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Rapid collaborative knowledge building via Twitter after significant geohazard events

Abstract : Twitter is an established social media platform valued by scholars as an open way to disseminate scientific information and to publicly discuss research results. Scientific discussions on Twitter are viewed by the media, who can then pass on information to the wider public. Social media is used widely by geoscientists, but there is little documentation currently available regarding the benefits or limitations of this for the scientist or the public. Here, we use the example of two 2018 earthquake-related events that were widely commented on by geoscientists on Twitter: the Palu M w 7.5 earthquake and related tsunami in Indonesia and the long-duration Mayotte island seismovolcanic crisis in the Indian Ocean. We built our study on a content and contextual analysis of selected Twitter threads about the geophysical characteristics of these events. From the analysis of these two examples, we show that Twitter promotes a very rapid building of knowledge in the minutes to hours and days following an event via an efficient exchange of information and active Published by Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union. 130 R. Lacassin et al.: Rapid collaborative knowledge building via Twitter discussion between the scientists themselves and the public. We discuss the advantages and potential pitfalls of this relatively novel way of making scientific information accessible to scholarly peers and lay people. We argue that scientific discussion on Twitter breaks down the traditional "ivory tower" of academia, contributes to the growing trend towards open science, and may help people to understand how science is developed and, in turn, to better understand the risks related to natural/environmental hazards.
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Submitted on : Monday, August 31, 2020 - 4:28:23 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 4:08:02 AM

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Robin Lacassin, Maud Devès, Stephen Hicks, Jean-Paul Ampuero, Rémy Bossu, et al.. Rapid collaborative knowledge building via Twitter after significant geohazard events. Geoscience Communication, 2020, 3 (1), pp.129-146. ⟨10.5194/gc-3-129-2020⟩. ⟨insu-02341638v2⟩

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