Marie Boran is a PhD researcher in the School of Communications, having joined the school in October 2014. Marie came to DCU after undertaking a research masters at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, National University of Ireland, Galway, where she examined the role of social media in the third level research dissemination. Prior to this she completed an MSc in Science Communication at DCU.
Her background is in journalism including several years working for technology news website SiliconRepublic.com. She contributes regularly to the Irish Times.
Marie’s PhD project examines the effect of below-the-line comments and comment culture on science journalism: “When Popular Science closed down the comments section of its website in 2013, this decision was justified by the statement that ‘comments can be bad for science.’ The online content director Suzanne LaBarre backed up her claim by citing a study demonstrating that uncivil comments can have a polarising effect on the reader.
“I’d like to know how uncivil comments affect the journalists who write these stories, and if there are solutions to encouraging civil, democratic debates in the comments section, perhaps with the role of the journalist adapting to encourage positive interactions.”