Scientific data, knowledge and understanding are the foundation of informed decisions.

Does your project require scientific input?

Challenging Habitat assists lay persons in accessing scientific insights through consultancy tailored to the needs of individuals and organisations. This could include research, data visualisation and analysis, presentations, workshops, fieldwork and communication, coordination and connections with the scientific community.

Example Science for the Public: Arsenic Health Risk on UNESCO World Heritage Site

As a scientist, I contribute to research that is published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. These articles are intended for the expert audience and use specialist terminology that is not necessarily accessible to a lay audience. Many of these articles are also not free to access, and the scientific community largely relies on costly subscriptions by the institutions, they work for.

In 2020, I published the paper ‘Arsenic concentrations, distributions and bioaccessibilities at a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Devon Great Consols, Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape)‘. You could be forgiven for thinking that this is a bit of a mouth-full. My co-authors included my university colleagues Dr Andrew Turner and James Quinn, and some of the data were produced by two of our MSc students for their dissertations.

The contamination of land and water associated with abandoned metal mines has been the focus of my research for over 20 years and at the time of publication, I used my personal Challenging Habitat Blog to make this story accessible to a broader audience, as I think it is of interest. You can search for ‘arsenic’ on my blog and find a series of related posts.

I am pleased to report that, as a result of us highlighting this story in social media and the press, the land owner and land managers have taken some measures to reduce the health risk for visitors, people living near the site and livestock in adjacent fields.

Bringing science to a wider audience is important and can be achieved through communication, citizen science or education.

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