Scicomm win: explanatory videos for papers.

Some people I know at ANU have published a review called ‘Conceptual domain of the matrix in fragmented landscapes’ (Driscoll et al. TREE in press, look at it here). They sought to identify how the matrix works in terms of animals moving around in fragmented landscapes (i.e., between patches of remnant vegetation). The authors have also released a short animated video to describe the main findings from their work. This is the cool bit. They’ve managed to condense their research into 4 mins – which is a hard task in itself. Observe:

Some journals now include a graphical abstract for works published (e.g., International Journal for Parasitology), where authors of papers provide a picture to represent their work. Making a video takes it a step further, and allows research to be more accessible, particularly for busy people, and interested people across all levels of scientific understanding. For example, reading the paper is probably beyond the comprehension of most school kids. But the video could make an important contribution to an environmental science class and help kids understand sophisticated concepts. Stop-motion animation may be beyond some people’s AV capabilities (me included!), but a video narrated in plain English is a brilliant way to communicate science, and to get your science to reach more people.



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