Abstract: Scientists have long incorporated humor into their communication, whether it be in informal presentations or peer-reviewed journal articles. Though it seems evident that humor could make stodgy scientific writing more engaging and fun, where is the scientific evidence that it actually empowers science communication? In this session we will discuss research on the use of humor in scientific publications, talk about the implications and caveats of humor use, discuss examples of such use, and share experience into the benefits of using humor in scientific communication.
Abstract: Science communicators have been encouraged to use humor in their online engagement efforts. Yet, humor’s effectiveness for engaging people with science remains an open question. We report the results of an experiment designed to elicit varied levels of mirth in respondents, which was positively associated with perceived likability of the communicator and motivation to follow more science on social media. Furthermore, mirth and perceived likability serially mediated the effect of the experimental manipulation on motivation and factual science knowledge served as a moderator. This indicates that, while humor might be an effective means of reaching audiences, downstream effects are likely to vary depending on individuals’ knowledge. Paper at: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0963662520986942
Abstract: Emotional appeals are encouraged when engaging with public audiences. Yet, we lack evidence of the effectiveness of using such appeals in science communication. Here we present current research on emotion and humor in online science communication. This presentation will provide an overall summary of current research in the science of science communication, knowledge about how to use humor when communicating science, and a better understanding of the effect of emotion and humor on public attitudes toward science.