A few months ago I started a new Twitter/IG game called #CrowOrNo. This was, in part, simply a response to the awesome wave of science games across social media and wanting to be apart of that science communication effort. But I also started it because discerning these birds is just genuinely hard. Case in point, I’ve had more practice than most but even I get fooled sometimes.
One of my most popular posts is “10 corvids that don’t give a damn about your rules” which, while intentionally lacking any scientific credibility was at least supposed to be an accurate collection of corvid gifs. Turns out I goofed. Not once but twice. The original post contained these two gifs neither of which are of corvids. It took the help of an Australian birder, and a fellow corvid expert, Jennifer Campbell-Smith, for me to notice my error.
As a grad student/scientist/blogger/science communicator this is my nightmare. That I’ve put out information, even if it was supposed to be fairly non-sciencey in nature, that’s wrong. But I did.
Being a catastrophist, my first reaction is “You blew it. No one will take you seriously now. It’s over.” Needless to say, this is not a motivating feeling. It’s a ‘crawl under the covers and stop trying’ feeling, which is about the least helpful way to react to making a mistake and a reaction I would discourage in anyone else. So I’m going to take my own advice and remember that I’m a person before I’m a scientist. I’ve made, and will continue to make mistakes. The only thing I can promise is that I will be forthright in my mistakes and keep learning.
So the next time you error in #CrowOrNo, know you’re in good company. Sometimes I’m wrong too 🙂