August #SciCommChall: Describe your research using only the most common 1000 words!

The idea for August’s #SciCommChall is borrowed from the xkcd webcomic, specifically from their comic “Up Goer Five” (see below) which displays a technical drawing of a space craft “explained using only the ten hundred words people use the most often”.

Click to enlarge. Credit XKCD comic “Up Goer Five”:

And that is exactly what we are going to do this month, too:

Annotate a picture that shows what your work is all about, a diagram of the mechanisms you are researching, a drawing of the instrument you are using, or write a short story.

But: you can only use words from a list of the 1000 most common words in the English language!

Does that sound challenging? Good! 🙂

There is even a website ( that helps you do that by providing a text editor in which you can type your text and it tells you which words you are using that aren’t part of the most common 1000 words. This is so much fun! I typed in “testing complexity” just for, you know, testing complexity, and both words are not permitted. So I am super curious how you will describe your work! 🙂

Sustainably observe the ocean: A #SciPoem about the AtlantOS project!

Sandra Ketelhake wrote a #scipoem about the project AtlantOS*, which aims at optimising and enhancing the Integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing Systems and I am so excited that she submitted it to July’s #SciCommChall! 🙂

Find out more about AtlantOS in her poem:

Click to enlarge


*The AtlantOS project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 633211

Core history — a #scipoem by Niall Firth

Do you need more inspiration for July’s #SciCommChall — writing a #SciPoem?

Then I have a treat for you!

“Core history” by Niall Firth (@niallfirth on Twitter) was written for ice alive (@icealivetweets on Twitter, @icealiveinsta on Instagram), an organization that “aims to bridge science and art to explore the coldest parts of our planet”.

I loved this poem so much and I am very grateful I got permission to share it on #SciCommChall! It’s one of a series of six — go check out the rest, too! 🙂

Jellyfish for breakfast — Judith explains what to do when you get stung by a jellyfish!

Judith came up with a neat contribution for the “Science on the breakfast table” #scicommchall. Can you imagine the milk carton series — some showing you different types of jellyfish, and then others explaining what to do when you get stung? This would be really convenient when you are having breakfast in the sunshine outside of your tent right before you run down to the beach to play in the water…

Go check out what to do if you are unlucky enough to run into a jellyfish — over at Judith’s Instagram @judith_schidlo! 🙂

Nena’s #SciCommChall: Organizing a museum collection

Nena is sharing another “science on the breakfast table” idea with us:

Can you find the same species in the insect box?
Collections are the heart of a museum. To be able to overlook the over hundreds or even thousands of species, you have to establish order. Here you can see how we create a “bee-mess” into a “bee-system”. The same species, which can be make up based on colour, shape and patterns, were put together and related species were attached to them in the same insect box. Every specie is getting a number and this number is listed in a small book for this certain “bee-collection”.


Nena’s LOLmythesis for #SciCommChall: Invasive species edition!

What happens when Japanese crabs sail into the North Sea and Baltic Sea?

Nena writes:

Invasive species were transported by humans into foreign habitats. This can happen for example with ships, were crabs are sitting on the body of the ship or their planktonic stages were carried far away through ballast water. What happened with the native ecosystem, the native species and the marine environment, if an invasive crab species were introduced from Japan into the Baltic Sea? This question is a big topic in the field of global transportations over sea, environmental protection, biodiversity, and in my master thesis 🙂

Translation: “What happens when Japanese crabs sail into the North Sea and Baltic Sea?”

Crabs and their habitat — Nena’s brilliant contribution to #SciCommChall!

Nena has come up with a new, amazing contribution to #SciCommChall: She created a riddle that can be used to engage young and old with crabs and their habitats. Do you know which crab belongs where? Hint: Look at sizes of legs and eyes, they give clues as to which habitat a crab might be happiest living in…

See the solution behind the cut! 🙂

Continue reading “Crabs and their habitat — Nena’s brilliant contribution to #SciCommChall!”