SCAR medal for outreach and education

Hello folks,

I’m delighted to say that I’ve been honoured with the 2022 medal for Antarctic Education and Communication by the international body for organising Antarctic research and collaboration, the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research. I’m absolutely thrilled and very indebted to my nominator Huw Griffiths. The medal is awarded for my work in Antarctic communication, such as running this website and science fairs, as well as public speaking and events. Thank you to everyone that has contributed to or supported the website, and supported me over the years! Thank you especially to people who contributed to the AntarcticGlaciers project in any way, as funders, or website contributors. I am so very indebted to you.

Here is the full citation.

Congratulations to all the recipients of the 2022 medals!

Response

I was given the opportunity to respond to the medal at the 2022 SCAR conference closing ceremony. I’ve reproduced my response below.

Thank you for the award

Thank you for this award, I feel humbled and thrilled and grateful. Thank you to my nominator Huw Griffiths and to the SCAR committee for this recognition.

When I started AntarcticGlaciers some 10 years ago, I had no idea what it would become. I found a supportive and engaged community who encouraged me and helped me to maintain the momentum.

I’m grateful to everyone who has collaborated with me on various outreach, education and EDI projects over the years, especially the organisations that have supported my various outreach projects financially, and to everyone who has contributed to AntarcticGlaciers. This especially includes all of the ECRs who have contributed substantially over the years.

Some projects especially will remain close to my heart. The ESRI StoryMaps project was great fun and incredibly satisfying, and involved a whole host of people who willingly gave their time. The recent Polar Day where we ran a science event for local schools with disadvantaged children remains a highlight of recent activities, and again, was only successful because a large group of people enthusiastically gave up their time to work with the children.

I remain inspired by a number of excellent science communicators and EDI champions who use a range of different platforms to communicate their science, some of whom are here today. I feel that given the current pace of climate change, clear and accurate dissemination of the latest science has never been more important, and I’m excited to keep doing my best to support public engagement, to keep working with journalists and with teachers, and campaigning for better equality, diversity and inclusion within our community.

Let me finish with a call to arms: both EDI and the clear, frank and public communication of our science has never been more important. Messaging on climate change needs to be simple, often repeated and understandable.

The best way to get involved is just to start doing it. There are so many platforms these days, and so many different ways of doing it, that you can find an outlet that fits your talent, whether that’s TikTok films, podcasts, going into schools, science festivals and writing for websites, magazines or newspapers. The best way to build an audience is to start doing it; you’ll make mistakes as you go, but you’ll learn loads and have great fun doing it.

To the more senior scientists in the audience, you have a critical role to play, both in supporting your mentees, but also in ensuring that the organisations that you are a part of are supporting science communication, but logistically but also financially. It has never been more important.

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