@Iamphilaelander: Social Media and Popularising Space Science

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Carnegie Room (University of Glasgow)
Lorna Ryan , City University London
Studies of the representations of ‘space’ (space science and space exploration)  in the media have largely focused on traditional media (press, radio, tv, film).    This paper considers how social media  (blogs, twitter feeds and other platforms) are used to communicate space science ideas.   The example of the European Space Agency’s tweets about the scientific mission of the Rosetta probe and its lander module, Philae, via Twitter,  is drawn on to illustrate  key themes in contemporary debates about the popularisation of space science.  An analysis of the @IamPhilaeLander  twitter feed over its ‘activation’ period (12 November 2014, estimated cessation in February 2016)  is presented and the implications of the use of social media such as Twitter to popularise space science considered.