Adventures to be had.

I believe life should be nothing but a series of adventures, and I do not think all these adventures need to be jumping out of planes or diving through ocean caves (although these once in a life time adventures are obviously pretty special!). I believe any time you do something new, that is an adventure! Therefore, everyone can have adventures, often! Throughout my blog I will explore many different types of adventures (however small) I have experienced, hopefully inspiring you to do the same. The first is becoming a citizen scientist! Citizen science is when members of the public help scientists collect and analyse data. You probably have not heard of citizen science before (I hadn’t until I completed my honours thesis on the topic last year), which is odd considering citizen science has actually officially been around since 1900, when members of the public started to collect bird data in the UK. Citizen science has become increasingly popular in the last decade or so for a number of reasons including the necessity to collect larger amounts of scientific data (particularly environmental data), the development of technology particularly smart-phone apps which make citizen science participation easier and most importantly because people are realising how much fun it is to be a citizen scientist! There are lots and lots and lots of different types of citizen science projects all over the world. So many that I am almost 100% certain you […]

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Overcoming Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is a thing… it is a completely real thing that is not made up by writers (who for the most part do make up fiction). It occurs when every inch of creativity has seeped out of your body, or when there is a confusing statistical result which your brain can not wrap its neurons around, or when you have a complete mental blank on a word that you swear you have used so many times it is in the ‘most used’ section of your vocabulary. It can and will happen to anyone who writes anything (no matter the genre). So here are my ten tips for getting through your writer’s block. 1) Have a trusty notebook- For a reason we may never understand, that sentence you have been stuck on since lunch time will magically structure itself just before you drift off to sleep, or as you are stopped in the car at the traffic lights. It is therefore essential that you keep a notebook with you at all times so you can quickly jot down the magic before it disappears again. Obviously if you are driving please pull off of the road before you write it down- safety first! You could also use the notepad on your phone if you are more tech savvy! 2) Shower- I am not sure why but so many of my best ideas have occurred when I am in the shower. I was […]

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What is a PhD?

“Is a PhD one year?” “So you will be a doctor?” “But not a medicine doctor?” “A P h What?” These are all questions I have been asked since I applied for a PhD at the end of last year. I do not blame people for not knowing what a PhD is, to be truthful I knew very little about it until I started one myself, and I definitely did not know anything about a PhD before I started my undergraduate course. Firstly what does a PhD stand for? Doctor of Philosophy (not Doctor of Psychology like most of us psych students thought- we sometimes think the world revolves around us). So anybody who is completing a PhD is studying a Doctorate of Philosophy, however depending on their research field will specialise in a specific area. Such as, I am completing a PhD in conservation psychology. What is the degree? Basically, a PhD is a postgraduate course which takes at least three years to complete. PhD students conduct their own research (under the supervision of expert academics) which is original and contributes knowledge. This will generally involve producing a thesis (around 80,000 words) which includes writing introductory chapters, collecting data (eg. surveying people, analysing specimen in laboratories or testing new technology), writing up the results and then discussing what the results mean (this is a very basic description!). People completing a PhD in fields such as literacy or art may […]

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