Greetings from the Orlando airport! Because of a winter storm I have been rerouted in the opposite direction of my final destination, and will arrive home 28 hours late. It has been a week of travel (unproductive on air planes) but productive in building collaborations and continued reflection on writing in many ways.
I was at a working meeting and had the opportunity to see a lot of friends and make some great new potential collaborators. In both formal and informal discussions I picked-up some tips for better writing. Some one recommended Publish & Flourish, and we discussed how often advisors should have to look at drafts. (Basically they shouldn’t be looking at every draft, we as students need to have self-revision mechanisms and friendly peer-reviews between submissions to our busy advisors). I was nervous and reflecting if I do enough in-between independent revisions in my writing, but I know that I am definitely doing more and more of it and will continue to. I also started to draft something of a cover-letter for post-doc applications and got some advise. In addition, I had some great conversations about effective group work and co-writing and, for now, I think I want to limit my near-future collaborations to 3-4 people at a time to be able submit manuscripts in a more timely manner and get group consensus.
Interestingly, one of the working groups at my meeting was looking at the intersection and relation of urban ecology and the humanities, including the arts. It really seems that art-science collaborations are more wide-spread than I thought and that they are being formalized in organizations and in their study in academia. Stockholm resilience center looks at art as a part of science communication, and I found a study about art-science collaboration as a study method and as a way to create sense of place.
On a negative note about my journey in science communication, I didn’t get picked for 3 minutes to change the world. I am still happy I applied because if you don’t apply to opportunities you can’t get them, but it is still very disappointing.
On a positive note (I like to finish on a positive note), I took a little break for all the science conferencing and went to the botanical gardens. There was a Chihuly exhibit and it contrasted for the Montreal one I saw in the fall. Definitely makes me want to flourish as both a scientist and an artist (pun intended with the spring blossoms in the garden!).