So that was 2015 …

wordle_2015

It seems like just a few weeks ago that I was writing “122 days to go” in anticipation of the UK General Election. That, however, is now 243 days in the past. Nonetheless, the first question that I asked in that post (“What will happen to the UK environment if we vote in parties that want to leave the EU?”) is still as pertinent as ever, and the referendum on UK’s membership of the EU will probably be the defining political issue here during 2016.   I am sure that I will be returning to this topic over the next few months.

My word map for 2016 is similar to that for 2015 (see “And finally …”) although I am intrigued to see that “see” is larger this year than “algae”.   Seeing the world from unexpected perspectives is a large part of what my blog is about. The impetus for my intellectual journey over the past three years or so has been a reaction to what I saw as complacency on the part of my fellow algal scientists, many of whom collect samples and processing data with too little consideration for how those samples related to the natural state of the communities from which they were taken. That, in turn, had prompted my depictions of the underwater world.   That journey now describes a wider arc – travelling on from reflecting first on how our observations and measurements relate to the natural state, to think about how those same observations translate into policy and decisions.   A series of posts in June (starting with “the human ecosystem of environmental management”) as I was making my way towards a scientific meeting in Trento unwrap the issues around this.

Finally, thanks for bearing with me in 2015. WordPress tell me that my blog has been read by people in 128 different countries (up from 110 last year) and that the 13,000 views equate to filling the Sydney Opera House five times.   Anyone who has heard me sing will marvel that a single sentence can reference both me and the Sydney Opera House …

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And finally …

My very last post for 2014 is a word cloud for Microscopes and Monsters, summarising all of my posts during the year, generated using www.wordle.net.   The word cloud gives the greatest prominence to those words that appear most frequently in the posts and, unsurprisingly, “algae” is the word that stands out most.   However, I’m quietly pleased to see “see” up there too: the whole point of this blog being to help you look at the world in new ways.

Normal service will resume next year

word_map_for_2014