Monthly Archives: May 2016

Split workshop: Science communication

Stef Maria Irene Ariadna Stella

Stefania, Maria, Irene, Ariadna and Stella work on their public engagement strategies

The Science Communication workshop was an exploration of the pitfalls and joys of trying to communicate science to the general public via a media who seem determined to misrepresent what we are doing at every opportunity.  Apparently if there is any scope at all to mention the Bermuda Triangle, the emperor Ming or spiteful murdering of aged clams, that is what they will do, leaving the original research far, far behind.  Michael Carroll and James Scourse entertained us with their own personal experiences, the take-home message being that in the fullness of time all publicity is good publicity but it’s still best to try to keep control of the process and have a site with the real story set up in case of disaster.

Ana Bedalov, who organises the Researchers’ Nights in Split, gave a very entertaining talk about involving children and young people in science, capping it off by slinging a paper tablemat across the room and brealing a glass with it.  Kudos!

Interactive exercises were very entertaining and I hope informative as well.  Some of us definitely have hidden talents as interviewers.  And selling science to a range of disparate types from professional footballers to toddlers turned out to be a piece of cake once you had worked out what made them tick (in the case of toddlers, that’s a piece of cake)

We have some very short movie clips from the public engagement exercise here (warning – these are a bit random and my camerawork is shaky):


More professionally, we had a visit from the Croatian news magazine HRT Na zahtjev (our clip starts at 27:20) 

(Technical note – the programme seemed to load very slowly on Firefox and much more quickly on Safari)

Split workshop: Numerical modelling

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Fabian, Juan and Li with Odd Helge Otterå

Numerical modelling of climate and the oceans is a complex field, and making linkages between outputs from multiple disparate models and the data we have been working up during ARAMACC is by no means straightforward.  Where the models are similar to our data, what does that mean?  How can we use those similarities to test the models or to validate our data?  I hope we moved a little bit in the right direction during the modelling part of the workshop.  Difficult ideas were very well explained by our team of distinguished experts in the field:

Ivica Vilibic ́on dense water formation and overturning in the Adriatic; Paul Halloran with a very clear and well illustrated overview of numerical modelling followed by an introduction to the intricacies of biogeochemical modelling;  Odd Helge Ottera on how to deal with decadal variability in global ocean models can be used to address decadal variability; and the workshop ended with Eduardo Zorita covering global climate models, focusing on the climate of the last millennium.

We did also find time to take a look at our data, and found some very close and interesting connections between shell growth and some of the models.


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Stella, Carin and Paul Halloran

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Eduardo chatting with Melita and Stef (and I think that’s Maria next to Stef, but please tell me if I’m wrong!)