Big changes are happening in my little life, and I’m trying my best to keep it all under control.
Next week I will be leaving the University of St Andrews where I have been working intermittently for the past year and a half. I am leaving first because my original contract is coming to an end, and because I have voluntarily not looked for any means to prolong it. After months and months of reflexion I have decided to leave academia, at least for a little while.
So what has made me come to this decision? Several things that became so huge I could not ignore them any longer. First of all, I want to say that glaciology is and will always remain my biggest passion. I have deeply enjoyed doing research in this field, collaborating with talented and ingenious individuals, and the experiences I have had the chance to live during my academic career have been nothing short of incredible.
Beside my work in St Andrews, I spent quite a large part of this year, and last year, doing a lot of science outreach, communicating to various audiences about our work, and the consequences of climate change on the cryosphere. And I truly believe that communicating our science today is more important than ever. The problem is, not everybody wants to do it, not everybody has time to do it, and not everybody can make science accessible. And this for me is what really tipped me to address these enormous elephants in the room: science outreach and science policy.
I am taking a break from academia to learn how our science is being communicated to politicians, to the civil society, and to businesses. And I am willing to work very hard to improve it!
One step in the right direction has been the publication yesterday of our work on surging glaciers in the magazine Science. I could not be prouder to see the research we’ve been focusing on for the past 6 years making the cover and a lengthy feature in the magazine. This is a fantastic example of how science can be explained in a super cool way. Check out the article here: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/358/6367/1120.full