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GeoEd: Announcing the winner of I’m a Geoscientist!

3 Jul

The last two weeks have been action-packed, with ten schools from seven countries heading online to ask five fabulous geoscientists questions about anything from how the Earth works to what it’s like to be a scientist in the first ever I’m a Geoscientist, Get me out of here! competition.

Find out more about the event at http://imageoscientist.eu.

Find out more about the event at imageoscientist.eu.

The aim of this thrilling fortnight was to let school kids interact with real geoscientists and challenge their knowledge in a competition to find out who was the best geoscience communicator. The scientists (from the UK, France, the Netherlands, Malta and the USA) fielded questions on earthquakes, climate, floods and more to share their science and win the favour of students taking part. And in the last few days they narrowed their favourites down to a final two, who battled it out on Friday for the champion’s title.

After almost 150 questions and over 450 answers we had a winner! Congratulations to Anna Rabitti, an Italian oceanographer working at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ)! In a post on imageoscientist.eu she explains how the Earth and space sciences can inspire great curiosity, whatever your background: “our Earth still has the power to amaze and question each and every one of us, from young students to geology professors.”

Anna at sea on RV Pelagia – the rocks were collected some 2300 metres below the surface, not far from the Atlantic’s Rainbow hydrothermal vent field (Credit: Roald van der Heide)

Anna at sea on RV Pelagia – the rocks were collected some 2300 metres below the surface, not far from the Atlantic’s Rainbow hydrothermal vent field (Credit: Roald van der Heide)

Anna will be awarded 500 euros to use on science outreach. She hopes to spend it improving the way scientific data is shared on the public ferry that doubles as a research boat and connects the island of Texel in northern Holland with the mainland. The data collected by the boat (ocean temperature, salinity, chlorophyll and more) is currently displayed on big screens for all passengers to see, but Anna hopes to set up something more interactive to inspire the next generation of geoscientists. In Anna’s words, “There are many ways to be a scientist, if you wish you can find your own.”

By Sara Mynott, EGU Communications Officer

Blogs and social media at the Assembly – tune in to the conference action

23 Apr

Blogging

GeoLog will be updated regularly throughout the General Assembly, highlighting some of the meeting’s most interesting sessions, workshops and lectures, as well as featuring interviews with scientists attending the Assembly.

Writers from the EGU Blog Network will also be posting about interesting research and sessions during the Assembly, so you can catch up on any sessions you’ve missed and get a feel for what’s going on in the press room through them!

As in previous years, the EGU will be compiling a list of General Assembly related blogs (the blogroll) and making them available through GeoLog. If you would like to contribute to GeoLog during the event please contact Sara Mynott at mynott@egu.eu. You can also add your blog to the blogroll here.

EGU social media

Tweeting

Participants can keep updated with General Assembly goings on by following the EGU twitter account (@EuroGeosciences) and the conference hashtag (#EGU2014). You can also direct questions to the EGU communications staff and other participants using #EGU2014, or by tweeting to @EuroGeosciences directly. If you’ve got the Assembly app, you can share snippets of great sessions straight from there!

This year, each of the programme groups also has its own hashtag, if you’re in a Geomorphology (GM) session, say GM2.1, you can tweet about it using #EGU14GM, or if you’re in one of the Educational and Outreach Symposia (EOS), use #EGU14EOS – just add the acronym to #EGU14! A full list of conference hashtags is available here, and in the programme book.

Some sessions also have their own hashtag including the Great Debates (GDB1#EGU14mine, GDB2: #EGU14geng), the Union Session on the IPCC results (US4: #EGU14IPCC) and the Face of the Earth Union Symposium (US3: #EGU14face). Make sure to tag your tweets accordingly if you are posting about these sessions! Conveners are welcome to add their own hashtags into the mix to! Just let everyone know at the start of the session.

The view from social media HQ at EGU 2012.

The view from social media HQ at EGU 2012.

And more!

While these will be the main media streams during the Assembly, you can also follow the European Geosciences Union on FacebookGoogle+LinkedIn and YouTube to keep up with us there!

Video Competition finalists – time to get voting!

