Drawing our motivation: “Science isn’t finished until it’s communicated” by Sir Mark Walport

The other day, I wanted to draw a cover graphic for a networking event for online science communicators, but needed a quote for inspiration that would also set the tone for the event. And I am so happy I found exactly that!

What would it look like if you were to draw your motivation for your research or scicomm or any other project you are currently working on? Join September’s #scicommchall and show us!

Mirjam illustrates a quote that motivates her in her work

One of Mirjam‘s favourite ocean-related quotes is by oceanographer Dr. Miriam Goldstein “The ocean is strong and powerful and it likes to rip things up” (check out the link for a great post by Dr. Clark Richards for scientific context), here illustrated for September’s #scicommchall.

What quote inspires you in the context of your work, and how could you illustrate it? Let us know! 🙂

September’s #SciCommChall: Draw what your project means to you!

For many of us, there is a strong emotional connection with the topic of our project, and sometimes we hear quotes that just resonate with us.

For example, I recently heard “you are not a drop in the ocean, but the ocean in a drop”, and that quote really moved me on several levels because it doesn’t only relate to what I do, but also how I want to be doing it, and it inspired the drawing you see above.

For September’s #scicommchall:

Find a quote related to your project and come up with (a sketch for) an illustration of that quote!

Bonus points if there is a scicomm message embedded in the quote and illustration 😉

It doesn’t have to be elaborate or perfect — it’s the idea that counts, and the inspiration that you draw from doing this. It’s definitely working for me!

Alice’s #LOLmythesis for July’s #scicommchall

Alice replied to this month’s #LOLmythesis scicommchall on her (brilliant!) Instagram by posting the picture above and the text below:
“This months #scicommchall is all about summarizing your work, project or thesis in one sentence. It’s all about trivializing the most important thing you’re doing right now. If you think it’s sad that I can sum up my thesis in one sentence and it sounds stupid then you’re probably right. But I do hope that you realize that there is so much more to it then just this one sentence. I like how this challenge lightened up my view of my thesis.
And by the way: teachers entering a professional development course on using IBL as a means to address diversity already have strong beliefs about the topic. This is why it’s so hard to change their beliefs. What a surprise.
#phdlife #phdjourney #LOLmythesis #scicomm#sciencecommunication #tuesdaythoughts #womeninstem #womeninscience #teacherbeliefs #scienceeducationresearch”

Your project in one sentence? Go! #LOLmythesis

It’s always good to be able to say what your thesis (or project, or whatever you are working on) is about in one single sentence. Especially if that sentence is hilarious, it’ll make people want to know more about what to do! So:

it’s time for a #LOLmythesis challenge!

For inspiration, I can totally recommend a quick google search!

Alice shares how she’s always on the lookout for phenomena that excite her

For the #makingitallaboutmytopic challenge, Alice shares how she’s always on the lookout for phenomena that excite her:

“Every year during the last week of June, there‘s the Kiel Week. And on the sports field really close to my home, the balloons start and land and there’s a show five times during the week. Yesterday, I’ve been there for the first time and loved it!

But while watching the show, I noticed something I wanted to see all month: take a look at the sky behind the balloons! These noctilucent clouds are just beautiful. Funny enough they are not really clouds but ice crystals being highlighted by the setting sun in such an angle, that the sun has set a couple of hours before but is still shining on the ice crystals in the upper atmosphere of Earth. I was so excited about this phenomenon that I almost instantly had to talk to my friends who were there with me and just wanted to enjoy the show. I explained them how these clouds aren’t visible in daylight, as they are the highest and faintest of all clouds, located about 80km above the Earth.

I almost instantly had to think of this month’s #scicommchall. This is something I recently developed and that has not always been there. Looking out for phenomena that excite me and trying to explain them has especially come from my #experimentalfriday series and I enjoy this new look on the world a lot. I hope you do too.”

Making it all about your topic: Breathing!

Sinikka is one of the people who can easily relate to June’s #makingitallaboutmytopic challenge. She writes:

“We all know we need oxygen to breathe. Where does the oxygen come from? From the trees and plants around us, sure. But this is only half of the story (or, half of the oxygen, in that case). The other half comes from tiny little algae everywhere in the ocean. As the “trees of the sea”, they produce just as much oxygen by photosynthesis as  plants do on land. So remember: Every second breath you take is thanks to the tiny algae in the ocean!”

June’s #scicommchall: Making it all about your topic

Are you one of the people who manages to make everything about your topic? Every movie you watch, every dish you eat, every piece of jewellery you wear? Then the #makingitallaboutmytopic scicommchall is for you!

Tell us: How do you make ordinary things you come across in your daily life about the one very specific thing you are scientifically interested in? Give us an example that always baffles people who don’t know you well and that your friends and family send you references to because you have infected them with your bug already and they know that when you see x, you will absolutely think of y!

P.S.: As an example: for me, a trip to Berlin consists of sightseeing with a twist: Watching wave pattern in front of monuments! Like so: Bow waves of a duck and a ship in front of the German Parliament!

A really cool giveaway for scicomm: scientific bookmarks by Nena!

Nena came up with a super cute giveaway that serves a scicomm purpose (that was April’s scicommchall). She writes:

“Scientific Bookmaks helps you to find the most intresting topics in a reference book you need for your studies or you just read because its fun. Sometimes there are several places in a book you want to find again and so you always need bookmarks. And when there bookmarks, with some little information and nice pictures, you get to know some new species and facts. And for kids, they can sample the bookmarks of the different topics.”

Don’t you just love how she included where to punch the hole so you can add a tassel to the bookmark? What would you give away for your project?

Nena’s concept cartoon on fire salamanders

Nena came up with this really cool concept cartoon for March’s #scicommchall! She writes:

“Fire salamanders are animals full of legends. There are a lot of stories which tell about the naming about the beautiful amphibian. Some people though fire salamanders are not able to burn or they even are able to ignited a fire. Other people just believe they wake up if there is a fire going on or because of his cnspicious coloring. And again other people believed, they can delete  fire with their skin secretion. In fact, all these myth are a little bit the truth. Fire salamanders always come out of their hiding places if it is getting warm. And in former times, it just getting warm with fire. So there was a big connection between fire and the pop up of fire salamanders.”