The idea is to encourage scientists to film some aspect of their research and share it through social media. Many scientists now have a smartphone that will shoot video. The incredible quality of phone cameras and ease of filming with them allow anyone to capture footage with minimal fuss. At the same time, some scientists and especially students are increasingly using Twitter to interact and share information.
I think that Twitter, which allows brief video clips (maximum length = 30 sec) along with a text message, is perfect for quickly sharing something you’re doing in the lab or an interesting observation you’ve made in the field. Using a hashtag (#FilmYourScience) helps identify tweets related to the topic.
I think such an effort has many benefits…for scientists as well as the scientific community.
- Filming and sharing 30-second Tweets is a great way to learn how to shoot a video as well as to use social media to share science.
- By learning to film and share videos of research, scientists will become more comfortable with the medium and see how effective video can be.
- Sharing brief insights or observations via Twitter is an easy way to engage the public.
- Showing what scientists do and where they work will help dispel some of the stereotypes about our profession.
- Tweeting brief videos is a great way for a young researcher to increase their visibility and perhaps to find future collaborators.
- Seeing and hearing about the various interesting things scientists do and where they work will encourage students to consider science as a career.
Here are brief instructions how to go about recording a video on a smartphone for a Tweet:
- Tap the Tweet icon to open a new message.
- Tap the camera icon.
- Tap the video icon, which will access the video camera.
- Record a video by holding down the record button. More clips can be added by pressing again. Record up to 30 seconds (you’ll get a warning when this limit is reached).
- Review clip by tapping it. Trim by dragging end bars. Reorder clips by dragging.
- Tap Done when finished.
- Add a text message to explain your video.
- Tap Tweet to share.
You can also import a previously recorded video from your device’s media library. These can be trimmed to 30 seconds in Twitter. To stop the video from autoplaying in your Twitter timeline, go to Settings>Data>Video>Video autoplay and change the setting.
Finally, here is a video tutorial showing how to attach a video to a Tweet (direct link):