Starting a great conversation – Farewell and Thanks, Shaira Panela

This week we were delighted to go truly international on Real Scientists, hosting science journalist Shaira Panela, who hails from the beautiful islands of the Philippines. Right off the mark, Shai was bombarded with questions about her country and her work as a science journalist.  Coming from a science degree, Shai actually started out wanting to be a pilot but ended up being a reporter. Being a journo is something she is clearly REALLY GOOD at since she won a LaSallian Scholar Award for her reporting on Circus Science!

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Brilliant work, Shai!  The work awarded was a 2-part series on science and technology education: Part 1 and Part 2

While talking about the challenges of increasing awareness of science and science journalism in the Philippines, Shai also started a great conversation about science communication and engagement.  I think it’s been one of the most wide-ranging discussions we’ve had on Real Scientists so far and refreshing to have a direct discussion between a journalist and scientists and the public on the challenges of reporting. As Shai pointed out, journalists are taught to be skeptical of everything. This is one thing journalists have in common with science.

Shai gave us a great feel for the rhythm of the newsroom and of what life in Manila is like, from taking the train reading a Stephen Hawking biography to covering an ASEAN workshop on climate change.

So many thanks to Shaira for her excellent week at Real Scientists. We always say that our most recent curator is our favourite so far, and it still stands true.  All the best with the continuing work and please be sure to follow Shai on her adventures on her twitter account, @ShaiPanela. You can also catch up with the weeks tweets through our Storifys: Part 1 and Part 2

Next up, we welcome Sam Arman, palaeontologist!

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