Science will need safe havens to sustain enquiry and collaboration

Science will need safe havens to sustain enquiry and collaboration

The recently proposed budget cuts to US government agencies engaged in climate research are only the latest in a series of assaults against science in public life.  As the pressure mounts, the “public space” for open scientific debate, enquiry and dialogue, will be constricted.  Scientists and researchers will need protected spaces where they can share evidence and exchange ideas.

Welcome to Sofoi!

Hi, welcome to Sofoi!

We created Sofoi because we were becoming increasingly frustrated with popular social media platforms.

On the one hand, social media has demonstrated it has huge potential to do good: it has revolutionised our ability to connect and communicate, and it is bursting through barriers erected to silence.  On the other hand, we don’t think social media is living up to its full potential in what we believe can be one of its greatest contributions to mankind:  enabling the spread of knowledge and good ideas.

By trying to acquire the largest possible number of users, popular platforms mix family, friends, acquaintances and work contacts indiscriminately, leading to a downward spiral in the quality of content.  Much of the content dominating social media has become, to put it bluntly, trivial.  There are only so many cat videos and travel photos one can stomach!    To make matters worse, social streams are becoming increasing polluted by a deluge of advertisements and sponsored posts.

As a consequence, if you’re an expert in a particular academic or scientific discipline, you’ll probably think twice before posting something remotely intellectual or scientific.  At best, your idea will be completely ignored, at worst you might be labeled a pedant by a jealous high school connection you haven’t seen in 20 years.

Don’t get us wrong, we think popular social media has an important role, and, for better or for worse, will continue to be the dominant online medium for quite some time.  However, we believe there’s room in the online world for a social platform that doesn’t just cater to the lowest common denominator, and that contains high quality content that is both relevant and credible.  We believe that social media can improve the sharing of ideas, and thus contribute to addressing some of the greatest global challenges faced by humanity such as climate change, food security, energy and poverty.

This is why we decided to create a platform that is highly dynamic and social yet insulated from the din and babel of popular social networks.  We called our platform Sofoi, meaning “sages” in ancient Greek, because it provides a space where the modern equivalent can share information and insights, secure in the knowledge that they will be in the company of like-minded individuals from leading universities, research centres and think tanks.

Join us on Sofoi if you think social media should be more than just travel photos and pet videos, and become part of an exclusive community of experts.