Amy Freitag • Challenging the Conventional Narrative, Conservation, Life in the Lab • July 1, 2014
On my train to work, I routinely am requested to donate money multiple times (and not just by the homeless guy outside the station). One comes in the form of a new project with a homemade advertisement up in the train station – and in the corner is a ‘find us on Kickstarter!’ logo. I’m then asked by my regular podcast to support them through Maximum Fun through either a subscription or one-time support. The author of the article I’m reading asks for support through Patreon. By the time I get to work, where I could potentially pull out my banking information and support any of these initiatives, I’m thinking less about actually doing so and more about the new phenomenon of crowdfunding, wondering how effective this new phenomenon is. Not to mention, there’s no way I can support all the wonderful creators that solicited me during my commute. Plus, I realize I’m beginning to tune out the requests.
Don’t get me wrong – there’s a time and a place for crowdfunding. It can support a new business during its most vulnerable time and can provide small injections of funding when all you need is to test an idea. But it does best for people actually producing something and for ‘sexy’ topics of the day. Yet, indiscriminately choosing crowdfunding (or any other sort of funding) without consideration of which funding strategy is best can really hurt your cause, causing groups to shift their mission. So let’s think about the science of fundraising and how crowdfunding fits into a larger fundraising landscape. How is it changing the relationship between those who need support and the typical people who fund them? (more…)
Andrew David Thaler • History of Science, Science • June 26, 2014
Ictineo II. Image by wikimedia user Cookie.
A curious vessel sits atop a few struts in the Barcelona harbor. Passing tourists could be forgiven if they thought the small, wooden craft was a prop from the golden age of film or a quiet monument to the work of Jules Verne. It is neither. This ship, built from olive wood and clad in copper, is perhaps the most remarkable seagoing vessel of its time. She is Ictíneo II, the first true submarine.
Narcís Monturiol i Estarriol was a Catalonian revolutionary, utopian iconoclast, and proto-feminist writer who argued that the government, rather than the church, should oversee marriage licenses. He founded several newspapers–which were often shut down after a few issues–including La Madre de Familia “to defend women from the tyranny of men” and Spain’s first communist newspaper, La Fraternidad.
Andrew David Thaler • Natural Science, Science • June 23, 2014
Welcome back. In our third installment of Bad Gas, we’re finally beginning to see visible deterioration of the shells. It’s a short one for you to enjoy.
Andrew David Thaler • Blogging • June 19, 2014
In which I respond to some of the comments and questions raised by the first two videos in my ocean acidification project.
Amy Freitag • fisheries, Focus on Nuance, policy, toxicology • June 12, 2014
After years of scaring pregnant women away from fishy nutrition, the FDA is finally updating its recommendations to encourage them to eat 8-12 ounces of low-mercury fish a week. That’s 2 or 3 meals per week in order to support fetal growth and development. Curious about what fish are low mercury? Stay away from tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, swordfish, shark, and king mackerel and limit albacore tuna to 6 ounces a week. Better options include “some of the most commonly eaten fish such as shrimp, pollock, salmon, canned light tuna, tilapia, catfish, and cod”. For locally caught fish, you should check with your local authorities. The new recommendations aren’t final – read the draft and write in if you want more information that would help you make safe and healthy seafood choices. Here’s some things you should consider. (more…)
David Shiffman • Blogging • June 11, 2014
The mainstream media doesn’t always have the greatest reputation for accuracy when it comes to reporting stories about sharks. Inspired by this brilliant campaign, I decided to “adjust” the headlines of some particularly absurd recent news stories about sharks.
This story about a shark that may have been eaten by another shark.
Andrew David Thaler • Natural Science, Science • June 10, 2014
After over a month of planning, it’s finally time to unveil my new ocean acidification project: Bad Gas! Watch this video to learn how to turn a Soda Stream into a miniature ocean and explore the impact of ocean acidification.
As this experiment continues, it will develop into a series of lesson plans for science teachers to use in the classroom. If you’re following along or joining in with your own tiny ocean, leave a comment below and keep us updated on your progress.
David Shiffman • Conservation, fisheries, marine science, Natural Science, Science, sharks • June 9, 2014
I’ve just returned from the second Sharks International, a scientific conference for shark and ray researchers, which was held in South Africa. With nearly 300 researchers and conservationists from more than 38 countries in attendance, the conference was a fantastic learning and networking experience, and a huge success.
In addition to countless talks focusing on cool discoveries about amazing animals and important conservation issues from all over the world, I don’t think I ate one meal at a table with fewer than 4 countries represented. Our lab, the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program at the University of Miami, gave 3 scientific presentations, including my own, which was well-received and resulted in some fascinating discussions. The “social media for scientific outreach” workshop I gave had more than 50 people attend, resulting in a couple of dozen scientists newly joining twitter.
Speaking of twitter, more than 7,000 tweets (including re-tweets) were shared using the conference hashtag #Sharks14 ! Below are links to 8 Storify stories I made: 4 plenary sessions and 4 days of scientific presentations. * Scientists, if any of the tweets about your talk are incorrect, please alert me in the comments and I’ll edit or delete them immediately. *