I have 3D scatter plots of temperature trend data slowly turning before my mind’s eye. The frustrating thing is that that is the only place I can see them; I can’t reproduce them on the computer. I have to find another way to show what I am able to see. I also need some serious thinking time about the best number crunching. I need a break, to stand back and think about it all…
Digging in the Clay hit 8,000 page views on blog stats the other day. I was going to wait until 10,000 (sometime mid-February at the present rate) to report it, but it fits with my reflective mood today I guess. That is 8,000 page views from 4,000 visits by 2,000 unique visitors in two and a half months – more than I dreamed possible. Actually I’m not sure if I care about blog stats that much, although it is gratifying. I just needed a place to ‘think out loud’, one where the pressure of possible public scrutiny keeps you on your toes in terms of both accuracy and clear communication. And if others picked up on some of it and found it contributed to the bigger picture so much the better.
Friends have commented on the melange of styles of the blog posts (well mine – vjones). Yes – different styles for different purposes. At the moment the analytical stuff is getting the ‘report what you did and what it shows with minimal opinion’ treatment. This is deliberate – straight, boring and science-like; the opinion comes later when the bigger picture is complete. Part of my reason for this is that I am often put off by the framing of anything to do with climate science. I am more likely to read something relatively neutral. I like to be informed, but to make up my own mind. On the other hand I’ve let my opinions spill over into several posts on climate science methods and communication e.g. here, and experimented with different styles (Climate Fast Food) and means of communication (GIStemp Reloaded).
That brings me to a link I was sent yesterday (knowing my interest in science communication) to a book review in this month’s Science, which includes Don’t Be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style by Randy Olson. Actually, I found the review and the mention of Olson’s film Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy, a little off-putting, but the synopsis and chapter headlines on the book website look interesting so I will at least pick it up for a closer look next time I’m in a bookstore. Chapter 1 is entitled Don’t Be So Cerebral – basically, appeal to other senses – and presumably the one that journalists go for – gut reaction ;-). Plenty of that in climate science communication; all those poor, poor polar bears (/sarc off).