With much written about the effect of new media and new Web technologies on science communication in general, this article discusses the current and likely future challenges facing nutrition communication-especially in light of the quickening pace of change. Given the sheer number of new communication tools and the exponentially growing volume of electronic content, nutrition communicators are hard pressed to keep up, much less to assess the highly variable reliability of the messages. The impact of online social networking on scientific interactions is also explored, with some sobering reflections on the social evolution of the scientific community
Social media are changing a lot about how nutrition research is being communicated and interpreted
Sylvia Rowe, MA, is an adjunct professor at Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is also the president of SR Strategy, a health, nutrition, food safety, and risk communications and issue management consultancy located in Washington, DC. Previously, Ms Rowe served as president and chief executive officer of the International Food Information Council (IFIC) and the IFIC Foundation, nonprofit organizations that communicate science-based information of food safety and nutrition issues to health professionals, journalists, government officials, educators, and consumers.
Nick Alexander, BA, is former senior media counselor for the IFIC Foundation in Washington, DC. He holds a bachelor's of arts degree from Harvard University. A former network correspondent with ABC News, Mr Alexander has been tracking and writing about science communications issues and the evolving challenge to public acceptance of credible science for more than a decade.
Disclosure: The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.
Correspondence: Sylvia Rowe, MA, 1100 Connecticut Ave NW, #1000, Washington, DC 20036 (firstname.lastname@example.org).