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! 🙂

Motion cards for wave watching

Mirjam writing about giveaways that also work as scicomm props for April’s scicommchall:

One of my scicomm foci is wave watching: looking at the water and trying to figure out why the waves look exactly the way they do. What caused them? The wind, ships, animals? What’s the influence of the shape of the coastline or the depth distribution? That kind of stuff.

In order to discuss these kinds of questions, it’s useful to visualize wave crests (or troughs) in pictures, so everybody is talking about the same things, which is surprisingly difficult when you look at a moving water surface.

I like to annotate pictures and create gifs for my blog (like the one below) to then be able to explain things, but I am thinking that a motion card (you know? The kind of card that shows two or more pictures depending on the angle you look at them at) might be a fun way to show a similar thing. It would be small enough to carry with me to give to people at e.g. conferences, or cheap to send to people per (snail-) mail. People might like to put it up at their pin boards at work, or have it on their desks, or even send it to other people because it’s fun. And I think it could be intriguing enough that people would follow a link to read more about what’s displayed on the card and about wave watching in general. So it would be a way to get people curious about everyday physics.

What do you think? Would it work on you?

An elevator-less elevator pitch for #scicommchall. Now it’s your turn! :-)

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!)

January’s #scicommchall: Mirjam shares an elevator pitch!

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?

Mirjam’s #scicommbookforkids for #scicommchall

A #scicommbookforkids for September’s #scicommchall on learning to observe the wind direction.

This is what the book looks like post coloring, but pre folding:

And this is what the finished book looks like:

Download available below (German & English) if you like it!

Do you think it can help kids with learning where the wind comes from (and why anyone should want to know)? I am curious what you (and your kids) think! 🙂

Click to download

What does the Kiel Science Outreach Campus do if described with only the 1000 most commonly used words?

The Kiel Science Outreach Campus (KiSOC) can be described using only the 1000 most common words! Would you understand what the project is about if you only read this text`

Click to enlarge (Thanks Theo Sanderson and xkcd!)

For comparison, here is the first paragraph of our homepage in the #up-goer five text editor to show all of the words that are not allowed…

Click to enlarge (Thanks Theo Sanderson and xkcd!)

How are you doing with this month’s #scicommchall? We are looking forward to seeing your results! 🙂

“Thing to figure out a lot of water” — can you explain your research using only the most common 1000 words?

Mirjam here:

Since I hadn’t tried the August #SciCommChall before challenging the world, and had the chance to hang out do some work on a research ship today (and thus took this picture), I had to give the challenge a shot right away. And I can only recommend you try it, too, it is SO MUCH FUN!

I went from “ocean” (not permitted) to “sea” (not permitted) to “big lake” (“lake” not permitted) to “big puddle” (“puddle” not permitted) to “a lot of water”. And then from “cable” to “rope”, “string”, “yarn”, “long thing”. I suspect that it’s a case of practice makes perfect and that it will get better next time I try. And I will definitely try again, because, as I said, it is SO MUCH FUN! 🙂

How is this challenge working for you?

P.S.: If you want to know how we describe this thing if we can use more words than just those 1000, check out the brilliant movie that Sindre Skrede made 5 years ago already!

Click to enlarge

A #SciPoem for July’s #SciCommChall!

Mirjam writing:

How are all your #SciPoems for July’s #SciCommChall coming along? I was lucky enough to attend a three-day workshop on #SciencePoems with Sam Illingworth (definitely check out his blog: A new #SciencePoem every week!) the first half of this week, and this is one of 6 poems that I wrote. I mainly picked this one to post here because I had a nice picture to go with it and to show that the bar for calling something a #SciencePoem doesn’t have to be terribly high 😉