IU scientist plays role in discovery of ‘Jurassic butterflies’


Photo by Jim DiLoretto

IU paleobotanist David Dilcher contacted the IU Newsroom on Feb. 1 about his role as a co-author on a journal article in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B announcing the identification of an insect whose behavior and appearance resembled a butterfly’s, despite evolving 40 million years earlier than the modern butterfly.

The lead researchers on the work were located at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, which was developing a news release. IU Newsroom opted to put out a related blog post to highlight Dilcher’s important supporting role in the study, identifying the plants upon which the insect fed. The Smithsonian Institution’s press office was kept up-to-date about the development of the post through Dilcher.

On Feb. 3, the IU Newsroom uploaded the post, “IU scientist plays role in discovery of ‘Jurassic butterflies,’” to the IU Viewpoint’s “Science at Work” blog. A version of the post, which included a quote from Dilcher, was also submitted to EurekAlert, a news distribution service for science journalists. IU and the Smithsonian’s posts on the research appeared online within minutes of each another.

The first media outlet to pick up the announcement from IU was Motherboard, the science and technology channel of VICE Media. Their reporter also shared a link to the original IU Viewpoints blog story on twitter.

Other reporters, many of whom drew information and quotes from both the Smithsonian release and IU’s coverage, included:

In addition, the Science Channel shared the news in a tweet that garnered 61 likes and 49 shares. Other notable social shares included 93 likes and 32 shares on a tweet from Fox News; 45 likes and 38 shares on a tweet from Motherboard; and 326 likes and 71 shares on a post on the IU facebook page.

Early Corporate Ad Strategy Impacts Future Stock Prices, Brand Impact

Niket Jindal

Niket Jindal

The IU News and Media Team prepared a news release about research by Niket Jindal, assistant professor of marketing at IU’s Kelley School of Business . Jindal and colleagues at two other universities set out to understand why advertising had a favorable impact on the stock value of some companies but not others. A reporter at Media Post interviewed Jindal after receiving the news release and published the story, “Early Corporate Ad Strategy Impacts Future Stock Prices, Brand Impact.” The release also received coverage from the Indiana Daily Student and at (e) Science News, Science Blog, Science Codex and Phys.Org.

U.S. Powerball fever grips ticket buyers with prize at $1.4 billion

Peter Finn

Peter Finn

As Powerball fever heated up in early January with the jackpot approaching records of $900 million and then $1.4 billion, reporters contacted the IU News & Media Team for experts who could talk about why many who never play the lottery were buying tickets and about the psychology behind many people’s decisions.

Reporters from the Bloomington Herald-Times, the Indianapolis Star, Reuters and the Chicago Southtown were directed to Peter Finn, a professor in IU Bloomington’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Coverage included:

IU scientists create ‘nano-reactor’ for the production of hydrogen biofuel

On Dec. 3, the chair of the IU Bloomington Department of Chemistry reached out to the IU Newsroom about a paper recently accepted in the journal Nature Chemistry reporting the creation of an innovative new biomaterial (P22-HYD) for the production of hydrogen gas — a process with exciting potential for biofuel production.


Hydrogen-producing enzyme releases from the shell.

The IU Newsroom worked with the lead author of the paper, Trevor Douglas, to craft a news release that highlighted both the development of the material — created through a process of encapsulating a hydrogen-producing enzyme within the protective shell of a bacterial virus — as well as the ways in which the resulting product could represent a significant improvement in terms of cost and efficiency compared to current methods for producing hydrogen on the market.

Major news and web outlets to cover the story included

Additional media hits included the Headline & Global NewsStates Chronicle and Times of India.

The news also spread widely online, including both broad coverage on IU social media — garnering over 90 “likes” and 50 retweets from @IUBloomington,  @IUNewsroom, @IUAAChicago and @IUWorldwide, among other institutional accounts — as well as significant social sharing of the story via news outlets covering the story. Phys.org’s Twitter post of the IU news release, for example, earned nearly a 100 total “likes” and RTs.

In addition, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science Communication prominently featured the story as their first post of the new year under their official website’s “University Research” section at http://science.energy.gov.

Google Express brings faster delivery to South Bend area

John Talbott

John Talbott

On Dec. 18, a reporter for the South Bend Tribune was looking for an IU expert who could discuss Google Express, which offers same-day or overnight delivery and has expanded into parts of Indiana. He was referred to John Talbott, a senior lecturer of marketing at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Two days later, the article, “Google Express brings faster delivery to South Bend area,” ran, quoting Talbott.

The Force remains strong with Star Wars franchise

Paul Palmer Jr. II

Paul Palmer Jr. II

In early December, with the run-up to the new blockbuster “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” George Vlahakis of the IU News and Media Team identified a faculty member in Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business who had been deeply involved with merchandising of episodes I and II of the movie franchise. He interviewed Paul Palmer Jr., a lecturer in marketing and an MBA diversity coach, about his work with Hasbro on the “Star Wars” toy line and responded to media queries from the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury News.

On Dec. 9, an article based on the interview, “New ‘Star Wars’ movie awakens marketing memories for IU Kelley School faculty member,” was published at the IU Inc. blog site and broadly shared by IU social media. On Dec. 11, the San Francisco Chronicle article, “Will new ‘Star Wars’ movie stink? For sales, it doesn’t matter,” quoted Palmer. The story based on the blog was pitched to the Bloomington Herald-Times, which ran “The Force remains strong with Star Wars franchise,” a story partly about Palmer on Dec. 17.

Net neutrality rules to be argued in court

cherry_lOn Dec. 4, 10 months after the Federal Communications Commission passed its net neutrality rules, the agency defended them in a federal court. The IU News and Media Team, working with Finn Partners, pitched Barbara Cherry, a professor in The Media School at Indiana University, extensively to national media.

She co-authored the research paper that was relied upon by the FCC in reaching its order. She was quoted in the articles: