Tropical meteorologist and climatologist Rodrigo Bombardi (@Dr_Monsoon) joined RealScientists back in November. Rodrigo introduced us to some of the quirks of forecasting and meteorology with aplomb.
For example, there is an atmospheric river called "the Pineapple Express" that happens between Hawaii and Southern California. I kid you not
— realscientists (@realscientists) November 15, 2015
Although we usually define climate as the average of the weather, weather can also be affected by climate. Isn’t this world crazy?
— realscientists (@realscientists) November 17, 2015
What now? Yes this world is 100% legit cray-cray!
Rodrigo also partnered up with @illustratedsci to share wonderful artworks that helped to communicate his scientific work, in a charming and aesthetically pleasing way.
— realscientists (@realscientists) November 18, 2015
Fun fact: If you considerer the whole column of air above your head, there is one tone of air pressing down on you pic.twitter.com/7BAihGPVDB
— realscientists (@realscientists) November 16, 2015
Rodrigo kindly answered our post-curation survey, and his thoughts about his week at RealScientists follow.
In general terms, how did you find your week as a curator?
It was a lot of work, specially if you still have to do your day job. Moreover, it was way more fun that I was expecting it to be.
It can be a shock talking to so many. Did you find the sudden rush of interactions (good and bad) daunting?
I didn’t find it daunting. Most of the time the interactions I had were very nice and polite. Some people are so clever and funny. I was mostly amused. However, on two occasions when I was talking about climate change I had to endure some trolling. Even so they were mostly questioning the science. Only a few of these trolls were impolite. But I have a think skin and it did’t bother me at all. But it is a big exposure and you need to be prepared if you intend to talk about issues that affect people’s beliefs.
What were the highlights? Were there any lowlights?
For this week I asked an artist (James Olstein @illustratedsci) to illustrate some of my tweets. Those were very popular. I also used a series of gifs, figures, and pictures to communicate the science. Those were very popular as well. I got a lot of love when I talked about my personal life and my struggles.
Regarding lowlights, the trolls tried to distract me. In one of the days it seemed like a massive coordinated attack. However, I think it backfired for them because their tweets made a lot of people engage in the conversation, which is what we need. We need people talking about these issues. In addition, their attacks made me tweet far more than I was anticipating. So even the lowlight was a highlight.
Is there anything you wanted to get out of / do on the RS account that you didn’t manage to fit in?
I am a troublemaker by nature. I will challenge the status quo whenever I have a chance. RS would be a great platform for that since it is a big microphone. On the other hand, I didn’t want my troublemaking to get in the way of simply communicating science. I thought it would be distracting. And there aren’t many people out there talking about atmospheric sciences in general. Most of the voices out there are talking about climate change. Moreover, RS is not my personal account so I didn’t think it was fair to talk about issues that might get people upset. Instead, I chose to give a clear message about atmospheric sciences and just a hint of troublemaking regarding climate change.
Did you have a plan? If so, did you stick to it?
I did have a plan. I had a theme for each day and I stuck to it.
Do you have any tips or advice for future RS curators?
Yes, as soon as I contacted @realscientists and got a reply saying that they would have me as a curator a couple of months later I started gathering material and writing down tweets. I had a critical mass of tweets for each day of about 32 tweets (4 tweets/hour for 8 hours). But I didn’t tweet every 15min nor did I tweet for 8 hours straight. I would send a few of them 5min apart and then wait for people’s reactions. Often, people would ask questions about things I did’t plan to talk about. Those were great to fill in the space or to transition between topics. In summary, prepare ahead and have nice pictures/figures/gifs if possible.
What other people or accounts should people follow if they enjoyed your tweets this week?
If people are interested in climate change I would highly recommend Katharine Hayhoe @KHayhoe. I think she is the best and most effective climate change communicator out there. Specially because she shares the values of the people who tend to be more skeptical of climate science.
For atmospheric sciences in general, for cool figures and animations and current weather/climate conditions I like Philip Klotzbach @philklotzbach and Eric Blake @EricBlake12
And James Olstein @illustratedsci for illustrated science in general
Thanks once again Rodrigo from all of us here at RealScientists HQ. If you missed anything from his week, the tweets are all collated at the following link.