SSB member Sara Seager asked Dressler if he was on Facebook and he said no. She challenged him to join, saying, “You can’t describe it unless you’re part of it,” and then you would see that it operates differently than you thinks. She expressed determination to get Dressler to join Facebook by the end of the workshop.

Another audience member said that he totally rejects Facebook and Twitter. He thinks there is a loss of the interrelationship between the sciences and the humanities, the “two cultures,” when using social media.

Christie Nicholson, journalist and online contributor for Scientific American, urged everyone to try the new social media because it is very abstract, and “if you don’t get into it, you really can’t understand what use it is.” If it turns out to not be valuable, then stop using it.

As for the relationship between the sciences and the humanities, she finds that in using social media she can interact with people in other disciplines that she would never encounter otherwise. She agrees, however, that “there is no substitute for human connection,” and she understands the concern that people are getting into niche communities that could stifle serendipity. While Dressler is wary of social media platforms and is not on Facebook, Nicholson encourages everyone to “experiment with it,” and if it is not valuable, then stop.

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