At one of the first conferences that I attended, an elderly professor was asked, ‘at what stage in one’s career should a researcher begin to engage with the media and the public?’ His esteemed response went something like, ‘a career should be spent building one’s soapbox, before one even considers standing upon it’. Many in the audience quietly groaned. Years later I chuckled as another speaker proclaimed, ‘the world’s top research economists invariably discover ethics sometime after they retire’.
Fortunately, that old world has turned, and today’s up-and-coming ecologists are far, far better than their predecessors at communicating their research to the public. Nowadays, every researcher, young and old, can tell the world about their work through the internet. In this month’s blog, I’ve collated my favorite blogs by Australian ecologists into a Flipboard Magazine for you all to enjoy. Yep, this month you get 20 great blogs and essays for the price of one. Most of the blogs are by ‘young’ ecologists (a category that includes almost everyone by my standards), including many PhD students and post-doctoral fellows.
The magazine contains 20 entertaining, informative, and easy-to-read essays on a wide range of topics, including mammals, plants, birds and insects, the wonders of field work, the challenges of doing a PhD, exciting research findings, and much, much more. I’ve included a couple of posts by old grey-beards like me, and some great natural history posts to broaden the mix. So click on this link to enjoy: the Top 20 Oz Ecology Blogs. The collection (the front cover is pictured above) will open in a new web page.
What’s Flipboard, and how do you use it?
Flipboard is an application that presents collections of web pages in a graphical way. It’s designed for, and looks amazing, on iPads and tablets, but also looks great on a PC. It’s really simple to use. You don’t need to download a program (or ‘subscribe’ or ‘Get the App’) to use it. Just click the link above and when it opens, use the Page Up and Page Down buttons, or Right and Left arrows, on your keyboard to move between pages. On a tablet or mobile device, swipe to turn the page. To open a story, click on it’s heading.
The only annoying thing about the collection is that it prints ‘IanLuntEcology’ at the top of each article, which makes it look like I wrote them all (my apologies, dear authors, but I can’t turn this off). All I did was collate them, and the author’s name usually appears further down the page.
I hope you enjoy the collection. Please leave a comment below to say which stories you liked best, and make sure you follow the author’s posts in the future. If you know of other great oz ecology bloggers who I’ve overlooked, post a link below. Thanks to all of the authors, who set a fantastic example for researchers, ecologists and conservation biologists everywhere.
Enjoy the enthusiasm, skills, commitment and ethics, as a new generation of ecologists proudly shouts from its online soapbox. Ecology and conservation biology are awesome!
Good Morning! May I request that you include a list of links to your top 20 recommendations for those of us who cannot get flipboard to work? I’m very keen to check them out, bt cannot get past that introductory page. It is no doubt due to some setting on my PC, but I am having similar problem with my iPhone and it is going to take some working out. Thanks for your regular contributions; I look forward to reading them. Judith
Same problem here – no result on my old iMac – very frustrating!
Oh dear, so much for my attempt at glitzy tech wizardry! 🙂 Sorry about that. My only suggestion would be to update the browser program (explorer or safari) if you have an old version, and see if it works then, as it may not work with older browser versions. However I appreciate this is a pain. I shall post the full list of links in the comments a little later today. I hope it’s working for some readers! Apologies and best wishes Ian
Hi Judith, on my iPhone I can move between the pages by swiping up from the bottom of the screen (which is pretty unintuitive I admit). I’ll post a list of links in the comments below. Best wishes Ian
Hi everyone, if you can’t get Flipboard to work, here is the full list of links. This is the order that I intended to have them shown in, especially because I thought the last post was a great way to finish the series. Flipboard alters the order a bit to make it fit in different sized screens it seems. I hope you enjoy them. Best wishes Ian
Great post Ian! I tried to view the magazine in the latest versions of IE and Firefox – I could flip through all the pages fine, but the bottom half of every page was cut off. I think you might need to load the app to be able to view the whole thing properly, but I haven’t tried that yet 🙂 Thanks for the link listing above.
Hi Manu, following Anna’s suggestion below, I’ve just updated the Flipboard link in the blog to a shorter URL, and hopefully that might work better.Thanks for your blogs, they’re great to read. Best wishes Ian
Hi Ian, Flipboard is working for me in Firefox v22.0 on an old MacBook – in fact, it looks fantastic!
It might sound a bit obvious, but anyone having trouble accessing the Flipboard might benefit from pasting this URL into their browser: https://flipboard.com/section/top-20-oz-ecology-blogs-b4ZlTS
Looking forward to giving Flipboard a try for myself! What an engaging way to collate and share links.
Thanks Anna, I’m glad it works for someone other than me. I hadn’t realised that it might be so flaky, and had no idea how it might work on a mac. When it does work it looks great doesn’t it. Best wishes Ian
Thanks for all these new blogs to read Ian! Flipboard worked fine for me.
Thanks Steven, I hope you enjoy them. The writers provide a fantastic range of essays. Cheers Ian
I really enjoyed seeing some other websites where we share similar interest. It was great reading. And thank you for including OrchidNotes, I was not expecting that. Maybe I should start tagging my posts with “Ecology”. (Didn’t have any problems viewing on both mobile and computer.)
Hi Helen, thanks for your comment. The collection is a great way to discover other people who are interested in the same things isn’t it. The Flipboard front page shows that there’s been an extraordinary number of ‘page flips’ in the last 2 days, but doesn’t show how many people actually opened and read any of the articles – hopefully lots have. I hope you and everyone else gained lots of new readers to your great site. Keep up your great blog, best wishes Ian
FWIW, no probs here reading it through Firefox on Windows Tablet or Phone (Windows 8), (some great reading!)
Thanks Tim, it must be a pretty horrible job to try to write software that will work in exactly the same way on every type of new phone and gadget as well as every computer brand of as many vintages as possible. There haven’t been any problems reported since I changed the link address so its possible that the original link caused some of the problems perhaps. I hope you’ve found a few new bloggers to ‘follow’. Best wishes Ian
Have added John Morgan, Freya’s research and Christopher Jones to my reading list. Thanks for the hot tips!
Hi Shelomi, I hope you enjoy them all! Best wishes Ian