NH
Natural Hazards

Early Career Scientists

Where science and communication meet: the editorial world of scientific journals.

Where science and communication meet: the editorial world of scientific journals.

The ultimate scope of scientists is to publish their research advancement and share it with the scientific community and civil society. Researchers, whether coming from academia or research institutes, publish their results in peer-reviewed journals, that are usually highly technical and often incomprehensible to anyone except the major experts in the field. In some subjects is inevitable given the nature of the research contents. 

The scientific editorial world is punctuated by thousands of different highly specialized journals, although some of the oldest, e.g. Nature (1869) publishes articles across a wide range of scientific fields being addressed not only to research scientists, the primary audience but also for the educated public in order to shorten the gap between the two worlds. In today’s interview, we talk with Dr Yang Xia, Associate Editor of the journal Nature Communications for the Earth team. Her expertise is focused on environmental social science, environmental policy, socio-economics, sustainability and climate-related health risks and she will give us some insights into the editors’ job as well as into the unsolved questions in the field of the socio-economic impact of natural hazards.

Hi Yang! Thanks for accepting being interviewed by NhET. Can you tell us something about you? What led you to be Associate Editor of Nature Communications?

After completing my PhD degree, I felt a great desire to stay in a broader frame of science rather than focusing on a niche point. In this respect, my current job facilitates my love for diversity and inclusion because I am now able to read papers on various subjects from a wide range of author groups. I am also interested in scientific communication. As editors, we work in a company, but we still have loads of opportunities to actively communicate with researchers via conferences, lab visits and masterclass

Being Associate Editor for Nature Communications is definitely challenging and inspiring for many Early Career Scientists (ECSs). Also, it might be a good career opportunity for some of them. What are the main duties and skills of your specific position?

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Cyclone Fani: A success in weather forecast and disaster preparedness

Cyclone Fani: A success in weather forecast and disaster preparedness

Hurricane, cyclone and typhoon are different terms for the same weather phenomenon: torrential rain and maximum sustained wind speeds (near centre) exceeding 119 km/hour (World Meteorological Organization https://public.wmo.int/en). The terminology depends on the region (e.g. in the western North Pacific, they are called typhoons; in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea they are named as cyclones, etc). The Indian sub-continent is highly vulnerable to cyclones and the losses to life are more pronounced due to high population density (National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project, Govt of India). Studies show a decreasing trend in the frequency of cyclones over the North Indian Ocean in recent years, however, the damage and destruction from such systems do not seem to decrease (e.g. De et al., 2005). In April 2019, Cyclone Fani was the first summer cyclone to hit India’s Bay of Bengal coast in 43 years and only the third in the past 150 years. It was also the strongest tropical cyclone to hit India since 2013 and affected 137 blocks (district subdivisions for rural areas consisting of a cluster of villages), 46 municipal governments, 14,800 villages, and 15,000 km of roads. About 5 million people lost their houses, 14 million people were affected and $14 billion is now estimated for rebuilding damaged houses and public infrastructure.

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Gaius Plinius Secundus and Sergey Soloviev, two names and awards.

Gaius Plinius Secundus and Sergey Soloviev, two names and awards.

The EGU has an award system in place aiming at recognising eminent scientists for their outstanding contribution in Earth, planetary and space science. There are different medals a researcher can be nominated to, including Division ones. Ah, before I forget: the deadline for this year nominations is 15 June! Don’t miss the chance to appoint an outstanding colleague. You can find more information on how to nominate candidates clicking on the EGU website.

The medals for the Division of Natural Hazard are two. One aims at recognising interdisciplinary natural-hazard research of scientists meeting the following criteria: outstanding research achievements in fields related with natural hazards, important interdisciplinary activity in two or more areas related with this topic, and research that has been applied in the mitigation of risks from natural hazards. This medal is named after Gaius Plinius Secundus. The second aims at awarding outstanding scientific contributions in fundamental research that improves our knowledge of basic natural hazards principles, as well as research that assesses and leads to the proper mitigation of natural hazards, from both human and environmental perspectives. This medal is named after Sergey Soloviev.

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Our audience on stage: new NhET blog column

Our audience on stage: new NhET blog column

The diffusion of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. in addition to traditional blogging led to a diversification in the impact of science communication. However, as Eryn Brown and Chris Woolston wrote in Nature last January, blogs continue to be effective platforms for disseminating research into the world and increase the discovery of science. This is the reason why we believe our natural hazards blog is fundamental to increase outreach activities of the EGU community with particular attention – but not limited to early career scientists. Therefore, we are happy to introduce new possibilities to interact with us.

  1. We are a community, and for this reason, we would like to give you the space to get engaged in the blog by writing articles as guest authors. We warmly welcome your ‘stories from the field’ telling us what you do, which methodologies or instruments you are using, which advantages or limitation you are facing. You can also write about your research digesting complex topics, review natural hazards related movies, comment artworks, interview senior researchers or policymakers, share your experiences in latest summer schools or workshop you have participated, etc. We offer team spirit, technical support, editing on your writing and scientific networking.
  2. We have a community, and for this reason, our knowledge and networking might help in answering your questions or curiosities. You might be curious about the natural hazards occurrence in your region, or understanding the causes of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption in 2010. You might show concern about gender inequality during disasters discovering which are the instruments researchers and practitioners can put in place to overcome these social vulnerabilities. We, therefore, encourage to freely ask your questions related to natural hazards. You can write in English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, but answers will be published in English in the blog, with some highlights in your native language.

 

Whether the reason for your interest, we ask you to communicate with us via this Google Form and we will get back to you. Be patient since this blog is run on a voluntary base.