15 Apr

This year we’re running the first ever EGU Communicate Your Science Video Competition – the aim being for young scientists to communicate their research in a short, sweet and public-friendly video. Our judges have now selected 4 fantastic finalists from the excellent entries we received this year and it’s time to find the best geoscience communication clip!

The shortlisted videos will be open to a public vote from now until midnight on 1 May – just ‘like’ the video on YouTube to give it your seal of approval. The video with the most likes when voting closes will be awarded a free registration to the EGU General Assembly 2015.

The finalists are shown below, but you can also catch them in this finalist playlist and even take a seat in GeoCinema – the home of geoscience films at the General Assembly – to see the shortlist and select your favourite.

Please note that only positive votes will be taken into account.

The finalists:

Into the Iron Zone by Carolina Reyes. Like this video to vote for it!

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Understanding Ice-Sheet Stability Using Rocks by Richard Jones. Like this video to vote for it!

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Hydrological Drought Predictions for Reservoir Management: What’s the Use? by Louise Crochemore. Like this video to vote for it!

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SLOMOVE by Giulia Chinellato. Like this video to vote for it!

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The winning entry will be announced during the lunch break on the last day of the General Assembly (Friday 2 May).

Tweeting at a Conference: The Magic of a Hashtag

16 Apr

With the mammoth task of Storifying #EGU2013 this week, I’m wondering just how useful social media, particularly Twitter, has become at conferences.

While having a hashtag for a conference with 4,684 oral, 8,207 poster, and 452 PICO presentations (#EGU2013) won’t give you an insight into what’s going on in all the sessions – there’s simply too much science – it provides a guide to what’s happening next (as speakers share their sessions) and is an indicator of the “hot topics” as multiple media-savvy participants share their experience of particular sessions. More importantly though, it gives people attending the conference an opportunity to interact and extend their discussion online.

When there’s over 3,800 tweets on the #EGU2013 hashtag during the General Assembly, curating a scintillating story that also falls into the category of ‘short and sweet’ no longer seems achievable. But do we need it? Perhaps it’s better to preserve the discussion that surrounds topical sessions such as the Great Debate on fracking and shale gas (Storify to come – watch this space!) and short courses, which can then be used as a resource for hints and tips later.

Just a sample from #EGU2013 (click for larger).

While making something public via Twitter can bring up the subject of potentially being “scooped” on science before it’s published. At a conference you are already communicating your work externally, so this is not an issue. Instead, it presents an opportunity to communicate your research with the wider public and scientific community. Here are some of the benefits:

Enriched discussions

Twitter provides opportunities for a much richer discussion during a conference – not only are you listening to the speaker’s insights on a topic, but you can tune in to the knowledge and experience of others in the audience. The knowledge gathered in a scientific conference is phenomenal and in the case of the EGU General Assembly, having over 11,000 brilliant scientific minds at your fingertips, why wouldn’t you ask a question?! Okay, so they aren’t all on Twitter, but the chance of a well-informed reply is high, so it’s still worth asking!

Remote participation

To add to the already enriched discussion, when something is being broadcast on Twitter, anyone can follow the goings on – be it the colleagues you left back in the lab, the geologist whose fieldwork clashed with the event, or the interested twitterer, who happens upon the hashtag! If a talk is being live tweeted (someone is tweeting updates about the speaker’s presentation) then it’s even easier for others to participate in the conference online and ask their own questions of the audience and the speaker.

Leaving a legacy

So we have a rich discussion, that involves members of the audience and connects with the wider public, potentially sharing the science with individuals across the globe – is there more to gain from a conference Twitter feed? Yes. The online discussion can be condensed and curated using Storify, which leaves a legacy of the discussion that people can return to later. Take the #EGUjobs session for example, Sarah Blackford and Helen Goulding gave an excellent talk on how to apply for jobs both in and out of academia last week and you can return to their recommendations here.

What did you gain from the conference Twitter feed? Fancy more of the same next year? Less? Or an even bigger online presence in 2014? Leave a comment below, or include it in the conference feedback form and we’ll do our best to make it a reality. 

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