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You are browsing the archive for Science in plain English Archives - The Plainspoken Scientist.

4 June 2021

#AntarcticLog: Antarctic Trees (from long ago)

No, there are no longer trees in Antarctica — though there were, many thousands of years ago. (Did you know Antarctica used to be unfrozen? But that’s another story for another post.)  But trees — especially the oak trees featured in these three #AntarcticLog comics — have plenty to say about what’s going on in their environment, and around the globe. 

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28 May 2021

#AntarcticLog: Reeling in Kids

#AntarcticLog is created with a broad audience in mind — from the savviest adults to kids new to the subject of scientific research — and adventure! — in the Antarctic. This week’s examples come from a series created to introduce kids (of any age) to the Antarctic food chain. 

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21 May 2021

#AntarcticLog: Plankton is (surprisingly) cool

Before the pandemic, a long time ago (or so it seems), I used to go to New York City and wonder at all the people — and their brilliant personalities, ideas, forms, and functions — concentrated in that small space.   One time I made my way to a midtown gallery where Pete Countway, a researcher at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science, had plankton on display. 

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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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24 March 2021

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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12 March 2021

#AntarcticLog: Antarctic Service Medal

Last week I received a special package in the mail: my Antarctic Service Medal, made for my contribution to U.S. efforts to understand the continent — and the planet. 

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5 March 2021

#AntarcticLog: Sanna’s Reindeer

Sanna Vannar is the president of Sáminuorro, the Swedish Association of Young Saami.  The Saami people span four nations: Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Russia. Sanna’s family have been reindeer herders for generations, which puts them in a unique position to evaluate the reindeer’s response to the changing northern climate.

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8 January 2021

#AntarcticLog: Goodbye 2020

Happy New Year! Here’s a comic for the new year that looks back at some of the damage done. Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to 2021. How about you? It helps to have rose-colored glasses, otherwise known as a positive view.  This could come from an excess of irrational optimism. Or it could come from young activists who often hashtag posts about their activities to fight climate change with #fridaysforfuture.  

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3 January 2021

#AntarcticLog: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Let’s share a cup of something-or-other for days of time gone by — even if it’s champagne to express our joy at seeing the back of 2020. 

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21 December 2020

(Re)introducing the Sharing Science Virtual Learning Hub

For each webinar, we’ve created additional content to convey key points via multiple mediums. I’ve taken to TikTok and Reels to create scicomm videos with my dog. Our own Olivia Ambrogio has flexed her artistic drawing skills by creating <1-minute animations as well as animated webinar summaries. And our graphic design department has been putting together infographic summaries. 

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