As the year draws to a close, we have been working hard behind the scenes to make AoBBlog ready for 2017. The biggest changes have been fuelled by our vision to revamp the negative perception of scientific blogging and social media in the academic community. Engaging in online pastimes still has the stigma attached of wasting time on the internet, when you could be doing more important things. We have always felt strongly that communicating science is as valuable as doing the research.
For 2017, we believe that it will be more important than ever to engage with others outside of our immediate subject area; to step outside of our normal networks, to read, write and listen as much as we can; and to collaborate on the big challenges that we will be facing, as scientists, and as humans. Our New Year’s resolution for 2017 is to find even more ways of communicating plant science, engaging with new audiences, disseminating evidence-based research, and appreciating all members of our plant science community.
Because 2016 has been tough on many of us, we wanted to give our readers a special gift at the end of the year. As online advent calendars
are a lot of work are much better done by other sites, we decided to dive into the news archives. We have put together a week of articles featuring plants that broke a record in 2016. They are unexpected, astounding, and just the right thing to have up your sleeve for holiday family get-togethers. Don’t miss our record-breaking week 2016!
Our new design and logo
We put a lot of thought in designing a new logo for AoBBlog. Our new logo features dandelion flowers, and dandelion seeds being dispersed in the wind. We felt that this was a good metaphor for our ‘grand vision’ of using social media as dispersal mechanism for spreading plant science across the world. To take this metaphor a step further, we wouldn’t mind our plant science content to become invasive, which surely must be the correct botanical phrase for ‘going viral’. Too far? Never mind.
By using a modern serif font alongside the Annals of Botany title, we adapted our style to match a ‘serious’ scientific journal. We also changed the site’s theme, to reflect our move from a blog to a magazine. In fact, many of the news sites that you might be reading have a ‘blog’ core, but you wouldn’t think of it as a blog. We think that ‘writing for impact’ is a much more appropriate phrase than ‘blogging’, and will be using this from now on, in the hope that we will help raising acceptance of online science communication in our community.
How and what can you write for AoBBlog? We created a set of flyers to answer your questions! We would greatly appreciate if you could help us achieving our vision by circulating them to students and colleagues, putting them up on your noticeboard, Facebook page or office door…Of course, we’d also be very happy to receive submissions from you. We would like to thank Pat Heslop-Harrison for providing the beautiful botanical photos.
You can download the six different flyer designs on this page: https://botany.one/about/aobblog-flyers/.
New work experience student
Last but not least, we welcome our Work Experience student Alexandra Boliver-Brown, who will be writing articles, conducting interviews, and shadowing our conversations in our virtual AoBBlog office on Slack. If you would be interested in doing a work experience placement with us, please drop us a line for more information.