Australian twins Imogen (left) and Freya Wadlow have been decoding climate science talks in Queenstown for the past week. Photo by Christina McDonald.
Climate scientists have been forced by a pair of 18-year-old
Australian twins to think about how well they are
communicating their research.
About 280 international and national climate scientists have
been in Queenstown attending the Stratosphere-troposphere
processes and their role in climate (SPARC) general assembly
since last Sunday.
Sydney twins Imogen and Freya Wadlow were co-funded to attend
the conference - which discussed the upper atmosphere and its
effect on climate - by Macquarie University, where they are
studying, and SPARC for a communications role.
Today is the last day of the conference. The twins had been
to every talk on the programme as of yesterday, as well as
interviewing scientists and posting updates online.
They had given out a questionnaire about how scientists
communicate and many of the responses received so far
suggested the scientists also thought their communication
techniques needed work.
The results would be collated and put in a report to present
to their university, with the hope it would influence future
Interviews they had done with scientists at the conference
with the kicker 'why do you love being a scientist?' would be
used by schools, the pair said.
The twins have operated two science websites,
planetpatrol.info and ifink.com, since they were 10 years old
and both are studying multiple science disciplines and
politics at Macquarie.
Aside from the night of dancing last night, which Imogen said
she heard was now a tradition, the conference allowed for
scientists to network and collaborate on future research.
Their experience at the conference had affirmed ''that what
we are doing is really important''.
''It's really given us motivation to just keep going and work
really hard at it.''
SPARC was founded in 1992 and is one of the four core
projects in the World Climate Research Programme.
The conference concludes today.