This class helps students develop methods of analysis and critical thinking to understand the complexities and contradictions of social media and gain cutting-edge knowledge of key developments in emerging technologies and their wider societal causes and consequences.

Students will also learn to identify and analyse social network characteristics to establish the potential of social networking technologies in specific contexts and domains, and how to approach digital science communication and social media engagement activities with the public, while avoiding potential pitfalls.

1 | Know your audience

  • The different audiences of science communication
  • Generation Internet, an overview
  • How to create an audience profile

2  | Online search

  • How Google search works and why should you care
  • Understanding how people search the web
  • Beginners guide to SEO

3 | Online environment

  • Social media and social networks: an introduction
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Photo sharing networks (Instagram, Pinterest etc.)
  • Blogging platforms
  • Q&A Communities:  How Quora fits into a communication strategy
  • Forum: Reddit the social news platform
  • The Meow Factor (“kitten communication”)
  • Snackable communication

The programme does not include YouTube and Tik Tok, as they are part of the “Science on-screen” course

cristina rigutto

Cristina graduated with an MSc in Economics and she holds a Professional Master in Science Communication.
She has 30 years of marketing and communications experience in diverse industries ranging from engineering to professional services, where she produced persuasive content to educate and drive engagement, and she developed copy for marketing materials, technical case studies, white papers, thought leadership articles, web content, and blogs.
Since 2010 she specialized in digital communication of health, research, and innovation, and – bringing a blend of media relations, marketing and communications skills coupled with teaching experience – she pursued a consultancy career establishing her own practice. Since then she has worked with several universities and research centres, both in Italy and abroad.
Cristina is the social media editor at the international peer-reviewed journal Public Understanding of Science (Sage), and Tech Writer focusing on the use of digital technology to improve science communication.

Course Features

Language English
Hours 16
Assessments Yes