Returning home from the 2020 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference in Seattle, Washington in February of last year, it was clear to me that the world was about to change. I attended AAAS to explore new fields of science that could...
From the LaunchPad
Welcome to The Launchpad, SoundRocket’s blog, where we share our insights and musings on the science of doing science (well), #soundscience.
One of the most common questions I am fielding today—with COVID-19 spreading across the nation, is now a good time to conduct surveys? Is the pandemic having an impact on response rates?
As one of my favorite grad school professors, Mick Couper, loved to say, “It depends.”
Whether one engages in a survey right now will depend on their current status. This may not be a good time to survey emergency department staff. Professionals who are engaged in conducting online surveys may also have their hands full of work (from home) and may not have much extra time to spare. But if you are surveying the general population, with exploding rates of unemployment, you may have better luck. Students in higher education have been ripped from their regular social routines and disconnected from others. They may welcome an opportunity to share their experiences . . .
When I am asked often what I do for a living – a recent story I get to say is “We watch people spit, and then ask them about their experience.” That usually draws a raised eyebrow, and often silence as the recipient of that nugget decides how to rearrange those words into something that makes more sense. Generally, they don’t get there without help.
On an early June afternoon, Michael Linderman and I sat in our respective offices, our faces connected as they often are through a Zoom video call. Mine in Michigan, his in Vermont. I was eager to chat—I had only once before known someone to attend Harvey Mudd College, one of the seven contiguous Claremont Colleges huddled together in an otherwise sleepy Los Angeles suburb. I had heard stories from the other Mudd alumni I know about pranks pulled against their Caltech rivals (Google “Caltech Cannon Heist” if you want to learn more), and I wanted to know if Michael had been involved.
Living in the world of science for some time has raised my awareness of what it means to live in the scientific method. Patterns emerge that I cannot easily ignore. In recent years, I have found myself captivated by the quantity (and quality) of scientific communications emerging from within YouTube.
In today’s ecosystem of online science publications, it can be hard to tell what qualifies as journalism and what doesn’t. Does it matter?
For Erin Zimmerman, a plant molecular biologist turned freelance science writer living in Ontario, Canada, a recent plant science conference presented a rare opportunity to meet scientists working in the field and to gin up some story ideas.
Text messages (also known as Short Message Service, or SMS) have become the go-to medium when contacting others. This is especially the case for today’s college students, who seem to conduct their social and even business lives completely via messaging service.
SoundRocket examined the data surrounding the efficacy of using SMS when surveying college students, resulting in presentation at a past American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Conference.