From Brexit to (Gareth) Bale, dinosaurs to social death, June was our busiest month ever for The Conversation both in terms of published articles and readership.
In the one month alone, nearly three quarters of a million people around the world read content authored by our academics and 14 new articles – roughly one every other day – were published.
June’s spike in traffic was driven to a large extent by one article, published towards the end of the month, by Dr Nick Longrich (Milner Centre for Evolution, Department of Biology & Biochemistry) which has already become our most read article ever, having been seen by 383,410 people.
How and where Conversation articles are republished is the key factor in determining their readership stats. Among many other sites to have picked up on Nick’s article, ‘The top six dinosaur myths and how we busted them’, IFL Science ran it which engaged a huge US audience. Over half its readership came from the US.
Bend it like Bale or bail it like Boris
Dinosaurs aside, June also saw a new article from Dr Ken Bray (Senior Visiting Fellow, Department of Mechanical Engineering) on the aerodynamics of the perfect free kick – published to coincide with the knock-out stages in the Euros and the progress of the Welsh national squad. Ken’s article has already been read by close to 20,000 and has been republished in India, Russia as well as closer to home for MailOnline.
Professor Charlie Lees (Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies) became one of our most prolific authors, providing quick turnaround responses to the EU referendum and its impact on the Conservative and Labour parties as well as the botched leadership bid from Boris Johnson.
Charlie’s three articles in June were read by a worldwide audience of nearly 30,000 and republished on prominent new websites, such as Newsweek. His latest article ‘Boris bails – or are we falling for another trick from magic Johnson?’ – was used in full in this Saturday’s i newspaper.
Other popular Conversation articles concerning the referendum included Dr Richard Fairchild’s (School of Management) ‘Game theory offers a better way forward in Britain’s EU drama’ and comments from Professor Bill Durodie (POLIS) in response to the vote to leave on the morning of Friday 24 June. Bill was also the first Bath academic to take part in The Conversation’s new podcast series The Anthill: ‘Brexit special’.
If you’re feeling referendumed-out, by the way, don’t miss Luke Cahill (PhD, POLIS) contribution to ‘Beyond Brexit, the world’s still turning: global stories you might have missed’.
Lightbulb moments, tackling cancer and social death
In among everything else, three other significant articles were published in June including Dr Momna Hejmadi’s (Cancer Research at Bath, Department of Biology & Biochemistry) ‘Why do some cancers suddenly disappear?’, Professor Alison Walker’s (Department of Physics) ‘Why you should get ready to say goodbye to the humble lightbulb’ and Jana Králová’s (PhD, Centre for Death & Society, Department of Social & Policy Sciences) ‘Why we need to find a cure for ‘social death’.
Momna’s article was republished across the world, including in the New Zealand Herald and has so far reached over 160,000 people. Alison’s article – timed to coincide with the announcement of new Horizon 2020 funding - has seen wide coverage with 33,310 reads and also been republished on the influential World Economic Forum – Agenda. Jana’s article complements her recent entry for our Images of Research competition ‘In loving memory…’.
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