This year it ran from October 14th - October 18th. The goal being to share your daily experiences in the lab, field, learning, teaching, regular tasks, or any major discoveries. You were welcome to share through your social media channels and tag the Science-A-Thon accounts and use the hashtag #DayOfScience so others can find your posts as well. They recorded over 4,000 #DayOfScience moments across social media. Science-A-Thon’s primary goal is to increase the visibility of scientists and the important work they do, which is not always clear to the public at large. They also raised money (over $14,500) for various organizations that support the advancement of women in STEM fields.
I participated in the event to share the behind the scenes work of a collection manager. I shared posts primarily on my Twitter (@paleoJB) and Instagram (@jenebauer) accounts but also on Facebook & Tumblr. Many museums have a set of specimens on display that the public see but realistically this is less than 1% of what most museums actually store. I started by post series with explaining what a collection manager actually manages then discussed more detailed parts of my day including figuring out what fossils were where in the collection space, returning specimens to their proper places, exploring ancient sea scorpions, and pulling specimens for a visiting trilobite expert. I got a lot of positive feedback and was asked by folks to do a post once a month about what I’m up to in the collection. In a time where science is seemingly on trial, it’s important for scientists to showcase who they are and what they do. This helps humanize and make them and their science more accessible to everyone.
Science-A-Thon will be an annual event so be sure to mark your calendars for next year!