I’m very excited to tell, that the THIG-report of TCMAM has been covered in a scientific article about the BILD treasure hunt earlier this year and the need for a social media strategy of scientific bodies. The article was written by Diane Scherzler and will be published in Archaeological Information of the German Society for Pre- and Protohistory (German: Archäologische Informationen, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ur- und Frühgeschichte e. V.).
The abstract of the article reads like this:
“In March 2011, the German tabloid „Bild“ launched an expedition to Lake Izabal in Eastern Guatemala. Reporters and a „Maya expert“ wanted to ﬁnd eight tons of Maya gold in a supposed sunken city. This article examines on the basis of this „treasure hunt“ how scientists can participate in and inﬂuence such scenarios. Against the background of two qualitative surveys – of archaeologists and „Bild“ readers – the opportunities and risks of blogs, Facebook comments and Wikipedia articles for the non-scientiﬁc representation and reception of archaeological facts are discussed. How do social media and networks change the communication of scientists and citizens? What steps do archaeologists need to go, who want to use the new possibilities?”
Then Scherzler uses our reports about BILD on this Blog and the watchblog BILDblog as an example of how to deal with such a topic:
“[TCMAM] however impressively demonstrated the Mesoamericanists and Archaeologists what one single person, who wants to oppose the scheming of “Bild”, can achieve, can especially achieve in the Web 2.0.”
As I wrote yesterday, scientists and academics need to communicate with the broad public, in order to let them take part in their work, at least superficially. That is in a way modern enlightenment and would oppose developments, which makes the science guys seem like the distant, reserved… the bad guys.
Everyone who wants to read the article (which is unfortunately only available on German) can download it here.