Insights in to a chilly world: Thanks and farewell to Veronika Meduna

Back at the beginning of October Veronika Meduna (@VeronikaMeduna) took over @RealScientists. Veronika spent the week showing us an amazing insight in to the trials and tribulations of working in the Antarctic including some stunning photos of the dry valley.

She also spent some time summarising some of the other working going on in the antarctic and explained why it’s so vital that this takes place. As well as her work with the ANDRILL project

Thanks so much to Veronika for her excellent curation of Real Scientists. You can catch up on all of her tweets here, as well as collage of all of her images here. As is our custom I’ll leave the last word to Veronika in our post-curation questionnaire.


How did you find your week as a curator?

It was great fun. I really enjoyed being able to focus on one topic (even though in my case that still meant several areas of research) and to talk to so many people I would not have connected with otherwise.

Were there any lowlights?

Trying to juggle my day job, family and curating wasn’t always easy and sometimes I couldn’t get back to people as quickly I would have liked to.

It can be a shock talking to 12,000. Did you find the sudden rush of interactions (good and bad) daunting?

It was a bit overwhelming on the first evening. I started sending out tweets, thinking that I’d just introduce myself and send out a few images for people to enjoy – but then I spent a good part of that first night talking to people who’d sent in comments and queries, and I was still buzzing well into the early morning hours. But overall, the fantastic level of interaction was the most enjoyable part of my week as a curator.

Is there anything you wanted to get out of / do on the RS account that you didn’t manage to fit in?

I would have liked to continue some of the conversations for a bit longer, beyond my week on RealScientists. It’s worked in some cases, but not in all.

Also, I would have liked to tell people a bit more about other parts of my day to day work on the radio science show, but I struggled to find the time.

On a personal front, I have strong views on the rights to privacy of children (particularly online), so I usually don’t talk much about family life on social media – but in this case, I think it would have been nice if I’d shared more than I usually do.

Do you have any tips or advice for future RS curators?

It was helpful to have a rough plan of what I wanted to talk about and have at least some of my links and images sorted beforehand. That way I could focus on tweeting and connecting with people, and trying to respond to interactions in real time – and it allowed me to be flexible if something came up that I wanted to talk about more.

If people enjoyed your tweeting who else should the go follow?

There are a lot of people on Twitter with an interest in Antarctica and the polar regions in particular, so this is in no way an exhaustive list.

To start with, Antarctic research organizations are worth following to see what’s happening during the science season on ice:

  • Antarctica New Zealand @AntarcticaNZ
  • BAS @BAS_News
  • NSF polar programmes @NSF_OPP
  • Australian Antarctic Division @AusAntarctic
  • @AntarcticTreaty
  • @Antarcticcentre
  • @McMurdo_Station
  • Apart from that, there are:
  • @NZIceFest
  • @penguin_watch
  • @AntarcticData
  • @APECSOceania
  • @AntarcticaNews
  • @NASA_ICE

And also

  • @WideWhiteStage
  • @poliepete
  • @VicMetcalf_NZ
  • @Polar_Research
  • @BoboftheCold
  • @GdnAntarctica
  • @pierreroudier
  • @DrMeaganDewar
  • @AntarcticWaters
  • @jane_younger
  • @AntarcticaBella
  • @CCAMLR1
  • @antarcticassag
  • @AntarcticHT
  • @TJVMajors
  • @pewenvironment
  • @BlancaFiguerola
  • @polarbotanist
  • @DrRenukaBadhe
  • @DrMikeSparrow
  • @Antzkiwi
  • @o_gabbyo

What TV show do you think everyone should go watch right now?

Sorry to be a spoilsport here but we don’t even own a television!

Matthew (@MCeeP)

Matthew is a research fellow at Cranfield University that while trained as a biochemist has accidentally ended up working with optical sensor systems. In addition to helping out @RealScientists he also runs a blog called Errant Science and writes a monthly column for Laboratory News .

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