Author: Deb

A paperless conference

A paperless conference sounded like a great idea. Just think of the trees. And this was a conference FOR the trees. And the fish. And the birds. The World Parks Congress, held every 10 years to remind us that we

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A grand opening

The grand opening of the World Parks Congress, Sydney Olympic Stadium November 2014. The audiences is shushed and warned off flash photography. The hosts urge quiet respect, announcing that ‘this will be a sacred part of the ceremony’. The scene

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Keeping away from writing

This post was inspired by the second writing exercise in the book ‘Becoming an Academic Writer’ by Patricia Goodson, which I found through Pat Thomson’s review. It took 10 minutes to write – it was meant to take 5 but

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Safe areas of ignorance

I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t have a skill they pride themselves on. Even just a small range of actions they know they can reliably perform well, with or without pressure. Simple, elegant expertise: tying a rope, milking a

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Luciérnagas (fireflies)

[I’m trying to finish a paper, meaning all time not spent in painful gestation feels guilty. With super storms, the unfolding tragedy of our bedraggled reef and a certain wobbliness on the personal front, sometimes things seem a little bleak.

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Outside the Island

It is from Dead Man’s Cove that the small group leaves. The sign reads ‘Pretty Beach’ and is nailed to a tree at a rakish angle. Soledad traces the faded yellow lettering with her fingers, watching the boat disappear out

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Latecomer

It’s 8:45am. The fishers sit silently, some studying the floor, others gazing out to the still waters visible from the hotel’s balcony with a (real? imagined?) longing for a day’s lost wages. All are dressed neatly, shirts tucked in, hair

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The Virtual Dive Machine

The final plenary speech at a very large conference. This scientist bears a superficial resemblance to another in the public eye: an ageing rock star who also has added a podium to his stage. Bald, spare, charismatic. He tells us

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“Don’t take it seriously”: the rules of serious games

Bandanas are distributed, paper mache boats in hand. Fishers and local government workers cluster around the board. We’re a couple of rounds into the fishing game. Some have lost, others have hit the jackpot, in that lexicon of luck and

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Ecology of persuasion: a mug’s game?

I am sitting outside the plenary session of the Australian Science Communicators’ Conference, February 2012. Wagging sessions is not encouraged, but I’m suddenly a little unsure as to what has brought me here – my background in ecology and development

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