Why Sharks Matter with Dr. David Shiffman

By December 21, 2016 Listener Starters Guide

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I finally have David Shiffman on the show to talk about Why Sharks Matter!

This has been the most anticipated interview that I’ve ever done for the Speak Up For Blue Podcast. Not to take away from any other past guests, because they have all added immense value to the podcast and to Ocean Conservation. However, David Shiffman, a.k.a. Why Sharks Matter, has been a huge influence in the way that I’ve conducted science communication, and the way I started my science communication. David continues to inspire me by the consistency with which he communicates science. It takes a lot of time and dedication for Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms to put together a clear, and consistent message. One that is based on science, facts, and piques people’s interest. It is not easy. There is criticism. It can be thankless. However, we do it because we have a passion for it. David has exemplified that for a long time.

I first discovered David’s work through Southern Fried Science  where he blogged about sharks, and why sharks matter [that is David’s Twitter handle, as well as his Facebook name]. I got to know him through the blog, and through Andrew Thaler. I grew such a respect for David, and the other bloggers on the site because they consistently produced great content. This was all at the inception of Speak Up For Blue. I still continue to follow Southern Fried Science, and David and Andrew’s writing, because I find they provide a lot of value to me. I read them at least once or twice a week, and that’s only because I don’t have time to read even more! Sites like Southern Fried Science and Deep Sea News are crucial to science communication because they have grown to large websites. They started off small, and have grown massively. They get in front of a large audience, and that is important.

David just graduated from his Ph.D. he is now known as DR. David Shiffman. So, we can congratulate him on that feat. Today in his first appearance on the podcast, we’re going to talk to David about his dissertation; what it involved, how he integrated natural and social science, and how he used that to draw his conclusions that he so succinctly summarized in one of his blog posts.  It is interesting to hear what different stakeholders had to say about shark conservation and shark fisheries. Some were surprising, some, not so surprising. What was important though, was that David was able to conduct outreach with theses groups: scientists, and anglers. It made sense to reach out to those communities to find out what sustainable fisheries meant to them, how animals should be treated, and so on. The interesting facts that I got was how people responded to some of the questions David had, or to his research. Many positive, some negative. However, he pushed on, pushed through, regardless, because he knew how important it was. Through applying this methodology onto a new topic is extremely important.

So I’m thrilled to have David on this podcast. It won’t be his last time. We will continue to have him on because he provides such incredible value. Let us know if the comments below why YOU think Sharks matter!

Enjoy the podcast!

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