• Question: are you independent workers or do you work with people? if you work with people do you work in a company? if you do what is the company?

    Asked by lesperges to Davie, Gemma, James P, James V, Nuala on 2 Jul 2012.
    • Photo: James Verdon

      James Verdon answered on 2 Jul 2012:

      Hi lesperges,
      Most scientists work within a group. I work in the geophysics group at Bristol University. There are about 15 of us, all employed by the university, and we all work on similar problems, so we always talk to help each other with our work. When we publish a new theory or new results, we will often publish it jointly between at least 4 or 5 of us.

      However, many scientists do work for companies. Many geologists work in the oil and gas sectors. For a short while I worked for Shell in Holland, and I’ve also worked for Pinnacle, a small oil company in Canada.

    • Photo: Nuala Carson

      Nuala Carson answered on 2 Jul 2012:

      Hey lesperges,

      Most scientists work with other people, it pretty hard to carry out research if you don’t. I suppose i work for the University of Liverpool but i work with people form other universities too. Science is a global business so you do talk with and work with people from all over the world.

    • Photo: James Pope

      James Pope answered on 2 Jul 2012:

      He lesperges.

      My PhD project (The Plio-QUMP project) is soley my piece or work to produce, but I have a supervisor, Professor Alan Haywood in Leeds to guide me and ensure I go in the direction with my research. He also works to introduce me to people and ensure I develop as a scientist. I also have support from Dr Dan Lunt (Bristol University), Dr Mat Collins (Met Office & University of Exeter) and Dr Harry Dowsett (US Geological Survey).

      But I’m also part of a series of ever bigger research groups, from my direct colleagues in Leeds who work on climate modelling of the past (mainly the Pliocene), we form the Sellwood Group for Palaeoclimatology. I am also part of the general Palaeo group, Palaeo@Leeds, which includes all the palaeotologists, modellers and other geologists who work on past climates and fossils at Leeds University.

      I’m also associated with 2 large research projects, the Pliocene Modelling Intercomparison Project (PlioMIP) and the Palaeoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project (PMIP) who work together to contribute to the IPCC reports on climate change every 6 years. People in these groups are based all over the world from Australia to Japan, the USA to France, so I have some good friends from all over the world.

      As James V’s says, when we publish work it is often with a number of people, who all chip in various amounts of work to the research and so get named on the work, but the leader of the group goes first. Science is great, because even when working on your own, you have the support of a number of great teams around you to help out and ensure you can make it!

      Finally, we present work to meetings of scientists which are organised by organisations such as the Royal Society, The Royal Meterological Society (I met Nuala at their student conference in Exeter last year and she is in Leeds at the end of this week for the same meeting) and internationally in the European Geosciences Union and the American Geophysical Union, whose big meetings attract 12,000 and 20,000+ respectively for their yearly meetings in Vienna and San Francisco.

      And that only covers our branch of science!

    • Photo: Davie Galloway

      Davie Galloway answered on 2 Jul 2012:

      hi lespeges,

      I work within a team or group at the British Geological Survey … and a great bunch of people they are. There are about 8 of us in the team at the moment but that has slimmed down recently due to the current economic/financial climate … hopefully that will improve soon.