Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


From Twitter to TED talks, how scientists engage with the media and directly with the public has moved beyond the traditional press release. Dealing with journalists, producers, and 140-character limits takes time and resources that are already limited, and requires skills that are not necessarily a reflection of the ability to produce excellent science. But the prize at the end is access to a larger, more diverse audience with whom we can engage directly in our science. Primatologists engaged in conservation and education can tailor their work to specific communities. Online platforms and open access resources can reduce barriers to both scientific practice and its impact in policy making. For primate research there are opportunities for crowd-sourcing everything from data collection and analysis to project funding. Our recent ‘Great Ape Dictionary’ study investigated human understanding of chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and bonobo (P. paniscus) gesture. We used a series of short videos to test human understanding of the ape gestural repertoire, assessing accuracy, speed, and confidence. Launched online using social and traditional media, it received over 14,000 participants in 2 months, reaching a large and diverse audience. Drawbacks included limited opportunity to run follow-up studies and overpowered statistical analyses. However, additional benefits included novel opportunities for engagement with and sharing of our research, and development of its long-term use as an educational tool.
Period23 Aug 2018
Event titleInternational Primatology Society Congress
Event typeConference