19 February 2010

DoD Adds Blog to Military Science Dialogue

Science has seized the popular imagination. There are magazines, popular books, Web sites, webcasts, blogs, documentary films, and even television channels devoted to science and technology.

The practical applications of science and technology also can be found in almost every aspect of military operations, a topic that is discussed in great detail in the award-winning weekly webcast "Armed with Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military," produced by the Defense Media Activity.

The popularity of the Armed with Science webcast in its first year has prompted the Defense Media Activity to expand its on-line presence. A new Armed with Science blog, http://science.dodlive.mil, premiered in late January. The new blog includes articles, archived webcast episodes, transcripts, images, and videos.

"Expanding into the blogosphere will allow us to develop a dialogue between our listeners and the scientists, engineers, operators and administrators who are involved in DoD science," said Brian Natwick, general manager of The Pentagon Channel and acting director of DoD's Emerging Media Directorate. The new blog will provide a better forum to highlight the critical role of science and technology in military operations, Natwick said, while demonstrating how research conducted to meet military requirements often benefits society as a whole.

Les Benito, director of the Defense Media Activity's Public Web Directorate, said the blog also will provide an opportunity to experiment with emerging social technologies and implement strategies that better engage the public. It will bolster a social media portfolio that already includes efforts on Twitter, Facebook, and BlogTalkRadio.

"We hope to develop a more user-centric and interactive Web site that evolves over time to meet the needs of our audience," Benito said. "Consider this is an experiment in progress."

John Ohab, a new technology strategist at the Defense Media Activity's Public Web Directorate and host of the weekly webcast, said the blog will place specific emphasis on the men and women who are involved in research, development, and education at the Defense Department. By focusing on their individual stories, Ohab hopes the blog will help break down traditional myths about science and technology that hinder some people from pursuing related careers.

"Science isn't just for scientists," Ohab said. "Not only does science and technology help make our servicemembers safer and more effective, they also impact virtually everything we do in civilian life."

(By Ian Graham, Special to American Forces Press Service. Ian Graham is assigned to Defense Media Activity's Emerging Media Directorate)
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