We would be honored to consider your publication! Thanks for thinking of us.
Please send book copies, one each to Joanne and Jeff, to:
Read Science FAQs
“Read Science!” grew out of a joint enthusiasm for books about science (and math, and engineering, and technology—and more!) and a desire to share that enthusiasm. We began the program in April 2013, recording over two dozen programs to date. Our varied list of guests has included Mary Roach, E.O.Wilson, Temple Grandin, Buzz Aldrin, Chris Hadfield, Dan Fagin, Marcus Chown, and Lynn Sherr. All episodes are permanently available at Read Science. One place we publicize activities is on our Facebook page,
“Read Science!” is video series of conversations about science and communicating science. Our goal is to encourage general readers to read more about science and discover more about critical, analytical thinking. Hosts Joanne Manaster and Jeff Shaumeyer prefer a casual, conversational format. We talk with one or more authors about the subject of their writing to launch a wide-ranging discussion on broader topics of science literacy and communication.
CSPAN BookTV or NPR are wonderful places to promote your books, and we hope you will be privileged in doing so. At Read Science, we pride ourselves on providing you a longer time to talk about your book and about science communication in general. Sometimes we have roundtable discussions with multiple authors who have written on similar topics. We also enjoy having your artist, photographer or co-author included in the conversation, because we believe these factors are essential in helping you get your message across.
Programs last from 45 to 60 minutes, with approximately 15 minutes in the “green room” beforehand to get acquainted and check on any technical problems. As of 2020, we will record the programs using Streamyard. This requires no software download for the guest, just joining us at a link. Using this software means we don’t have to be in the same location. With Streamyard, our show will livestream on the Read Science facebook page and the Read Science youtube page, becoming archived permanently on youtube for future reference.
First, via email, all participants in the program will agree on a time to participate. Traditionally, but not exclusively, we have had our hangouts on Tuesdays or Thursdays at midday Eastern time, but we want to work with YOUR schedule the best we can, so your suggestions are welcome! Plan for slightly over an hour in total for the program, but if you are sure that you can only spare 30 minutes, then that is what we will work with.
If you have never participated in a streaming program before, guests can join us on any browser.
Guests will need to have a web cam, a microphone, and an internet connection; broadband internet connections will give the best quality video recording. Ear buds, ear phones, or some other in-ear listening device, rather than the computer’s speakers, will eliminate echo problems. Try to pick a place with good lighting as well so you look your best.
Joanne or Jeff will happily try a test run with guests who want to check on operations before a scheduled hangout. This generally only takes 10 minutes the day before (or earlier in the day). The more tentative you are about technology in general, the more highly recommended this step is. We will arrange a time for this via email.
On the day of the hangout, between 20-30 minutes ahead of airtime, Joanne or Jeff will send notification that we are waiting. This will come via a link that will be sent to you by email. Just click on that link and you will be joining the live stream.
We will make introductions and check settings, lighting, and sound during this pre-show time which will NOT be airing live at this time. We will help you add your name to the bottom of the screen and explain other features such as chat and the Q & A app if that was not covered in a test run the day before.
When we are ready and arrive at the time for the programming, the person who set up the live stream (usually Joanne) will press the button that only she can see that says “Start Broadcast” and you will see an indicator that the program is “On Air”, at which time it is visible to the public.
If we have enabled the Q & A app, the audience may submit questions by typing them in at the Google Event page. Joanne or Jeff may ask questions from this section. Additionally, there is a chat box that only members of the hangout can see where we can chat among ourselves if we like.
The format is relaxed and conversational. We’ve really enjoyed all of our conversations and find we often have much more to talk about than we have time to do so. We’ve had dogs and cats appear on screen, phones ring, etc. No need to be embarrassed, the live element adds to the charm of the event!
We will end the hangout after about an hour (or the agreed upon length) when Joanne presses the “End Broadcast” button. The “On Air” button will turn off.
At this time, the event will be live on the Read Science! Youtube channel and on to the Read Science Facebook page. It will be stored as a video and also as an audio podcast. We will send you the link shortly after the broadcast for promotional purposes.
A few factors, such as the time and date and the general interest in the author or book, come into play here. Past programs have had from about a dozen to 100s of viewers for the live broadcast. The real value is in the archive on youtube, where we accumulate more views.
View numbers on the Read Science! youtube page can be deceiving because these videos originate on other youtube channels, either Joanne’s or Scientific American’s, so the total views would be the sum from two pages. This system may be amended at a future date. If you look at past event pages, you may see a section that indicates how many people watched the hangout. These numbers represent those who RSVP’d in the positive that they would watch, and the actual number who watched may be higher or lower than that.
Joanne will create a virtual poster like the ones below:
Then, we then share the event on social media far and wide several times ahead of the event. You will most likely be tagged in these shares so feel free to retweet and share the announcement yourself.
Once the event is done, we point people to the video so those who couldn’t join us live can watch it at a later date.
Once you have been a Read Science! guest, we keep a close eye on what you do, and if you have another book or article out or are recognized for some accolade, we announce these on our venues, too. We delight in sharing anything that helps to promote science writers and their works in order to encourage the general public to read along with us.
Joanne Manaster (@ScienceGoddess on twitter) is a cell biologist, on the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. Formerly a blogger at Scientific American (“PsiVid”), she is widely known for sharing her enthusiasm for science on social media, through book reviews, and on her website “Joanne Loves Science”.
Jeff Shaumeyer (@Scienticity on twitter) is an experimental physicist who has worked in academic research (University of Maryland), been Project Scientist for a Space Shuttle experiment, wrote test software for a new Hubble Space Telescope computer, developed a satellite-communications network to collect data from oceanographic buoys, and now shares his enthusiasm for science through “Read Science!” and the nonprofit Ars Hermeneutica, Limited, which he founded in 2004.
After knowing each other virtually for years, they finally met in person in November 2014.