If you build it, will they come? Good question. There’s good evidence that scientists are well behind the curve on adapting to social media technology and you can read about it here on Science Sushi. (72% of Americans are on Facebook, but less than 2/3rds of college professors are.) Conventional wisdom says that scientists of all stripes are too busy teaching, publishing and doing research to jump online. However, one finds that younger scientists, like their younger counterparts in the general public are finding the benefits of social networking in their fields to be of benefit.
So far, Researchgate.net, Scitable.com and Labspaces.net are three of several social networking sites out there for scientists to advance their research through collaboration. Researchgate.net seems to have a lot of activity. Traditional avenues for scientists to collaborate with each other, and communicate with us non-scientists: Twitter and Facebook.
I’ve had a few scientists ask me for social networking sites they should consider – and these have been my recommendations. You may want to see if your faculty find them helpful as well for online mentoring and networking as well as scientific horsetrading for research products and such.
You never know who might get the bug.