Note from Jeremy: This is a guest post from fisheries grad student and longtime reader Megsie Siple.
I get asked a lot of questions at parties about the ocean. I study fisheries, so often they’re fisheries-specific. But usually they’re just questions that people want to ask a scientist. For example, this winter the most popular party questions have been:
1) “Are we all doomed because of the radiation from Fukushima?”
2) “Are the microplastics [or insert any number of other human refuse like household chemicals, oil, etc] in the ocean going to travel up the food web and kill us?
3) Should I eat fish?
The list goes on, but these were by far the most popular questions. I am interested to know what questions other scientists (particularly ecologists) get at social events. I think the questions we get from non-scientists at social gatherings are interesting indicators of what topics people think are interesting and important. In 2013, what were some of the emerging questions that people asked you at parties? And, better yet, how did you answer them?
(Remark from Jeremy: Megsie focuses on questions you get asked because you’re a scientist, rather than questions about your own work specifically. But if you’re like me, many questions you get asked at social events are variations on “So, what do you do?” I encourage commenters to talk about both sorts of questions, since they’re related. I have an old post on how I answer the question, “So, what do you do?”)