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!