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7 April 2014

How climate modelers became calendar models

Climate scientist Kátia Fernandes graces the cover of the 2014 Climate Models wall calendar. The punny calendar, imagined by two science writers at Columbia University, redefines what it means to be a climate ‘modeler’. Image credit: Charlie Naebeck.

With some trepidation, we knocked on the first climate scientist’s door. Although we’re seasoned science writers at major research institutions, the request we were about to make was far different from our usual ones for interviews or images from field expeditions. We had decided to create a 2014 Climate Models wall calendar, using climate scientists as models, in the belief that humor can be used to deliver serious messages in a less serious, but still meaningful way.

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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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3 March 2014

Geo fashion, Wikipedia and Reddit: New social media tips for scientists

Lynn Soreghan, Prof. Univ. of Oklahoma, was one of the women scientists featured in Kim Cobb's blog on fashion at the Fall Meeting. Wrote Cobb: "I love the
effortless-ness of the outfit, impeccably accessorized,
with matching coat and boots. It's 'earthy' but modern,
 and the vest adds a touch of academic elegance."
Credit: Kim Cobb

One of the most well-read posts on Kim Cobb’s blog is not about her travels around the world as a paleoclimatologist or her visits to congressional offices on Capitol Hill. It’s a 2012 post about women’s fashion choices at the AGU Fall Meeting that got people talking. Cobb highlighted this occasional dilemma for women in the sciences, showing photos of several successful AGU outfits and also alluding to more serious …

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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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10 February 2014

Modelling Middle Earth’s climate: How I borrowed some of Tolkien’s magic for paleoclimate science

Dan Lunt, climate scientist (and possible wizard). Photo by Ali Marzocchi, University of Bristol.

Dan Lunt, a paleoclimate modeler at the University of Bristol (UK), describes how he reached out to new audiences about climate science by modeling the climate of Tolkein’s Middle Earth.

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5 February 2014

Calling for Science Valentines: Combine Your Passions!

Molten love. Cartoon by Olivia V. Ambrogio.

Valentine’s Day is a great time to share what you love with whom you love. That’s why we’re asking you for your science-themed valentine submissions.

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24 January 2014

How to Bore Everyone with Science

How to Bore Everyone with Science

Ever wondered if your thrilling science is dull to others? Maybe you should start.

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13 November 2013

Epic Fail: What a Perfectly Putrid Poster Can Do for You

From all around the world they came in search of perfectly putrid posters.

After months, perhaps years, of fieldwork, lab work, and analysis, you have results that you simply have to share with the world. You’ve shelled out for your Fall Meeting registration. You’re stoked that your poster session doesn’t coincide with any of the talks you’ve marked as essential. And because your BFF has agreed to share accommodation costs, you have a suite at the Hotel Nikko. No one can deny that you’re as confident as a Kardashian and as primed for launch as a fully fuelled Titan rocket. Ain’t no stoppin’ you now!

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5 November 2013

What Would Leonardo Do?

Passport stamp used to verify a visit to the Geomicrobiology exhibit during da Vinci Days. Art and photo by R. Colwell.

Want to communicate about science with kids in a compelling way? Guest blogger Rick Colwell and his geomicrobiology group at Oregon State University learned from experience that it helps to give young folks something fun and informative to do and to give them something to take away with them, too. Figuring that out took a couple of tries, Colwell recalls.

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