Social networks have made it easy for people to access scientific discoveries. However, social networks have also facilitated the proliferation of pseudoscience, scientific skepticism and conspiracy theories. We believe that scientists, as active users of social networks, should contribute to the digital information flow by sharing their knowledge and discoveries openly and in a way that the public can understand.
As founders of Sketching Science (SkS), a popular blog that reflects the daily life of scientists in a funny and empathic way, we have found that using illustrations can be effective in scientific outreach. With hundreds of thousands of followers on different social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) SkS has grown considerably since it was first launched. Today, we are happy to take our next step and introduce a new publication, the Journal of Sketching Science (JSS).
The Journal of Sketching Science is designed to mimic elements of conventional science journals while also adopting more innovative science communication approaches. Our aim is to to communicate complex and important scientific topics in a visually attractive, yet rigorous, way to the public.
Journal of Sketching Science: Visualize, Read, and Share
Using our social networks we will engage and work with scientists to share short non-technical illustrated articles or “Sketching Science papers” explaining different science topics that have profound public policy implications. We will publish topics that may have the most misinformation online, prioritizing conservation and sustainable development, climate change, the effectiveness of vaccines in disease prevention, evolution, and genetic engineering.
Invited artists and the Sketching Science Team will illustrate selected essays, stories, videos, reviews, or posts from the community and science influencers. Stay tuned for our “Call for Sketching Science papers!”
The Sketching Science Paper
The Sketching Science papers will be posted on our social media accounts along with a cover illustration and a link to the article, which will be written and published via Authorea, a platform for researchers to write and publish. The cover image and the figures in the paper will be visually attractive using viral internet elements like memes, to catch the attention of people and invite them to read it. The philosophy of the papers is to: visualize, read, and share. In this way, trustable information will be copied and spread rapidly by Internet users.
The Sketching Science papers will be a free educational tool accessible from mobile devices or computers directly in social media timelines. We believe that the Journal of Sketching Science can contribute to a healthy and trustable digital information flow having an impact on thousands and potentially millions of internet users.