The recent article “Acidity in ocean killed NW oysters, new study says”on the front page of The Seattle Times (nice nail polish Emma) is resonating with the public. While volunteering at the Seattle Aquarium this morning, the validity and accuracy of the article was the topic of a vibrant discussion among other volunteers during coffee break. I sat back quietly and listened to them discuss the topic before finally chiming in to offer my two cents. The other volunteers were unaware of my background in ocean acidification (OA) at the time but soon found out about my ties to the field of OA research. After the cat was out of the bag there was an onslaught of questions about the status of Washington State oysters and the ecological consequences of OA. The remainder of coffee break was filled with great conversation. The main concern/criticism was the degree to which the people interviewed for the article in the Seattle Times were over hyping the situation. This seemed like a tragedy to me as OA is certainly poised to alter the ecological landscape of our coastal waters, however, due to seemingly exaggerated comments, the validity of the research and the phenomenon of OA was called into question by the public. While there is a great deal of truth behind the comments made in the article, this was an eye opening conversation to me for how to present research as important as that presented by Barton at el. 2012, to the public to gain their appreciation and support for the work being done by the scientists.
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