We have been locked inside the ship as heli ops are the order of the day. We are yet to retrieve the Director of the AAD and the world’s most enchanting penguin biologists, Louise and Colin, from Mawson’s Hut. So although we have transported many of our particularly important visitors to the nearby French station we can’t leave just yet……Well we could but it would be terribly unsporting of us.
This morning with all the activity of departure and some difficulties with the phone line, an interview with ABC radio’s Adelaide studio was handballed over to Dr Donna and myself. We weren’t entirely sure what they were going to ask us, and it was made all the more terrifying that is was live! I feel it went much better than the interview that was broadcast earlier in the voyage as I was able to talk about the science a little more, AS WELL as how ridiculously excited I am. Too much of the latter without the former makes me look like a bit of a ding bat.
Okay so wearing a Muppet beanie during the interview may not have helped my cause.
It’s a strange feeling dealing with the media, I feel our perception of one another is a little askew. Scientists are not all jargon slinging, sock and sandal wearing dinner conversation killers. (Mind you I am presently wearing AAD issued explorer socks and a particularly smashing pair of clogs, and I have been accused of talking about science too much). And conversely, the media are not always out to misquote, misinterpret and deride the academic that lacks media savvy. Unless it is Ben, and then that is exactly what he is doing (sorry Ben, you know I mean that in the nicest possible way). The problem is that as researchers we tend to speak our own language and when you speak it often enough you forget that everybody can’t understand it. I do believe I’ve posted this topic before so you’ll excuse me being repetitive. When you immerse yourself in something, and to be a good academic you rarely work from
9-5 for 5 days of the week, it can be said that we tend to lose touch with what is common knowledge. And so we rely on wonderful people like the ANU’s media office to help us discuss our science in an accessible and interesting manner. So for my own research, I am NOT allowed to talk about nitrogen isotope ratios from individual amino acids as an indicator of changing trophodynamic structure in response to anthropogenic perturbation, but I CAN tell you that ‘you are what you eat’ and that evidence of diet can help us understand how ecosystems are changing in response to climate change. So thank you Ian Henske from the ABC in Adelaide, it was a delight being interviewed and having the chance to talk about ocean acidification which is the focus of the research group I currently have the pleasure of working with.
This is Kelly of the Antarctic, signing off.