Social media, with all of its anonymous participants, can be a little daunting, especially when strangers are just firing questions at you.
But in the big consumer world, there is no better forum to do some new outreach than the Reddit Science Ask Me Anything series, with its 12 million subscribers. Our Senior Director of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr. Josh Bloom, intrigued them because he had 27 years of drug company experience and then successfully switched to a science education non-profit. So he was invited and today from 1-2 PM Eastern he let Reddit users literally ask him anything.
The link is here but you might give it a little time for him to finish answering the hundreds of questions he was deluged with.
For the most part, the comments were a lot more thoughtful than expected. It wasn't environmental groups or their paid toadies at Sourcewatch or US Right To Know inventing conspiracies about scientists, some were young researchers who wondered what the future of drug discovery might look like for them, or what the next big thing might be...
...while others were just fascinated by the work he had done. It's easy to lose sight of our impact, because here at the American Council on Science and Health we see each other every day, and the whole team is smart so we take it for granted - but the outside world can really energize us with their appreciation for the work we do, fighting the good fight against science and health Deniers for Hire or people making money promoting chemophobia. And also what we have accomplished in getting the experience that makes us great fits here.
It's hard to say what they were expecting - a few clearly thought he would be defending corporations because he worked at one. But since a corporation let him go (we won't say who Pfired him - hint, hint) he certainly has no reason to defend anyone who wasn't on the side of science. Or at least ethics. It was pure, unfiltered Bloom.
Give the whole thing a read when you get a chance. Great questions, great answers and a great opportunity to do some outreach beyond our usual audience.