Monday, August 15, 2016

The Summer of Public Speaking


I won't deny it, I enjoy giving public talks about my science. Not only is it fun, but it also serves the cause of informing the public about exactly what it is that we do in planetary science and exploration and gives my research funders a good return on their investment. What more could a public servant such as myself want? I try to accomodate all the talks that are requested of me, but the summer is always easier to schedule than are other times of the year, so often you'll stand a better chance of hearing me when the weather is warm.

A Triumphant Return to the Radio

It's good to be back even if no one will be throwing my return a ticker-tape parade, such as the one pictured above for the Apollo 11 lunar astronauts (as photographed by Bill Taub for NASA's human space flight gallery ). With apologies, I just couldn't resist the spaceflight reference!

After a hiatus of nearly 4 years, I have decided to make Astronomy.fm (AFM) a regular part of my life again. Those of you who are avid listeners of YorkUniverse may have detected my dulcet tones twice over the last few months. I was a 'guest' of the show before graduating to 'co-host' last month and tonight I'll be co-hosting again this time with the master himself, Paul Delaney. Over the coming months you can expect more of the same. With luck I'll be able to inject my usual dose of planetary and spacecraft know-how into the discussion. It will be fun and informative! I hope you can join us.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A New Blog: PVL

Earlier this month I welcomed a 3rd member to the arcticsaxifrage blogging family. As some of you may already know from clicking on my profile over on the right, I've got my professional blog right here as well as a second blog where I review science fiction. To that I'm adding one more, but here's the catch - largely I won't be the author!

Instead, york-pvl.blogspot.ca will talk about the work going on in my laboratory, the Planetary Volatiles Lab (PVL) here at York. As I indicate in the introductory post, the forum will be contributed by students and trainees in order to give them experience in writing for a general audience. There's good potential here for benefits all around, I think.

If you are curious what you'll find, there will be posts about our science and engineering (though don't expect us to give away our secrets pre-publication!) as well as posts on process (What is it like to write your first paper; to give your first conference talk?) and on interesting things going on in planetary, from a student perspective (i.e. what a fantastic paper in last month's Science!)

Through this new forum I hope that you will get a taste for what it is that we do, why we do it and how we do it. You'll also get to know a whole new cast of characters. However, it will be a moderated forum in which I have reviewed and lightly edited the content - so don't expect too much drama.

I hope you'll join us, and will cheer on my students, many of whom are writing this kind of content for the first time!