RESEARCHER: Dr. Carl Whithaus, UC Davis, 2021
• SPLASH! is a bi-monthly e-newsletter that highlight important scientific articles on milk science, the dairy industry, and nutrition.
• SPLASH! is read in every major city in the world, with over 60% of readers coming from outside the United States.
• SPLASH! connects researchers across areas of specialty and expertise, often inspiring novel research and concepts.
BACKGROUND, OBJECTIVES, FINDINGS AND OUTCOMES
The rapid pace of scientific progress makes it challenging to keep up with the most recent topics in milk science and human health. In 2021, there were 22,000 new scientific articles published or indexed in the major medical and agricultural databases with the keyword “milk.” SPLASH! helped researchers and industry experts keep up to date with the latest topics by providing a bi-monthly e-newsletter that highlighted important scientific articles. Content is written to be accessible to non-specialists, while still engaging and informative for academics and industry professionals.
An additional objective of SPLASH! was to provide support for the International Milk Genomics Consortium (IMGC), which is an international collaboration dedicated to the advancement of milk and dairy sciences. Each year, the IMGC hosts an annual symposium and other educational opportunities for researchers, communicators, and educators in a variety of disciplines related to milk, lactation, and human health.
Analysis of web user data showed that SPLASH! was read in every major city in the world, with over 60% of visitors coming from outside the United States. In 2021, SPLASH! published two dozen compelling short articles that translated findings from notable scientific publications into engaging and accessible pieces for a non-expert audience. This type of science communication is essential for bridging the gap between researchers, industry, and the public.
SPLASH! brought attention to several emerging topics of interest in milk science, the dairy industry, and human nutrition. For example, newsletters covered: how milk and animal-sourced foods may contribute to low-cost, nutritious, and environmentally sustainable diets; a discussion of how dairy milk and plant-based milk impact dental health; a take on a genomic analysis of modern-day African cattle and its implications for improving cattle productivity; and evidence that mothers vaccinated for COVID-19 produce antibodies in their milk that could provide protection for their infants.
SPLASH! is a highly accessible e-newsletter that informs the dairy industry, academics, and non-specialists about ongoing work in milk and dairy science in a clearly written, public venue for a wide audience. In 2021, SPLASH! continued to grow their readership and increase their access through social media platforms.