With one week to go until we join the SHIVA campaign the focus turned from experiments in the lab to preparation. As usual there were a few problems and therefore changed plans, but for the main part everything seems to be going OK.
Due to the tight time schedule we have, most of our equipment has to be hand carried with us from place to place. The main worry is turning up to an airport with several suitcases of scientific equipment and hoping they’ll let us on the flight!
A press conference (and associated radio and TV appearances by some of the main scientists) also took place this week. I’ve always been a strong believer in outreach work but this week I got an idea why many scientists don’t like to do it. I’m giving a talk when I’m out in Borneo and a title I had not written was publicised in the press release, the problem being it was an inappropriate and incorrect title. I was busy marker-penning out the title as we handed out the press release! It’s embarrassing to have errors or misconceptions associated with your name, and I can sympathise with people working on high impact or sensitive research for whom this sort of effect would be much worse. My only advice would be don’t shy away from outreach, just get as involved as you can so that you quickly pick up on an erroneous facts.