By Rosalind Davies, Postgraduate Researcher in Hydrogen Storing
Are you a researcher in climate science? Would you like to improve your writing skills?
ClimateSnack is an international and inter-disciplinary community where young scientists (graduate students and post-docs) get together to improve their writing and communication skills. There are currently groups set up in Bergen (Norway) and London, and we now hope to be able to start one in Birmingham. The group provides a platform to discuss and give feedback on ideas and articles written by the members. Afterwards, members publish their articles online, where the international ClimateSnack community can give feedback via the website. Recent articles have included introducing ocean mixing using hot chocolate analogies and ice flowing like ketchup!
We are hoping to have the first meeting of the Birmingham group in January. The group will meet once a month and for each meeting a couple of members will have written an article based either on their own science or another area in which they are interested. These articles are sent around before the meeting and then discussed within the group both in terms of the science and the way it is being communicated. Authors then have a chance to make changes to their articles based on the feedback of their peers before they are published online.
Friday 06/12 saw the beginnings of the UoB ClimateSnack group when I introduced a room of UoB researchers to the idea of ClimateSnack at this month’s “Think Graduate School Fridays” event. Fuelled on free doughnuts, the audience was enthusiastic and the climate scientists among it seemed keen to get involved.
As well as questions about the content of snacks, yet another benefit of ClimateSnack came to light! As researchers, the ability to be able to give feedback on other people's work (particularly in areas only loosely related to your own research) is vital. Reviewing papers, proposals and marking work from students is all part of life as an academic, and practicing constructive criticism in the ClimateSnack environment seems an excellent way to improve.
Although our UoB group of ClimateSnackers is still only small, we’re from a wide range of discipline, and it’s hoped that the members will encourage their colleagues to get involved. This variety should lead to some really useful insights on a broad range of topics. Watch this space...!
If you’re interested in finding out more information, send me an e-mail at RAD197@bham.ac.uk to be put on the mailing list for further information. Also check out ClimateSnack on Facebook, Twitter or on the website.