A key message that has emerged in many presentations of the Annual Science Conference (ASC) is that of communicating science – not only to the public, but also to stakeholders and other scientists and researchers.
In addition to posting news online, ICES has successfully utilized a number of additional communication methods this week, most notably social media channels, with Facebook and Twitter keeping both conference participants and those who were unable to attend up to date with the latest news and images from events in Reykjavík.
Ingeborg de Boois, project leader and data manager at IMARES, was a convener of Theme Session G, which looked at observing and monitoring needs to support ecosystem-based management. She and other conveners actively used Twitter during the theme session. Conveners have important roles to play during sessions, including moderating and time keeping, but they found Twitter particularly useful when sitting in the audience.
The unique hashtag label #asc_sessionG was created to for tweeting during the session. Using social media to communicate with the wider world was actively promoted by the conveners, using both the session hashtag and the official ICES hashtag #ices_asc. Hashtag signs were placed on the conveners' desk and visible for everyone.
Five people sent 18 tweets during the session. It also appeared that people were attracted to and joined the session based on some of the tweets. According to de Boois, the tweets also helped conveners to keep track of the opinion of the audience even when room for questions was limited.
"It is worth considering handing out a unique hashtag to all sessions before the conference so ICES, the merit awards committee as well as the audience can keep track of the topics by session," suggested de Boois.
This year's ASC has also seen a renewed focus on the ASC mobile app, which allows users to follow the programme and create their own schedule of interests for the duration of the week-long conference. Available for use on different mobile platforms, the app provided an additional communication method.
On top of all that, several of the poster presentations unveiled over the course of the week will have smartphone-compatible QR codes, which can be scanned in to devices to access more information
Scanning a poster's QR code. Photo: Ingeborg de Boois