Many people email me who want a career in science communication. This is awesome. But I can't write a super long response to each because I don't have the time. I feel guilty. This career choice should be resoundingly supported. So I am compiling all my science communication career advice here.
Edited volumes, or anthologies, are very popular in research and academia. Several experts each contribute a chapter on their topic to form one book on a particular subject. An editor, or editors, oversees and manages the process. From January 2016 to May 2018, I went through the process of co-editing (with my colleague Ken Foster) How to Feed the World, which united 17 researchers’ contributions in one book. This was the first book I edited, and I learnt a lot from this process
If all the knowledge in the world were represented by a giant cake, then we might say a researcher specializes in one teeny tiny crumb of that cake. It's hard to communicate why a tiny crumb matters. Generally speaking, researchers make two mistakes. First, they immediately go into the technical details of their crumb and it confuses everyone and makes them bored. Or second, they claim that without their crumb, the whole goldarned cake wouldn't exist and their crumb is single-handedly responsible for the magnificence of this baked good. Neither of these approaches is a good strategy.
We all want to be smart about our news. The catch is that no one is teaching you how to do that. Avoiding fake news (news that IS NOT true and exists solely to trick you into believing something that is wrong), clickbait (media that is outrageous just so you'll click on it and they'll get add revenues) and understanding biased sources is incredibly important. I made this video to show you how to become media savvy and check your news sources when scrolling through social media or looking something up online.
World hunger has risen for a third consecutive year, according to the United Nations’ annual food security report. The total number of people who face chronic food deprivation has increased by 15 million since 2016. Some 821 million people now face food insecurity, raising numbers to the same level as almost a decade ago.
My publisher Island Press is having a flash sale until Sunday the 7th of October. Everything is 50% off. If you were thinking of buying How to Feed the World, now's a good time.
As many of you know, I moonlight as a sci-fi writer. My book Continent 7 just dropped on Amazon and Renee's adventures continue.
The Conversation: Colombia's coffee industry is at risk due to unpredictable seasons, floods, landslides, droughts and pests. Farmers say they want to learn to adapt to these environmental changes but don't know how.
This post includes an excerpt from an op-ed I wrote for Thomson Reuters News Foundation and links to the full article. In the op-ed, I argue that our collective attention is spent so obsessively on marginal food security issues that it comes at the expense of more pressing matters.
On the plane down to Colombia yesterday, I reviewed notes from my first research trip several months ago. I was surprised to find that every day I diligently wrote a reflection. Here is a redacted version of those notes, spanning eight days of research.