Written by Knigel Holmes
Photo credit: photosteve101 | CC

Q: Who are you?

A: The website operator and project coordinator is Knigel Holmes. You can find the work of our contributors under their page category. Everyone here are volunteers from various walks of life. People involved in our project range from experts to laypersons.

Q: What do you do?

A: Nodes of Science is a science outreach and communication project aiming to assist the global scientific community and overall scientific endeavour. At the same time, our primary interest is helping the general public better understand public science issues. We serve a dual role in helping those communicating science become better communicators and helping the general public think more critically about scientific communications.

Our main niche is developing communities and strategies for online environments. To do that, we build online groups with specific nuances or topics. For example, we might design a platform where discussion of public science issues such as genetic-modification, vaccines, or anthropogenic climate change can occur in a reasoned and evidence-based environment. Furthermore, we develop strategies for reaching out to other online communities, many of which are at-risk, resistant to scientific messages, or insulated with a detrimental worldview.

Besides building communities, one of our main activities is putting together literature, toolkits, and resources that will help science communicators as well as anyone interested in science, reason, and skeptical inquiry.

Q: Why do you do what you do?

A: A thirst of knowledge drives many of us, but each of us working in the project have our own reasons. For most, we know that by sharing knowledge, we can help our own learning experience. Each of us has something to teach and each of us has something to learn, so working in a community such as this is beneficial because we can ask for help when we have questions while also improving our own understanding by teaching others.

Near most of us, if not all of us, have experienced frustration and sadness from a lack of science or understanding of science, so we are fueled by empathy and a desire to contribute to a better world. We believe that we need more science communicators and more evidence-based science communication. Overall, we want to do what little we can to promote reasoned dialogue on scientific issues.

Q: What are your goals?

A: Our main goal is to build bridges between the scientific community and the general public through social media. We also believe it’s important to promote and encourage many of the smaller and lesser-known science communication projects; therefore, our project, despite being small itself, hopes to connect a variety of projects with those who would be interested in them. Our desire is to promote other projects because we genuinely feel they are worthwhile; therefore, we are dedicated to making sure we have no conflicts of interest.

Q: How much do you charge?

A: We do not charge. As of now, we don’t ask for any payment. We will never be a profit-driven organisation. At most, we might request donations if necessary to keep the project afloat; however, one of our philosophies is to work with what we have. We want to set an example that everyone can get involved in science and science communication. If we demonstrate how to communicate science without making excuses about not having enough money, others will be less likely to make those excuses.

Q: Who pays you? Are you affiliated with other organisations or businesses?

A: We are very careful not to have any sort of conflict of interest; therefore, we take no payments from any organisation or business. We have no affiliations. We are an independent project that allows us to promote what we honestly believe is valuable and criticise when we feel it’s necessary. We highly value honesty and integrity; therefore, we will always take a strict stance against any possible conflict of interest.

Q: Who can contribute?

A: When it comes to work, time, and energy, we’ll gladly accept it from anyone! We are based on the idea that we need a diversity of voices when it comes to understanding science. Each of us have our own experiences, and we want to help people share those perspectives. We aren’t anyone’s personal soapbox, but our philosophy is that a free exchange of ideas is the best antidote to unreasonable ideas. We would rather share something that we disagree with and have it discussed than lose that opportunity by rejecting it.

Overall, we want everyone to feel comfortable contributing to us. We are a platform for both experts and laypeople. Typically, we will help people develop what they would like to say rather than dismissing or rejecting them.

Q: How can I get involved?

A: You can send us an email or join one of our projects. Moreover, you can read this page on how to contribute.

Q: Your website is biased. Why didn’t anyone post this information I think is important?

A: Did you send that information to us or did you post it yourself in one of our communities? Our philosophy is to encourage everyone to participate and share information. We make our platforms available for everyone to share the information they think is important; however, the onus isn’t on us to do anyone’s work for them.

Q: Where can I complain or give praise?

A: We have a forum set up just for that and we do encourage reasoned criticism and feedback.

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