Celebrating 5 Years of the EcotoxBlog: A Platform for Sharing Research and Experiences in Ecotoxicology

Blogs are effective outlets for science communication. We launched the EcotoxBlog in 2015 to foster communication among researchers, to share ecotoxicology news, and to create an opportunity for students to blog about their experiences. Five years later we have reached several milestones – a reason to celebrate!

Science communication via blogging and social media can effectively connect and engage a broad, global audience (Illustration by Giulia Forsythe; CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication)

Communicating research results to non-specialists has become an essential activity of the academic community. Science communication and outreach efforts aim toward diverse goals, which may include raising public awareness about environmental issues; engaging and educating different stakeholders; or connecting researchers and promoting collaboration. Communication through online blogs and social media can be an effective way to reach a broad, global audience and achieve these goals.

As part of a larger public outreach campaign of our university in 2015, we started the EcotoxBlog website and related Twitter and Facebook accounts.

The EcotoxBlog has three goals:

  • Foster communication and collaboration among researchers
  • Share news from our environmental research and Ecotoxicology program
  • Create an opportunity for students to blog about their experiences and gain hands-on skills in science communication

5 Years of Blogging: Our Milestones

Celebrating our 5th anniversary in May 2020, our mostly volunteer-run blog has reached several milestones:

  • We have shared almost 600 stories, related to thesis or job opportunities, ongoing and completed research, students’ experiences in our masters program, recaps of workshops, conferences or summer schools, ecotoxicology-related events, and cultural exchange
  • Our Facebook and Twitter accounts gained a total of more than 2600 followers
  • In 2019, the blog was visited from 128 countries across Europe, America, Asia, Africa and Australia, with a total of 9,467 visits
Visits of the EcotoxBlog in 2019 visualized by country from which the website was accessed (a), and by month of the year (b)

We are happy that in only five years, the EcotoxBlog proved to be an effective tool to communicate science to and connect diverse audiences around the world!

What’s next?

Based on lots of positive feedback, we decided to create new science communication opportunities within our blog:

  • External guest authors can share their stories, not only on published papers but also on day-to-day research activities, field work, internships, lab courses, workshops, conferences & more
  • Our new Series “Spotlight on Students” will highlight the variety of student research and experiences in the field of ecotoxicology around the world

Meet us at SETAC SciCon

We are excited to meet you all and celebrate together at the virtual SETAC SciCon on May 3-7. Stop by and chat with us!

  • Session: Extended Submission: Late Breaking Science Abstracts (P)
  • Poster ID: 8.05P.43

Thank you!

Thanks to all supporters of the EcotoxBlog, for providing technical guidance, contributing to its content, or simply using it.

A special thanks to the core team and supporters: Jakob Wolfram, Verena Sesin, Jochen Zubrod, Carsten Brühl, Mirco Bundschuh, Ralf Schäfer, and Ralf Schulz.