The University of Newcastle, Australia

UON doctoral candidate Scientista's newest blogger

Monday, 26 September 2016

UON Doctoral Candidate Amanda Clarke is Scientista’s newest blogger: spreading the news of popular science across the globe via the web. A Marine Biologist with a focus on seagrass, Amanda’s passion for science outreach drove her to apply to be one of the Scientista Foundation’s team.

With a keen interest in Environmental Science, Amanda’s excited about the opportunity to spread the word about the work she does. As regular blogger for the site, Amanda will share her love of the sea and pretty much all that dwells within in.

“I’ll be discussing marine and environmental science mostly, and I’ll try to make it relevant on a global scale – because that’s what it’s all about really – small-scale impacts on a global platform,” Amanda explains. “What we do here in Australia is relevant in any estuary, especially where there is human development and lots of anthropogenic inputs.”

“I’d also like to explore everything that makes science fun, ideally I’d like to create a bridge between understanding science from both sides of the fence.

Amanda shared her knowledge with an international audience when she guest-hosted the RealScientists Twitter account during Coral Week. This rotational curated Twitter account has a global audience of 36.5k – and Amanda spent her time tweeting about her work in the labs and on the water at UON’s Central Coast campus.

“I got a taste of science communication while doing RealScientists and I found I enjoyed it more than I had anticipated. It was nerve-wracking being on such a large account, but once I started, it was an amazing journey.”

Being able to summarise her work into 140 characters is a skill that will come in handy when communicating science in blog posts on Scientista. With a wealth of marine topics to explore Amanda’s already has a long list of ideas to share on the platform.

Science outreach is a passion for Amanda: “In general, people are still afraid of what they don’t understand, so they ignore it. I think that as scientists, we need to be better at communicating our findings. We’re so used to dry journal articles and using big words to impress our peers that we lose the ability to talk to non-scientists effectively.”

Scientista was started out of Harvard in 2011 by sisters Julia and Christina Tartaglia to empower pre-professional women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) through outreach and community building.
Read Amanda’s first blog post on Scientista here.