This past August, I was interviewed by journalist Alison Hawkees who was writing a piece for Bay Nature Magazine about the California Condor Recovery Program in Pinnacles National Park. I was incredibly nervous.
Over my time in academia, I had become aware that there is a low-level wariness many scientists have regarding media interviews; they often feel their science is misrepresented, or that their comments on their results are misquoted to ill-effect. However, I also believe to my bones that partnerships between scientists and journalists are critical to getting important information to the public, because lets face it, only other scientists in our field ever read the scientific journal articles we throw out blood sweat and tears into. So if our hard-earned findings aren’t shared in some other, more digestible and accesible format, what’s the point of what we’re doing here anyway?
So here I was preparing for the interview excited to talk about my project for the first time with someone that might share my story in print, but also terrified that I might misrepresent the condor recovery efforts in some way. I was wound up. But Alison dealt with me expertly. She was patient with my occasional forays deep into stress physiology of birds. She was understanding of the fact that my project only has very preliminary results. She let me sum up my main points at the end of our chat. In the end, she made a lovely little paragraph in her article which accurately represented the goals of my research. I’m glad we have folks like Alison Hawkees doing this important work, and I’m glad she was my first :).
You can purchase the magazine that contains the article mentioned in the post here: