For a scientist, one of the measures of good quality science is for the work to be 'peer-reviewed' (assessed by other scientists) and published in a scientific journal.
So, is Conker Tree Science good quality science? The answer is a definite 'yes' because today the first scientific paper from the project was published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE!
Anyone can read about the scientific results of the project on the PLOS ONE website.
The paper is quite detailed but the simple summary of the paper is as follows:
- Can ordinary people do real, important and interesting science? Yes, most definitely!
- How bad is the damage caused by the moth? Pretty bad - within 3 years of the moth arriving in a location it looks like autumn has come early to the conker trees.
- Why is the moth doing so well at damaging our conker trees? We discovered one reason is because the natural pest-controllers (tiny parasitic wasps) are just not occurring in large enough numbers.
Once again, the mention of a threat to conker trees in a press release and the nation's media gets excited. So far we have seen that the Conker Tree Science project has featured in:
- The Independent
- The Daily Mail
- The Yorkshire Post
- Wired online
- Planet Earth Online
- Interviews with BBC Radios Oxford and Berkshire
- And last but not least, a mention on Steve Wright on BBC Radio 2
So once again a thank you to all those who participated in the project and contributed data.