I wanted to be the last person standing on Planet Earth without a Facebook account.
But my email inbox was flooding with enquiries from students, parents and the general public - so I thought, well, an FB page will give me a breezier platform to entertain their queries when I am more relaxed and not on work mode.
So, two months ago I connected with the universal world fraternity on FB.
It has been a great platform for connecting with the people, inspiring them, and understanding their concerns in biotechnology education as well as discussing careers and vocations in the field of biotechnology – as well as to put a human face to my own profession and career.
A greenhorn at FB skills, I am now learning the maneuvering and machinations of FB technology and am already enjoying the interaction and all the sharing of information and updates.
But there are moments of frustration as well. I get “likes” seconds after posting a video with a footage lasting four minutes.
This simply means that the video is “liked” even before it has been completely viewed – the tendency to “like” anything that is posted without understanding and appreciating the content.
The other frustration is when I get more “likes” for photos than information. Yes, I am not naïve. I know there is serious lack of hunger for knowledge out there, especially if it is science-related.
But I am not giving up. I know there are a few science fans who share my posts and send personal messages, appreciating the information.
I am going to keep pushing science/biotechnology to the public domain till it becomes a culture. This is my new “cyber boulevard” and it gives me the opportunity to have my fingers on the pulse of my audience.
And of course, it is important for me as a science communicator to understand what interests my audiences, their concerns and the best tool to reach them.
On a related subject, I was introduced to a techie lecturer in UPM who uses latest IT gadgets and apps to teach microbiology. Look her up on page 11, October issue of The Petri Dish. We need more Dr Wans at universities and schools to inspire our students in science and appreciate science & technology.
By Dr Mahaletchumy Arujanan