#FieldworkFail: Twitter users share their research mishaps

Carrying out research in the field, what’s the worst that could happen?

August 21, 2015

We’ve all been there. You’re trying to take a selfie with a tapir, and the blasted thing only goes and eats your spectacles.

This photo, captured by Christopher Schmitt, assistant professor of biological anthropology at Boston University, succinctly demonstrates how academics across the world are – day in, day out – risking everything in their relentless pursuit of knowledge.

It is also one of hundreds of tweets sent using the hashtag #FieldworkFail – a collection of honest scholars revealing those moments when their hands-on research didn’t go exactly to plan. A bit like #OverlyHonestMethods, which saw academics revealing some of their not-so-scientific approaches.

Professor Schmitt wasn’t the only one encountering problems with animals…

 …and transport was also a real issue.

In fact, some scholars seemed intent on getting themselves stranded…

…but even when they did arrive safely, not everyone had the right tools for the job.

Finally, spare a thought for the University of California, Davis’ Alan Krakauer. I certainly wouldn’t want to switch places with him…

You can see more #FieldworkFail tweets on Twitter.

chris.parr@tesglobal.com

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