Abstract Detail



Education and Outreach

Metzgar, Jordan [1], Hockman, Cassandra [2].

Oh no, my research has gone viral!.

Most scientists love to discuss their research and new discoveries, but what happens when your research goes viral?  Suddenly your quiet days studying specimens in the herbarium and laboratory have ended as your routine is turned upside-down. Now, you are drowning in a deluge of demands for interviews, quotes, and media appearances. We will discuss the essential tools and strategies to thrive while you are in the spotlight. The recent discovery of giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) at several locations in Virginia will be used as a case study to illustrate these points. The subsequent sensation filled the media cycle for weeks as Virginia Tech Massey Herbarium (VPI) curator Jordan Metzgar received dozens of interview requests from reporters, websites, newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations. Major points for handling media requests include knowing the limitations of your expertise (i.e., be willing to say “I don’t know”), identifying and articulating a main message, and developing three supporting points to your main message. We will also cover methods for coping with high volumes of media requests as well as using institutional resources for assistance. Going viral can be a great opportunity and a little preparation can go a long way!


1 - 926 W. Campus Dr, MC 0406, Derring Hall 2119, Blacksburg, VA, 24061, United States
2 - Virginia Tech, Department of English, Shanks Hall (MC0112), Blacksburg, VA, 24061, United States

Keywords:
science communication
science outreach.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: 0010
Abstract ID:220
Candidate for Awards:None


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