For this month’s #scicommchall, let’s do concept cartoons!
The idea is that in a concept cartoon, the sketch of a situation is given, along with a couple of people who each give a statement explaining the situation. For example on the topic of whether a sundial can be used in both hemispheres, the characters state things like “yes, you just have to position it the other way round”, “yes, if you swap the numbers”, “no, because the sun moves in the opposite direction”, “it will work, but with a 12 hour offset”.
This can then be used to support discussions: Since many possible misconceptions are made explicit on the sketch itself, it is easy for people to identify with one of the answers and explain why they think that it is the correct one. It is also useful to use answers to argue against or to use them as a starting point for experiments or literature research, or to talk about your topic with an audience you suspect might harbour some of those misconceptions.
So let’s go: Show us an interesting question related to your science in a concept cartoon!
In March, we are developing concept cartoons. They are perfect to get people discussing, since they give several common answers to a question and people have to explain why some of them are valid while others are not.
In Sara’s case, the question is “why are water striders able to walk on water?” and answers include “because they are so light”, “because they distribute their weight”, “because of their long legs”, “because of surface tension”, “because they re so fast”. What do you think? Why can water striders walk on water? And how would you use concept cartoons for your own topic?
If your work was an animal, which one would it be and why? That’s what Sinikka answered for February’s scicommchall! She writes:
“My work is like an octopus: it…
… is changing its color from time to time,
… is tackling 8 different tasks simultaneously,
… and leaves behind a large amount of ink.”
For February’s #scicommchall, Nena writes:
“My work is like the little blue and glittering rainbow fish,
colourful like the biodiversity I experience daily again and again,
lively like the nature I am working in,
glimmering like the eyes of children they discover the live around them,
friendly like the people I am allowed to speak every day!”
Love it! What would your work be if it was an animal?
Sinikka took on December’s #scicommchall to look at her subject from all sides. She writes:
New position, new topic: I am now studying carbon-containing molecules
in the ocean (“dissolved organic matter” or “DOM”). The December Scicomm
challenge comes handy to get to know my new topic from all sides.
For an observer at the beach, DOM might change the color of the water,
as it contains many molecules that absorb light.
For bacteria, it is a tasty meal.
Slightly larger (and much larger!) animals in the ocean excrete DOM.
For me as a scientist, it is an astonishing mixture of hundreds of
thousands of different molecules (and we’re still wondering why there is
so much DOM, when bacteria could just eat it all).
For the atmosphere, it is a great way to store carbon from fossil fuel
burning, so the carbon isn’t present as the greenhouse gas CO2 in the air.
For the climate, it is an important carbon reservoir, which potentially
was responsible for warm (little carbon stored in the ocean) and cold
(much carbon stored in the ocean) periods in the history of our planet.
February’s #scicommchall is brought to you by Nena:
If your work was an animal, which one would it be and why?
Excited like a mating cock? Clever like a red fox? Like ants – looking chaotic but more organized we can imagine?
During remembering a talk of a professor last year, the #SciCommChall for February was born. He was asking his pupils “If maths was an animal, which one would it be and why”. One girl was answering “Maths is like a spider, just hit down”. Another little child compared math with a lion “full of respect”. Interesting was the answer of a boy who said “Math for me it’s like a hippo, first you are scared and later you are fascinated”.
So, take up the challenge in work and live and tell us which animal is reflecting your work!
Still not inside an elevator, but now that I have my elevator pitch down to short and sweet (and really only 30 seconds if you don’t watch the contact stuff in the end), maybe I will be able to manage to film it without being interrupted like I was the previous dozen attempts…
Now it’s your turn! Share your elevator pitch with us! (And don’t worry, you can always “upgrade” it later, like I am doing here!)
Here is a very cool example of an elevator pitch for January’s #scicommchall, sung by Sara Siebert.
Normal elevators are boring, she has done those for last year’s #dayofscience challenge already… Now without further ado:
Follow Sara on Instagram @FrauWissenschaft or Twitter @Sara_Siebert to find out more about water striders, immersive media, science education and communication, and how all those go together!
January’s #scicommchall of doing an elevator pitch is a lot more challenging than we thought, so I am sharing one here that I am really not 100% happy with (doesn’t actually capture the essence of what I do, too long, not in an elevator [although I did try — see a video with outtakes over on my blog]), and publicly pledge to come up with a better one before the end of the month and post it here. Because I would really like to have a good elevator pitch ready for the next time I meet someone in an elevator, and to link to it for everyone interested in what I do!
Anyway, here we go:
Now it’s your turn! What does your elevator pitch look like?
Since November’s #scicommchall was great as a challenge that I am still excited about. But since nobody (including myself) chose to post their results, we are trying again! And I am herewith officially committing to filming mine tomorrow! How about you?
Do join me in sharing your excitement for your work in January’s #scicommchall:
Share your elevator pitch with us! In 30 seconds or less, what do you do? Why is it exciting? Why should people care?
Grab your phone and make a quick movie of yourself, giving your elevator pitch. Share it on your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, website, wherever you like. And let us share it for you so the world can get excited about your work, too! 🙂