26 September 2011

This blog is no longer active

This blog is no longer active. Its author, Ph.D.-glaciologist-turned-science-writer-and-blogger Vivienne Raper, has shifted her focus to freelancing for news media and creative writing. Thank you, Vivienne, for your contributions to the AGU Blogosphere; we wish you the best in your new endeavors. The archive of this blog will continue to exist; links to its posts should remain intact. Please report any broken links to Peter Weiss (pweiss@agu.org).

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23 March 2011

Open Laboratory 2011 now available to buy!

Open Laboratory 2011 now available to buy!

Do you want to read some of the world’s best science blogging from 2010… and a blogpost by me? If so, click here right now to buy your paperback or e-book copy of Open Laboratory 2010, which claims to be “The Best of Science Writing on the Web”. Open Lab 2010 includes 50 blogposts, 6 poems and one cartoon by brilliant bloggers like fellow AGU blogger The Martian Chronicles. You can see the …

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26 January 2011

Why are female science writers invisible?

Why is Rebecca Skloot less lauded than male science writers like Ed Yong or Carl Zimmer? It certainly isn’t her book sales or the quality of her writing. Her narrative non-fiction book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is in the top 100 bestselling paperbacks on Amazon. It won the Wellcome Trust Book Prize this year. It’s by far the best popular science book I’ve read. It may be the …

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20 January 2011

Smart octopi go on walkabout

Smart octopi go on walkabout

Did you know octopi can climb out aquarium tanks, travel across the room, eat the fish in another tank and return to their tank before they’re caught? Neither did I. Sounds incredible, but North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher has locks on the top of their octopus tanks (see picture) to stop their common octopi popping out on a fishing expedition. You can see how far the octopus would need to …

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19 January 2011

Outdoor Science in top 0.05% of science bloggers in 2010

Outdoor Science in top 0.05% of science bloggers in 2010

Great news for Outdoor Science. My blog post “A tale of death, derring-do and barometers” is among 50 picked for this year’s edition of The Open Laboratory - an anthology of “the best in science writing on blogs”. To get into Open Lab, my story about how a storm could solve the decade-long mystery of who first conquered Mount Everest beat almost 850 other blog posts. I’m a full-time writer, but …

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4 January 2011

Does my sidebar look big in this?

Does my sidebar look big in this?

Hello. It’s Outdoor Science here. No, not the blogger. The blog itself.  I, as a blog, want the answer to that age-old question… Am I good-looking? My blogger, Vivienne, is moderating a session at Science Online 2011 – a conference about science and the web – later this month. The session is about writing blogposts for a lay audience. Vivienne’s helping lead a discussion about how to make your blog …

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31 December 2010

Come face-to-face with an albino alligator

Come face-to-face with an albino alligator

Do you like clownfish? Fancy coming face-to-face with an albino alligator? Want to see a greenhouse laboratory with running seawater? Attending Science Online 2011? If the answer to all these questions is “Yes” then zip over to the Science Online Lab and Museum tour page to sign up for the all-day aquarium tour. There are only two people registered right now and – if you don’t sign up soon – …

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23 December 2010

Is science interesting?

Is science interesting?

Does science need human interest to make it popular with the public? Today, I spoke to a woman who seemed to believe  science news stories don’t need a human element because science is intrinsically interesting. She mentioned Martin Robbins’ famous spoof criticising science journalism. I think she was referring to where Martin writes: If the research is about a potential cure, or a solution to a problem, this paragraph will …

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Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas everyone. The blog will take a break for Christmas and be back in the New Year. Blogging has been slow the last few weeks since I’ve been ailing with something, which has cut short my working day. In the meantime, enjoy the cute chihuahua picture.

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15 December 2010

A three-step plan for changing the world

A three-step plan for changing the world

Is there something in the world you desperately want to change? Whether it be campaigning to save a US state rock, fighting UK science funding cuts or getting mad about climate change – many of us dream of picking up a placard and making a difference. But how can you go from reading a blog to changing the world? How bloggers can campaign effectively was the subject of last night’s Christmas …

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