I have been working with the University of Reading to develop case studies of research that is having an impact beyond the academic community. One of the case studies I have had the great pleasure of working on is the work of Dr Paul Williams who’s research includes understanding the phenomenon of clear-air turbulence. In particular, how to better predict it and how it might be affected by climate change.
Paul is essentially a science communicator’s dream come true. He explains his research simply, avoids jargon and acronyms, and uses visuals to clarify difficult concepts. This makes my job of explaining the research to a general audience a whole lot simpler.
Last year, Paul published a paper in Nature Climate Change showing that transatlantic flights would likely be experiencing more turbulence as a consequence of increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The story received global media attention and offered a new platform for journalists to discuss the effects of climate change.
As I prepare to leave for Boston at the end of the week to participate in the MIT Knight Science Journalism Food Boot Camp, doing my best to ignore news the missing 777, Paul’s research is feeling very relevant as I embark on yet another transatlantic flight. So, I thought it would make a good topic for the Canadian Science Writers’ Association blog and I’m very excited to be one of this week’s member guest bloggers.
Read the post Atmospheric tug-of-war and why turbulence is winning more often here.