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Thu May 23 01:18:00 CEST 2013

:: ScienceAlert
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May 23, 2013 – for immediate release

Hot news about Australian science is now reaching more than 8 million people worldwide every week.

Strong, steady growth in global interest in the R&D of our universities and science agencies is continuing via Australian science website ScienceAlert and social media phenomenon Facebook.

“Australian science news now has a million avid followers on Facebook in India alone,” explains managing director Chris Cassella. “Plus we’re regularly reaching between 750,000-1m Australians weekly with news, views and videos about science.

“The good news is that 85 per cent of this global audience are aged less than 25 years old – so the achievements and discoveries of Australian universities and science agencies are reaching exactly the target group we want them to: the up-and-coming generation.”

Mr Cassella said ScienceAlert had recently passed 3 million followers on Facebook, which converts to a weekly reach of 7 to 10 million people worldwide.

“This illustrates the power of social media compared to traditional media – good stuff just gets passed around among friends,” Mr Cassella says. “For example our 200,000 regular Australian fans pass it to nearly a million other Aussies in their peer groups.”

In recent times Inspiring Australia, the ACT Government, the University of New South Wales, James Cook University, Queensland University of Technology, the University of Canberra, ANSTO and Rolex have all helped spread news about Australian science by supporting ScienceAlert. 

“These companies understand the importance of science communication in today’s world and their decision to support ScienceAlert has had an impact in the way Australian science is now perceived around the world.

“Science in general is still wary of social media.  Broadly, it doesn’t understand it, and it doesn’t engage with it.  Yet it is the human communication phenomenon of our times, and if you want to be relevant to what much of the world is now thinking, saying and taking an interest in, then you have to find ways to take advantage of social media. Science can either rule itself in, or out, of that discussion,” says Mr Cassella.

ScienceAlert editor Gabriela Munoz says “Some people in science are worried about using social media because it’s hard to convey complex ideas in such brief messages – but by sharing only news from reputable scientific bodies and linking direct to the source, so people can read the actual research details, we are winning the trust of our audience.”

ScienceAlert on Facebook is now the leading Australian media site in terms of its worldwide following and the 10th largest in terms of its local audience, according to social media analysts Socialbakers.

Mr Cassella says that ScienceAlert is partnering with some of the top science channels on YouTube to provide high quality science videos on iTunes. He says this will contribute to growth and further achieve ScienceAlert’s aim of sharing our scientific knowledge across Australia and around the world. 

“We’ve got some of the most creative people in the world [eg. MinutePhysics, MinuteEarth, Veritasium, and AsapScience] in terms of science communication featuring their content on our site and in iTunes. They are proving that great science can be entertaining as well as fascinating and educational – that it doesn’t have to be taught out of a dusty textbook.”

For more information or interview contact

Chris Cassella, Managing Director, ScienceAlert, ph +61 (0)405 846 671

Chris.cassella at sciencealert.com.au

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