Why we should March for Science

By Ali and Jess

Five reasons YOU should March for Science TOMORROW:

  1. You believe that government decisions should be guided by facts and evidence. March for Informed Public Policy!
  2. To say no to restrictions being placed on scientists communicating their research, as we are currently seeing in the U.S. Show your support for Open Communication of Knowledge!
  3. For Stable Science Investment, for security in our future jobs!
  4. For a science informed future and a well-informed community. We need kids to learn and love science, they are the future! We need Universal STEM Literacy!
  5. Finally, science is our tool to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems; it is worth marching for!

Continue reading “Why we should March for Science”

RSES Writing Retreat at Kioloa

By Jess

At the end of November a group of PhD students from RSES headed to ANU’s coastal campus in Kioloa for the first RSES writing retreat.

As expected of a ‘writing’ retreat, a lot of us were writing, but there were also people reading, coding, making figures – any work that can be done from a laptop.

The days had timetabled writing sessions, which were structured in 25 minute long pomodoros1 with 5 minute breaks, and longer stops for morning/afternoon tea and lunch. Working in short intensive sessions with regular breaks really helped to keep focused, and with everyone on the retreat keen to get work done, there was a good sense of solidarity.

Concentration during a writing session (Photo: Jennifer Prichard)

Continue reading “RSES Writing Retreat at Kioloa”

An unhelpful post on time management

By Jess

So this morning I stumbled on this cartoon:


And it illustrated exactly what I feel like at the moment.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only PhD student feeling like this at the moment.

Continue reading “An unhelpful post on time management”

Scientists reviewing media: a way forward for climate science communication?

By Jess

Could there be anything more frustrating to a climate scientist than an educated, seemingly reasonable person declare they don’t believe in climate change?

To me it feels a bit like this:cartoon

The science is now overwhelmingly clear on climate change; it is happening and humans are responsible. Yet, in 2013 60% of Australians thought that ‘there are too many conflicting opinions for the public to be sure about climate change’ (The Climate Institute, 2013).

It seems like we are back to the good old science communication problem.

Continue reading “Scientists reviewing media: a way forward for climate science communication?”

Did we just escape an ice age?

By Jess

According to a recent study¹, Earth has narrowly missed entering into a new glacial. And the reason why? COlevels were too high.

But the CO2 that ‘saved’ us from a rather more icy existence is not the product of the mass burning of fossil fuels you are probably thinking of now. The CO2 we are talking about here was already in the atmosphere before the industrial revolution began (~1850).

Continue reading “Did we just escape an ice age?”

Pizza, Pasta and Paleoclimate

By Jess

Every year the Italian city of Urbino plays host to the Urbino Summer School in Paleoclimatology (USSP), bringing students from all over the world together to learn from some of the leading scientists in the field.

So this July Rose and I said a sad (ha!) goodbye to the Canberrean winter and got on our flights to join USSP 2015 for the Italian summer. Continue reading “Pizza, Pasta and Paleoclimate”

“Let me tell you about my trouble with girls…”

By Jess

“Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab; you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them, they cry!”

These are the words of Nobel Prize winner and Royal Society member Sir Tim Hunt at the World Conference of Science Journalists in South Korea earlier this week; at a lunch hosted by women scientists, no less. Continue reading ““Let me tell you about my trouble with girls…””

Public Speaking – Facing my Fears

By Jess

Everyone has listened to people who are exceptional public speakers. When they stand up to talk they appear perfectly at ease, they hold the audience’s attention and convey exactly what they want with a confidence that leaves little room for people to doubt them.

These speakers appear to have been born with this superpower, while on the other end of the spectrum are other people, like me, who most definitely weren’t. Continue reading “Public Speaking – Facing my Fears”

All that you can learn from mud

By Jess

My research is in paleoclimate, which involves looking for clues in the world around us and putting these clues together to investigate past climatic changes and build a picture of the way Earth used to be. It’s a bit like being a detective (well at least it is in my maybe slightly overactive imagination).

Slightly less glamorous is that all of the clues I am looking at for my research are found in mud that has been buried under the Mediterranean Sea for thousands if not millions of years. Continue reading “All that you can learn from mud”

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