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You are browsing the archive for science and society Archives - The Plainspoken Scientist.

14 April 2021

Creating accessible and interactive visualizations with Adobe XD

An integral and critical part of scientific research is science communication and dissemination, making scientific findings accessible to all. Data visualizations, such as maps, graphs, and infographics are commonly used as they are easy and fast to read and understand. Interactive web-based infographics are one way to make data representation more accessible, more complete, and more engaging to people. Static visualizations are indeed often oversimplified or overwhelming.

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9 April 2021

#AntArcticLog: Narwhals, narwhals, swimming in the ocean (& other whales)…

One thing I never got to do a comic about during the time at Palmer Station were the whales. Whales spouting at a distance…breaching nearby…diving, fluking, flapping…and, in the gray gloom of an early winter morning, taking an audible inhale before disappearing under the surface, ahead of a background of icebergs.  I extended my comic coverage of whales to the Arctic, as well, for the Polar Whale series. 

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6 April 2021

#AntarcticLog: The movement of glaciers

With a rumble, a rush, a splash, a gush, the glacier that forms our dramatic backdrop makes like a cow — and calves — dropping a blockbuster baby of ice into Arthur Harbor. If you’re lucky, you whirl toward it in time to see the ice fall, far enough away that the wave it creates seems to form in slow motion.  Then the roar of the wave reaches your ears across the distance. 

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29 March 2021

How to be an effective STEM role model

By Jessica Taylor Several years ago, I became interested in training colleagues to work outreach events. I was specifically interested in addressing the gender gap in the sciences and making sure these interactions practiced gender equitable strategies.  With the help of my team we developed a role model training program. We pulled from great resources such as the SciGirls Role Model Strategy Guide, TechBridge’s Role Models Matter resources, and publications …

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26 March 2021

#AntarcticLog: How do we see what we can’t see?

More invisible stuff, you cry? What ELSE can comics show that’s tough to see? 

A big part of my Antarctic Artists and Writers program project involved making the invisible visible through visual storytelling — which can mean all kinds of things, but in my case means comics.  

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24 March 2021

#RhymeYourResearch: Word by Word

This poem was written near the very end of my PhD, which was submitted at the start of August, 2020. It forms the self-reflection section of my thesis.

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It’s time, now more than ever, to stop saying “now, more than ever.” At least in the sciences.

There are hundreds of articles out there using “now, more than ever” to try to illustrate the importance of a scientific point (and I know that I’m guilty of this as well). But what does the phrase actually mean and why is it so ubiquitous when discussing science?

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19 March 2021

#AntarcticLog: What’s the Ecostat?

As promised, I’m back with more of that invisible science.  That’s what the Antarctic Artists and Writers program of the National Science Foundation sent me to Palmer Station to do: take a close look at invisible phytoplankton and create pictures to tell their story. 

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18 March 2021

#DrawnToGeoscience: Cross-stitching science

My grandmother taught me to cross stitch when I was in elementary school, and I stopped after a few years and came back to it in my late 20s (which seems to be a relatively common story for AFAB folks). I like it as a medium because I can spend a lot of time thinking about and playing with colors, and it’s easy to combine words, symbols, and picture elements.

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16 March 2021

The Power of Data-Driven Storytelling for Atmospheric Science

“Science is hard.” How many times have you heard that? Whether it be from students, friends, or family, a common misconception amongst people who don’t spend all their time doing science is that, well, its hard. Sure, sometimes it is, but where did this misconception come from?

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