This week our university is having a symposium on all the research that occurs within our walls. I've been involved in producing three posters:
Poster 1: grassland research and the relationship between plant diversity and bird abundance and diversity (displayed Tuesday)
Poster 2: how acorns differ (or not) their chemistry over latitudes and how weevils that infect acorns also vary over latitudes (displayed Tuesday)
Poster 3: how urbanization affects dispersal distance and the proportion of acorns that are eaten versus cached (displayed tonight)
On Tuesday night, we put our two posters up and looked at them with pride. We used mixed model regression, multivariate regression, fancy method. Then the other posters from other departments went up - these were from business and nursing. I smiled smugly on the inside with our fancy posters.
Then overnight it hit me. Our posters were terrible. TERRIBLE. The point of this exercise was to inform other departments of what we do. In that way, I can't imagine that a nurse was interested in our R-squares or our literature cited or the multivariate output. In neither poster did we explain why any of this is important for either society or science or both. In none of these posters do explain some of the possible really interesting implications.
Also, our methods were all words. ZZZZZZZ. Is anyone going to read it? Probably not.
So I'm scrambling to change the poster that's put up today. Let's see how it goes.