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10 April 2014

Mapping fantasy: The story behind the Game of Thrones geologic maps

Image by Miles Traer.

Science fiction can be a really cool gateway for sharing science fact. Earth science is imaginative, and can draw on pop culture, like the HBO show Game of Thrones. My graduate school friend and Generation Anthropocene co-producer, Miles Traer, recently brought science fact and science fiction together over this show in a hilariously awesome and super fun project.

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17 March 2014

St. Patrick’s Science Limericks

It's a sham-rock! Get it?

Enjoy the greatest tradition of the holiday: science-themed limericks!

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11 March 2014

Calling for Science-Themed Limericks: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Style!

TPS Leprechaun

The best way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is to write a science-themed limerick–and then get it featured on The Plainspoken Scientist!

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14 February 2014

Science Valentines!

Tina Lavanga took this astronomy-themed valentine photo of her husband, Tom.

Whether you adore Valentine’s Day or despise it, you’ve got to love a clever valentine—especially if it’s science themed. Consider these great examples, and let your heart beat faster as you contemplate the timeless beauty of science merged with romance.

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29 October 2013

Science-themed Halloween costumes: the photos themselves

Featured here is a comprehensive solar system with sun and the planets, worn by Kathleen Thatcher. The sun is displayed with a mask and the planets hang surrounding the sun. Thatcher chose a dark pair of pajamas (“because pajamas are warm and comfortable,” Thatcher said) that have stars all over them to represent the galaxy that surrounds the solar system. Photo by Russell Weller.

It is with great pleasure that we present, for your delectation and inspiration, a gallery of science-themed Halloween costumes.

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11 October 2013

Calling for the Best Science-themed Halloween Costumes

Kristen Slawter, a post-doc in geochemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, dressed up as a volcano for a recent Halloween. Photo courtesy of Kristen Slawter.

Don’t just share your science—wear your science!

We love to highlight the arts of writing and speaking about science on this blog. Sometimes, though, you can communicate your science without saying or writing a word—and look great while you do it.

So please: send your photos to news@agu.org by Wed., Oct. 23. Include the full name, title, and affiliation of the person in the photo and a caption explaining the costume (as if you were writing for a general audience) along with your name and permission to use your photo.

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13 May 2013

Picture This: Visuals and your Research

Picture This: Visuals and your Research

A striking image can spark interest in your scientific research, but the picture itself doesn’t need to be informative—in fact, it might be better if it isn’t. That’s one bit of wisdom that veteran science communicators from the news media and science institutions such as NASA shared with an audience Tuesday afternoon at the National Research Council in Washington, D.C.

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25 March 2013

A cool tool from NASA: the science visualization wall

The science visualization wall at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Photo by Dan Satterfield.

Blogger Dan Satterfield, who writes Dan’s Wild Wild Science Journal on the AGU Blogosphere, recently blogged about one of NASA’s dynamic visual tools – the science visualization wall – for displaying colorful scientific imagery. Satterfield visited the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Md., where he snapped several photos and took one video of the vivid wall, which is as tall as an adult. See the photos and watch the video on his blog.

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12 November 2012

Alan Alda says science and romance aren’t so different

Communicating science isn't too different from communicating love. (Credit: Kelly Servick)

“What’s hard to say?” This was Alan Alda’s first question to an audience full of particle physicists at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory on October 25. Alda’s talk, “Helping the Public Get Beyond a Blind Date with Science,” started by evoking the types of conversations, both personal and professional, that leave us fumbling for the right words.

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26 July 2012

AGU Video: Impartial observers in space: Four decades of Landsat images both delight and inform

“This image, titled ‘Van Gogh from Space’ because of its evocation of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” shows phytoplankton swirling in the waters around Gotland island in the Baltic Sea. The photo was selected by the public as the first place winner in the USGS “Earth as Art” contest, commemorating the Landsat Earth-observing program’s 40th anniversary. Photo credit: USGS/NASA.”

We all know that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ and in a world where most of us are bound to the Earth (astronauts being the most obvious exception), the Landsat images have the power to convey Earth science in a unique way. More than just pretty pictures, these images inform scientists, farmers, teachers, firefighters, water resource managers, and others about our planet from a vantage point several hundred miles above the Earth.

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