When I meet new people and am asked the compulsory “and what do you do?” question, I sometimes struggle to answer. I am wearing so many different hats! Depending on the context, I might be in the role of programme manager of GEO-Tag der Natur, a consultant in Higher Education and/or Science Communication, a science communicator with my own projects like kitchen oceanography or wave watching, initiator of #scicommchall, facilitator of networking events, and many more. And while I enjoy each of those hats, people are usually not patient enough to listen to me listing all of those, and yet omitting one (or more) doesn’t feel right.
But lately, things seem to be falling into place. With GEO-Tag der Natur’s focus on “seeing nature with different eyes”, this programme’s goal aligns very much with the goals I am pursuing with, among others, my wave watching activities. And facilitating excellent science communication by using my theoretical background, practical experience and amazing network seems to become a more and more prominent part of my endeavours.
I am super excited to be strengthening that strand of my “personal brand” even further, and am honoured to say that I have taken on the role as Associate Editor on the editorial board of “Understanding the Earth and its Resources“, a specialty section of Frontiers for Young Minds. I am looking forward to inviting scientists in writing articles for — and supporting the article’s peer-review process by — kids. I published two articles with Frontiers for Young Minds earlier this year (on the formation of sea ice, and on density driven ocean currents), and I enjoyed the experience so much that It was really very easy to decide to dedicate time and energy towards this project.
By specifically creating articles for children, on both scientific core concepts and cutting edge science, Frontiers for Young Minds is building an amazing collection that is accessible to anyone in the world. Since the articles are written by the scientists themselves and then peer-reviewed by children, they are both factually correct and at the same time understandable by the target audience. And from my own experience as an author, this is such an enriching experience!
One role in the peer-review-by-kids process that isn’t as prominently visible, but that is crucial for the success, is the “science mentor“. Science mentors are the middle persons between the journal side (i.e. myself, how exciting to say this!) and the kids. They work with the kids to read, understand and critique the articles, to formulate the reviews and to submit them via the system. And if you are still reading this, I think you might be destined to become a science mentor (I am specifically thinking of you, Elin and Joke ;-)), but anyone else, too: If you are interested in getting involved, please be in touch!