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Integr Comp Biol. 2018 Dec 1;58(6):1294-1303. doi: 10.1093/icb/icy091.

The Biota Project: A Case Study of a Multimedia, Grassroots Approach to Scientific Communication for Engaging Diverse Audiences.

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The Biota Project, Brooklyn, NY, USA.
The Biota Project, Merced, CA, USA.
The Biota Project, Irvine, CA, USA.
The Biota Project, San Diego, CA, USA.


The Biota Project communicates science to populations historically ignored by the scientific community. The Biota Project is comprised of a team of young professionals from a myriad of backgrounds and locations with interests in promoting science accessibility and equity. We do this by highlighting research conducted by scientists from underrepresented groups in relatable yet underrated locations with the intention of increasing the participation of underrepresented populations in science. The Biota Project centers on the scientific definition of symbiosis as a tool for both educating and learning from its followers. We deliver stories on the environments of our own backyards by merging art and science and distributing these publicly available stories widely online through short films, media clips, drawings, paintings, blogs, and e-newsletters. This project demonstrates a fresh, transferable perspective on strengthening science communication in a way that conjoins scientific discovery with social justice through the promotion of critical thinking by its target audience. Likewise, contributors learn how to better support local communities with each new story and environment. The Biota Project thus sets a symbiotic tone for re-calibrating the balance between academics, researchers, and local communities. When science is made relevant through understanding, its quality and significance are enhanced, and public recognition of its value is increased.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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