On March 20th, i took part to the RSC Twitter Poster Conference 2017, an online event organized by The Royal Society of Chemistry to favour new contacts and exchanges among researchers in chemical sciences. The event was a big success.
To those of you that might wonder what a twitter poster session is, here’s an excerpt from The Analytical Scientist:
How do Twitter poster sessions work?
Participants tweet an image of their poster with the title and hashtags #RSCPoster and the area (e.g. #RSCAnal) at any point throughout a 24-hour period. This means that people anywhere in the world can join in.
It’s a fully global event open to every chemist on twitter. No conference fees: by following the hashtag #RSCPoster, anyone could attend and submit their poster.
What a nice surprise when nice images of posters started appearing in the feed on that Monday morning. Awesome idea – i thought, tweeting my contribution a few seconds later.
To be honest, the poster was not prepared for the occasion – I simply recycled a poster presented at a traditional conference, and I shared it just to see what would happen. It was great. Not only people were tweeting their images, they were also commenting on the posters, just like in a standard conference but within 140 characters. The participants were discussing technical aspects of the results or methodology, asking more general questions on the featured research, and all of this worked wonderfully. It was exciting: every few seconds, a new contribution was added to the feed, containing interesting and well presented science.
As in normal conferences, this wasn’t just a chance to present your own project, but also a fantastic opportunity to look at what the researchers out there were doing, and to learn a lot from it. New ideas were inspired by work in apparently unrelated research areas. Beside science, it was also a very useful experience in communicating research to a heterogeneous audience using few, carefully selected words. Yet another demonstration of how twitter can be useful to scientists!
I regret that i wasn’t able to look at all the posters during the session – they were definitely too many. Fortunately, even if the conference is over, the posters are still hanging on the virtual wall at the RSC Tumblir site, so that in the case you missed the event, you might still catch up with the interesting science. I’d strongly recommend to give a look at them: they’re awesome!
Some lucky participants got the coolest thing you could ever imagine: a cartoon abstact of their poster – like this one:
So I’m very grateful to @MCeeP (ErrantScience.com) for making my day with this, and for the incredible tour-de-force of drawing the cartoons! I much enjoyed to see all of them: not only they were funny, but also further engaged the participants, stimulating curiosity and new conversations. These brilliant poster abstracts really made the conference unique.
This is crazy but …what if cartoon abstracts were introduced in traditional conferences as well? To get a feeling, just check out the complete gallery of these cool cartoons of posters at ErrantScience.
Finally, many thanks to the RSC, the organizers, and the participants for such a great experience. A superb way to promote chemical research. I’m glad to have been some little part of it, and looking forward for the next year event.