Follow the Botany in Action Fellows on Their Websites!

by Melissa Harding

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Our Botany in Action Fellows are not just out doing wonderful research, but have also been busy creating outreach opportunities that allow them to share their work with others. As part of their science communication training during the BIA Science Engagement, the Fellows learn principals of written communication, as well as how to use photographs to tell a compelling story. As a way to use these skills to reach out to visitors and students, each Fellow has also created their own website. Similar in purpose to the Follow the Fellows” pages on the official BIA website, these new websites allow each Fellow the ability to tell the story of their research in their own way.

These websites allow the reader to vicariously participate in science by following the Fellows in their work. Each website is a little different and helps the reader to really understand what it is like to engage in botanical research. This is includes both exciting adventures in the field and not-as-exciting adventures in crunching numbers and writing papers;  all of these pieces are necessary parts of strong research. By creating a complete picture of their lives and their work, they are able to convey not only what a scientist really does and looks like, but why their work is important.

BIa fellows map

Advocating for good science communication is an important outcome of the Botany in Action program, but it is not an easy one. It requires not only rethinking preconceived notions about the role of a scientist in communicating his or her own work, but also rethinking what science communication should look like at all. The model of publishing research has not changed in a long time and neither has what happens to that research; it often exists in publications where only other scientists can access it, making it almost impossible to be seen by the public. The Botany in Action program helps Fellows to champion their own work and add to a public body of knowledge, as well as to reach out to students, educators and others who would find their research compelling. By communicating their love for science and showing why their research matters in the real world, the Fellows will inspire readers to dig deeper into their own passions, helping to create a future generation of biologists, chemists, physicists and more!

To learn more about our Fellows and to follow them through the research process, check out their wonderful websites:

Chelsie Romulo: http://cromulo.wordpress.com/
Kelly Ksiazek: http://greenroofresearch.wordpress.com
Anna Johnson: #
Stephen Murphy: http://stephenjosephmurphy.weebly.com/
Aurelie Jacquet: #
Jessica Turner: http://jessicabturner.weebly.com/

To learn more about Botany in Action, check out the website or this blog post.

To read more about the importance of science communication, check out this blog post!

The above images are used courtesy of Kelly Ksiazek and Phipps Science Education, respectively.

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