Here's a thread on basic tips to help improve your next science figure! 📝 (ie common mistakes I see). It'll cover: 1) Contrast (color value) ⬛️⬜️ 2) Color (it’s a tool, not decoration!) 🌈 3) Fonts 🔤 4) Image Resolution 📷 5) Spacing / margins 📐 6) By request! 💡
1a) Ahh contrast.. my favorite topic! If we lived in a world of black & white, contrast would actually be less of an issue (because we'd notice it immediately). Color variation can trick you into thinking something is legible!
1b) Left image - looks decent, but dark on dark elements getting hard to read. Right image - if converted to black and white (great trick to check contrast btw) becomes almost illegible and purple dots disappear. Bad for color blind and if figure is ultimately printed in B&W!
(1/6) This was a fun piece I illustrated with @NatGeo on the neuroanatomy of the common octopus 🐙 Seems relatively simple but (as many of you can attest) a lot of good storytelling is stripping AWAY info as opposed to adding.. (here's a peak at the process work below)
(2/6) First sketch that was proposed to me for the story. I was immediately hooked since I am fascinated with octopi 😍🐙
(3/6) Most of the work in science illustration actually goes into background research, coordinating w/ world experts (sometimes means emailing across 5 different timezones - Greenland, Australia, Canada, US, Europe...). Most times we have to go with the best 'theory' out there 🤔
Our team is a mix of scientists of many different skill sets and backgrounds. Some of us are great at tweeting, some of us are great at fixing cars, and some of us can cook a curry that makes you cry with happiness after a long windy day in the field.
What binds is together is our dedication to studying the workings of the Solar System by studying out of this world landmarks on Earth. #NASAFieldWork
Some of us are looking at ice and life in preparation for sending robots to Europa. That brought our Team Ice to The glacier covered volcano Kverkfjöll.
An increase in word finding difficulties can occur with age.
Temporary episodes of language loss may be called 'aphasia' by some but the cause is temporary - diff to someone who has a brain injury that changes the brain permanently (even tho they may recover to some extent). 2/2
Aphasia is caused by an acquired brain injury, most commonly #stroke. Around 1/3 of people with left hemisphere stroke can have aphasia. Over time, the severity of the aphasia and type may change but many people live with aphasia.
Here are a couple of YouTube clips that talk more about #aphasia, posting them again here for ease of reference:
This award-winning video by @shireeheath explains aphasia from a child's perspective:
[Photos from Porcupine Gorge, North West Queensland, Australia]
Today is my 2nd last day of tweeting for @realscientists....
Work-wise, I am catching up with research tasks, having spent the week meeting teaching deadlines. I'll be giving feedback on an upcoming poster presn & a lit review; catching up on research projects & trip planning...
In-between tasks, I will aim to answer some Qs that were posed to me last night...
(& delightfully called ‘heffalumps’ in Winnie the Pooh)
What’s the word for 🐘 in your language?
So these are the emerging patterns if we cluster the different words for elephant together:
Elephant, Elefante, Elefant, Eilifint
Oliphant, Oliphaunt, Olifant
Peel, Feel, Fíll
Important update to global 🐘list!
Elephant, Elefante, Elefant, Eilifint
Peel, Feel, Fíll
Gaja, Gajah, Gajendra
Zou in Japanese [zoh] 象
Заан (Pronounced za:hn with a long ‘ah’)
Tomorrow, I will aim to put the 'science' back into my tweets...My brain's a bit fried after preparing teaching all day...
But on that note, do you have Qs about bilingualism or aphasia or speech pathology or interpreters, or cultural diversity & health care? Or anything else that you think I might be able to answer? Otherwise, it shall become 'Random tweets' day!
I may revisit the relevance of some of the polls that we did at the start of this week (if I can find them buried amongst all the word/saying threads!)....
At the start of this week, I said that I've grown up between 2 #cultures. I imagine many of you navigate more than one #culture 2. So what are some of your experiences navigating more than one culture? #navigating2cultures
For example, for me....
At work, I use cutlery; at home, I eat rice & curry with my hands. That is the best way to eat rice and curry. Eating with cutlery just doesn't cut it. You can't mix the food in the same way. & while we're myth busting, we NEVER eat just 1 curry with rice!!!
