Today was our media day. The day we get to condense and distill our experience into a few sound bytes. The problem is we have too much to say. Trying to condense down an intense period of research is akin to saying the dinosaurs died because a meteor hit. Much of the subtlety is lost. We Instinctively expound on the positives. The excellent level of collaboration of Jenny’s group. The highly topical and very relevant research. The friendliness and general approachability of people. We haven’t once been told to ‘sod off’, though there were times when I felt we should have been! It is a great testament to the belief people have in their work that they are only too happy to talk about it. By the time we hit our second media interview, we are both more relaxed and ready to discuss the negatives. It all comes down to money. Jenny’s internship is virtually unique in an irish setting. Very little money is allocated to outreach and continuing professional development for teachers. The links between universities and schools are haphazard, tenuous and come down to the will of individuals. It’s not how society should be. The resource of the student, teacher and average Joe citizen scientist should not be underestimated. The public needs to know about the wonderful research being carried out in our universities in a more comprehensive and structured way.
Image courtesy of climateshiftproject.org