Why Ecology and Environmental Science is Everyone’s Business

I’ve summarised one of our Science on Google+ Hangouts on Air. Our guests discussed three fascinating fields of ecological study: air quality; marine life; and extreme weather events.

Our most recent Science on Google+ Posterside Hangout on Ecology and Environmental Science was excellent and well worth watching in full. It highlighted the intersections between climate change the social consequences of environmental damage. The presentations covered the measurement of air quality; disease outbreak amongst fish; and the relationship between extreme thunderstorms and global warming. Below I give a detailed summary of the points I was most interested in as a social scientist (I will do the same for our previous hangouts).

I urge you to watch the presentations in full and comment on the talks from your perspectives. I am particularly interested in different social science reactions to these talks: how can we make a contribution to weather and marine sciences using the ecological frameworks and methods described by the presenters?

Environmental advocacy is truly an interdisciplinary endeavour that requires both critical public debate and empirical solutions. This includes improved data collection and innovative responses that connect scientific theory to social policy and practice. A collaborative and proactive approach to climate change is not assured. Australia recently changed Government and one of the first tasks our new Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, put into effect was to dismantle the Climate Change Commission, which was led by eminent scientist Tim Flannery. (Thankfully the work continues thanks to crowd-source funding.) Abbott also removed the position of Science Minister (along with other adverse social policy shifts). Climate change policies in some other countries are in a better state, but many nations remain reactionary to environmental disasters. For these reasons, ecology and environmental science require our full participation.

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In 30 minutes, I’ll be chatting with Jason Osborne and Dr Aaron Alford, the co-founders of the not-for-profit…

In 30 minutes, I’ll be chatting with Jason Osborne and Dr Aaron Alford, the co-founders of the not-for-profit organisations Paleo Quest and SharkFinder. They provide educational kits and online education modules for the public and classrooms to get involved in palaeontology. Our discussion will focus on how practical experience can help students become engaged in science. In particular, we’ll talk about their efforts to support poor and disadvantaged youth gain access to science. They have a few novel publications scheduled that will incorporate and credit the work of these young students.

You can watch and live tweet to us @ScienceOnGoogle using #scienceongoogle or save this video to watch later on YouTube. #sociology #stem



Citizen Science: Getting Students into STEM

Citizen Science: Getting Students into STEM

Very excited to be co-hosting this Science on Google+ event along with Buddhini Samarasinghe. We are chatting with paleontologists Jason Osborne and Dr Aaron Alford about their efforts to improve citizen science. In particular, we’ll talk about outreach to students through data collection. I especially love their work that gives youth from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to participate in practical science, including a chance to publish their findings. Join us on Aussie time Monday 19th 7.30pm (Sunday 18th 2.30pm USA Pacific).

Continue reading Citizen Science: Getting Students into STEM

Video: Science on Google+ Community Reaches 20K Members

This is so exciting! Our Science on Google+ Community is about to reach a landmark 200,000 members! The Curators will host a celebratory Hangout on Air. I’ll be there – join us so  you can meet our team. Hear about our favourite posts and also pick up some tips on how to write science for a public audience!

During our Hangout On Air, you’ll get a chance to meet the moderators and curators who dedicate so much time and energy into making sure that good, quality science content rises to the top in the community. 

After we hear from the moderators on who they are, we’ll have a discussion on what the curator team looks at for community posts to get put on the Curator’s ChoiceCheck us out!