chicago Ballroom

Social media channels are vital for outreach and offer huge opportunities for scientists to directly engage with the public using nontraditional methods – including lots of creativity and humor. The physics community’s presence is growing more significant, and this session (designed for early career researchers) will provide a lively discussion with experts in the domain. We’ll cover how to best use social media to raise public awareness of science, share excitement and progress, and cultivate support from followers. We’ll also discuss some of the thornier issues in social media, such as capturing the complexity of both the scientific process and the science itself.

Box lunches will be available for purchase on the Riverwalk.


Lauren Biron, Fermilab

Lauren Biron pic

Lauren Biron is a writer and the social media manager for the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, where she takes care of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Storify, Flickr, and all questions about Pokémon GO. She is also the deputy editor of Symmetry Magazine, an online publication about particle physics. She has a master’s degree in science journalism from Northwestern University and previously served as the editor and social media manager for a magazine on military technology. You can often find her tweeting about particles (@Fermilab) or words (@LaurenBiron) or bison (both).

Dianna Cowern, Physics Girl

Dianna Cowern pic

Dianna Cowern is a science communicator and educator. She is the primary content creator for her YouTube channel, Physics Girl with PBS Digital Studios. Dianna received her BS in physics from MIT before researching low-metallicity stars at the Harvard CfA and designing an iPad app as a software engineer at GE. She then pursued her career in STEM outreach working as an educator at the Reuben H Fleet Science Center and as a physics outreach coordinator at UCSD. Her work on Physics Girl has been featured on the Huffington Post, Slate Magazine, Popular Science, and Scientific American blogs.

Julie Haffner, CERN

Julie Haffner pic

Julie Haffner received her bachelor's degree in public relations in June 2012 and started working at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) as an intern in the Press Office on July 2. Two days later, the Higgs boson discovery was announced at the Laboratory. The ambiance was really special! She spent three and a half years in the Press Office, organizing interviews and media visits to CERN. Since January 2016, she has dedicated half of her time to social media as CERN Social Media Officer.

Clara Nellist, IN2P3

Clara Nellist pic

Clara Nellist is a particle physicist working on the ATLAS experiment at CERN and is a passionate science communicator. Her research focuses on improvements to the pixel detector layers of ATLAS, which are vital for providing tracking information about the positions of newly created particles from collisions by the LHC. She is also studying the Higgs boson when it changes into two tau particles, currently the only way to observe the interaction of Higgs bosons and leptons. Her communication and outreach work has a strong focus on high-energy physics and improving the balance of women in science. After gaining her PhD at the University of Manchester in the UK she began a post-doctoral research position at the Laboratoire de l'Accélérateur Linéaire in France.