Breaking Through the Masses at Scientific Conferences

I’m off to the 2017 Wildlife Society Conference tomorrow. I’ve been to 22 conferences over the years, yet, I still find it can be an awkward experience to meet new colleagues. People think I am a social butterfly, but when you walk into a ballroom full of groups of people standing around tiny tables it…

When More Science Isn’t Better

I’ll never forget the first, and only, time I was turned down to give a presentation at a meeting. It’s pretty rare to get turned down for conferences, and if you do, you usually at least get asked to present a poster. It was for the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), my favorite conference, and I…

How to write a student travel award application

I love going to scientific conferences. They provide me with great opportunities to learn about exciting new research, expand my professional network, and catch up with colleagues and old friends. Over the last few months (and at this point in previous years) I’ve spent some time evaluating student applications for a couple of different conference travel awards. Many academic societies offer such awards,…

When Science meets Parliament

Last week I had the privilege of spending two days at the 16th “Science meets Parliament”. It was an eye opening experience and I’ve learnt a lot… but let me explain… Science meets Parliament is an annual event run by Science and Technology Australia (STA), the peak body representing Australian science and technology. It includes…

Ask Stupid Questions: Science Writing Tips I Learned from Carl Zimmer

Science writing is hard. What’s even harder, is science writing that is accessible, exciting, and has mass appeal to non-scientists. Author and blogger Carl Zimmer has been able to crack this code. As an advocate and participant of science communication, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to hear him speak. From his interview at the…

Science Talk Don’ts

I’m having a fantastic time at the International Congress for Conservation Biology learning about conservation marketing, citizen science, and conservation education. However, I am noticing some common communication mishaps. As there are already good blogs out there about how to create an effective scientific presentation, I would like to take the time here to point…

Bison, bioinformatics and (meta)barcoding

This is my first post here since April. I’ve spent much of the last three months travelling, holidaying, workshopping and attending two conferences. I had a wonderful time in Adelaide at the Genetics Society of AustralAsia’s 2015 conference and learned about some fascinating new science at the Boden Reseach Conference on Comparative Animal Genomics. But…

Wildlife in the Big City: International Urban Wildlife Conference 2015

This week takes me to Chicago, where I am at the International Urban Wildlife Conference. Here the talks are all focused on the biology of unnatural ecosystems, cities and their surrounding sprawl. When you think of urban wildlife, likely pigeons, rats and raccoons, come to mind, but you be surprised to learn the rich biodiversity…

Stories for Scientists

Science has a communication problem. After attending the AAAS meeting this year, it was clear that great efforts were being spent to improve this. Scrolling through my Twitter feed, I would scan tweet after tweet with suggestions on how to improve one’s presentations. One tip, popping up over and over again amongst tweets, was the…

Power of the People! Thoughts from the First Citizen Science Association Conference

This week I am at brand new meeting – the first ever Citizen Science Association conference. This meeting attracted 600+ people of 25 countries from backgrounds including science, academia, government agencies, formal and informal education, and corporations. Citizen science is not new (read about citizen science in the 1800s), but recently is experiencing a revolution…