My mum once sent me to school with coconut oil in my hair - because in Sri Lanka, coconut oil is thought to be good for hair. Of course, everyone laughed at me and I never did that again! Now, I see coconut oil is in lots of hair products...🤔 #navigating2cultures
Sadly, of the large carnivore species, more than 60% of them are threatened. Of the 17 showing widespread population declines, they now live in only 47% of their historical ranges. The tiger, for example, could have lost 95% of its historical range science.sciencemag.org/content/343/61…
There are fewer than 3,900 tigers left in the world today due to widespread habitat loss, historic overhunting (thanks to us Brits), #humanwildlifeconflict and, more recently, #illegalwildlifetrade. Sadly, tigers are desired for their skins as rugs & their parts for medicine
Tigers continue to decline in many parts of south-east Asia but their population seems to be fairing better in India due to strictly enforced protected areas & efforts from the Global Tiger Forum 🐯hindustantimes.com/environment/ti…
My research mostly focuses on how we can get people to feel a bit happier about sharing their land with wildlife. When we disagree on how to manage wildlife, this is called #HumanWildlifeConflict. If an elephant destroys a crop, farmers want to get rid of that elephant 👨🌾🐘🌽
#DYK there are tamed Asian elephants used to herd wild elephants away from villages to limit crop/property damage? You can read more about them here wwf.or.id/en/about_wwf/w…
There are options for reducing wildlife damage but none are fullproof. Putting up fences can help, but there are consequences of fencing off large parts of land, as this reduces habitat for wildlife. Fences are a touchy subject for lion researchers nature.com/news/fences-di…
Now I'm going to talk a little bit about how to get into wildlife conservation. It's great to see so many people interested in nature! Conservation can be a hard career to get started but there are ways to do it. Academia is one route, but there are lots of jobs at NGOs too
If you're interested in conservation science, having a BSc & MSc is a good start. Lots of conservation jobs aren't about science though. We need fundraisers, marketers, communications experts, HR managers etc. so don't worry if you don't want to go down the academic route
Gooooooooood morning Twitterverse! I'm an environmentalist who sees myself as a bit of a Captain Planet protégé. I am using science to help protect this wonderful world we live in. First things first: does anyone actually remember Captain Planet?!
Captain Planet was a 1990s cartoon aimed at kids but had a very strong environmental message throughout. It brought together the "Planeteers" who were kids that wanted to help make the world a better place. Pretty neat, huh?!
And why do I start my week on Twitter talking about kids' cartoons? Well, to me, science is about making positive change for society. And to do that, we need to get our messages out there & get people interested. Cartoons are a great way of engaging kids in science messages
Why should we care about sex differences? Shouldn't we treat men and women the same?
If we're talking about respect, of course! If we're talking about biology, drug dosing, etc...NO
Historically, medicine has treated women as simply "more variable males" and most studies used (white, upper class) men, and assumed the results could be applied to women. There were also concerns about allowing women of child-bearing age to participate in studies
Women weren't regularly included in clinical trials in the US until the NIH Revitalization Act was passed in 1993!! This has lead to less knowledge about how medications may affect women differently, and as a result, compromised the quality of healthcare they receive.
First things first, sex and gender are not interchangeable! Gender is social construct, that can differ across cultures. Humans can identify as a particular gender, but rodents, tissues, and cells DO NOT HAVE A GENDER.
Sex is also somewhat socially constructed, in the sense that what we consider someone’s sex can change based on what we use to define sex. Are we defining sex based on chromosomes? Internal gonads? External genitalia? Hormonal profile?
In plenty of people, these categories don’t all neatly line up into “male” or “female.” An estimated 1.7% of human births might be intersex. (It’s tough to estimate, because people may not discover this until later in life)
This week has been a lot of troubleshooting, and not a lot of progress. I think this is one of the hardest parts of science.
When I feel like I’m not making any progress, I like to re-read The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus (or at least just the last chapter)
I turn to this book when I’m discouraged, because in it, Camus works through the idea of finding meaning in an absurd universe. But it doesn’t feel patronizing in the way “motivational” books can.
Who’s Sisyphus? Punished by the Greek gods for trying to put Death in chains, he is condemned to push a huge rock up a mountain, only to have it roll back down once he reaches the top...and start all over again.
I’m very excited to curate the account this week! But first...coffee. How are y’all starting/continuing your Sundays?
As my brain slowly comes alive...how does caffeine work?
Well, it acts on a lot of different targets, but to make you feel awake, mostly it blocks receptors for adenosine. Adenosine builds up in your brain when you’re awake/alert, making you drowsy.
Caffeine tricks your brain into thinking it’s not tired by keeping the adenosine from being able to bind to the receptors. If it broke down the adenosine, you would *maybe* never be “too tired for coffee,” but eventually, the adenosine will win and you need to sleep!
We wondered if Astronomers can find planets around stars 1000s of light years using Transit Method (dip in star's brightness because of orbiting planets) could we use this method on our parent Star- the Sun?