The POET (Public Outreach Engagement Tool) project is currently running a second round of interviews to map out how academics at the University of Nottingham are using social media in the context of public engagement, especially in regards to the Impact and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) agendas. We previously conducted one round of interviews with science researchers, and have held a workshop to think about what the output of this tool could look like. Our project is still at the stage where we are collecting information about how social media is used by academics as part of their working day – to what extent it is used, the feelings associated with using it, whether their motivations for using it are work related, and whether this tool would be useful for any current public engagement work.
This week we have a guest post by Penny Polson, who has been a Research Assistant on the POET tool for the past three months. Penny has been building on the qualitative analysis skills she attained in her dissertation project (regarding attitudes regarding fish pain) to investigate the experiences of academics who use social media. In this blog, she focuses on the important distinction made between ‘personal’ and ‘professional’ use of Twitter accounts, and how those terms become blurred once public engagement and specifically Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) are considered.