longhorn crazy ant illustration by Orlagh Murphy

In praise of the crazy ant

In light of entertaining ant-related findings publicised recently, Ben McCluskey argues that studies on bizarre animal behaviour can provide researchers with opportunities for outreach that go beyond the norm. Among this month’s many research headlines, one story that stood out concerned Paratrechina longicornis. Why? Well, first off there’s the brilliance of their common name: longhorn crazy[…]

academia illustration

A note on university rankings

The Times Higher Education’s ‘100 under 50’ university rankings were published on Wednesday 29 April. Digital Editor Ben McCluskey discusses the list’s significance within the context of a rapidly changing global research landscape. Australia has 16 ranking institutes in the THE’s list of 100 universities under 50 years old, Asian universities dominate the top five[…]

marinet animated short screenshot

Script writing for animated short

Below is the script I wrote for this short animated presentation on MaRINET, an EC FP7 offshore renewable energy project. I also conceptualised the visual narrative before the design team storyboarded and animated: “Secure energy is an essential building block for social development. But sustainable development needs sustainable energy sources. Developing exciting renewable energy technologies[…]

abstract triangles fitting together scicomm

6 tips for dissemination

Research dissemination can leave many uninitiated scientists feeling out of their depth. Here, Ben McCluskey offers some insights into the common pitfalls academics encounter and provides a few guidelines for getting research dissemination right Outreach is a key aspect of attracting industry partners and generally building on the initial success of novel research findings; ultimately,[…]