Talk:Male Magellanic penguins pine for pairings: Wikinews interviews biologist Natasha Gownaris

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Alas, while a few news outlets have reprinted the UW press release, none have composed their own original articles within our time window. Cute penguin content is fit for Wikipedia but not Wikinews. I've already hit Darkfrog24 (talk) 14:23, 5 January 2019 (UTC)

Might make a good candidate for a nice science interview. @Gryllida: You've done some of those (as have I). May as well invite you to the table. If all three of us prepped questions we could get a really great piece. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 21:14, 5 January 2019 (UTC)

Possible questions:

  1. What prompted your curiosity in Male Magellanic penguins? What other previous research about them have you done?
  2. How was the skewed sex ratio discovered? Whose research effort was used as a base for this study?
  3. What technology/equipment was involved/used in the study?
  4. What activities did the study involve? How did you tag the penguins? Who was involved and when, where did the tagging occur?
  5. How did you keep track of the tags? Where and when and how did you count which penguins survivd?
  6. How did you analyze the data from the tags?
  7. What was the study timeline? How long did it take?
  8. What were the roles of the people involved in the research? What activity was most time-consuming?
  9. Are there any further plans on exploring the species habitat and lifestyle?
  10. Do you have a photo of the species, of equipment, people, lab?

--Gryllida (talk) 06:58, 6 January 2019 (UTC)

Most of this information is right there in the paper itself. Scientific papers always list the exact equipment and methods of analysis used so that other scientists can check their work if they want. The papers also almost always list plans for further research.
If you decide to interview the scientists, I can help you find answers to some of these questions so you can focus a new list of questions. Darkfrog24 (talk) 03:06, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
I'm most likely going to reach out to one or more potential interviewees after work tomorrow, and see what happens. My usual process is, upon acceptance, to promise to prep and submit questions quickly thereafter; saves wasted effort on interviews that may not happen. In reality, though, academics are passionate about their work and most love nothing more than an opportunity to talk about it. So there's scope to be optimistic. Gryllida and I have both achieved featured articles in this way. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 23:21, 8 January 2019 (UTC)
(Webmail is being buggy, but have a request typed up, will send in the morning my time (UTC).) BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 18:48, 9 January 2019 (UTC)
Scratch that, I'm awake late; email sent. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 02:18, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I got a 'yes' back from Natasha Gownaris, I'll work on it tomorrow; feel free to chip in everybody! BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 00:00, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
    • Well, I've sent them; fingers crossed this goes well. :) BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 00:33, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
      • Responses received; Tasha also expressed an (unsolicited! :D ) interest in offering us some of her pictures. I've sent back asking if those could be licenced freely, so I'm going to hold back on revealing the details until I hear back on if that'd be okay or not. The answers are really great, though, I'm really looking forward to this going live. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 19:21, 16 January 2019 (UTC)
This thing looks kabunga, BRS. These questions are so delightfully qualitatively different from the content of the paper. I like how the interviewee gives subjective impressions of the nesting site. They don't put that in the journal article, but our readers are likely to care about it. Darkfrog24 (talk) 22:34, 24 January 2019 (UTC)

OR NotesEdit

Tasha is one of the researchers on this, as indicated by the press release;

Her profile here links in turn to a CV (here for convenience) with a gmail address. Sent the following:

Hello Natasha,

A colleague of mine took a shine to your recent research looking into the skewed sex ratios of Magellanic penguins. After some discussion within the project, I've decided it would be fantastic if we could interview you. This would be for Wikinews, which is a sister to Wikipedia (a core difference being that we rigorously factcheck our material before it goes out the door).

I'm proposing a Q&A-style interview via email which would allow you to write up your responses, at leisure, and when it suits you. The aim would be to delve deep into your research and explore it, and hopefully bring it to a wider audience. I know we've been quite disappointed in how poorly the mainstream press has covered this one.

If that's something you'd be willing to do, let me know and the team will prep some interview questions.

Thanks for your time,


And got the following:

Hi Iain, That sound great to me! Thank you so much for reaching out.

Will look out for your interview e-mail.

Thank you, Tasha

As above, questions were prepared. I'd like to thank Gryllida for assistance with that; while the questions asked don't at first-glance appear to have much resemblance, they were greatly inspiring and deserve a healthy dose of credit. Whilst I'm doing thanks: @Darkfrog24: It was also great to start this process with the core text prewritten, and done well at that. The questions were sent away. Tasha replied as follows:

Hi Ian, Sorry for the delay!

I hope these responses are helpful, happy to answer any other questions you have. Do you want any photos of mine for the article?

Thank you again for your interest!


She sent her answers as an attachment, and I will attach a copy of that to the email chain when I forward to scoop. My response:

Hi Tasha,

Thank you so much! That was genuinely fascinating. No need to apologise; I'm glad you took the time to get your thoughts detailed so carefully.

Photos would be great! But there's a catch to that... We like to try and release things that can be published freely. Do you have any pictures you took yourself you'd be willing to donate? I believe the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International Licence is the current "go-to". The human-readable version is here: and that links to the full/technical/legal version.

I don't want to pressure you into it if you don't want to; we have access to a pretty impressive library of images we can use for file photos, but if you do want to, be sure to state clearly you're happy to release under that licence. That way I can securely store a copy of the release.

I'm astonished to say I have no further questions, which feels wrong somehow; take it as a compliment, that you have so fully answered all I wanted to know. Your passion for the subject really shines through.

Thanks once more for your time.


And, post-weekend and post negotiations with superiors, the delay has paid off:

Hi Iain, Sorry for the late reply!

Boss was most interested in me sending along a photo that was directly related to the work (not just a cute penguin photo...though those are my favorite). So here's one of a mated pair (which showcases how similar the two sexes look) and a few of two males fighting over a female, then eventually the "winner" leaving with the female. The fighting photos aren't the best quality. Obviously feel free to use something already in the commons if none of these work!

Thank you! Tasha

I'm going to upload those locally as a temporary measure so we can move forward. I'm sending Tasha an email which will link to the local versions, asking her to confirm those are hers and she releases them under the licence. When I have that, I can put them on Commons; this arrangement allows me both to move forward in the interim AND have a solid, brief, email exchange for Commons to archive in their OTRS system. I will naturally forward the interview exchange to scoop, as touched briefly upon above. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 19:30, 23 January 2019 (UTC)


This old revision contains a photo that, while it has bee replaced by Tasha's pics, might make a better choice for MakeLead? Probably it's clearer. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 19:51, 23 January 2019 (UTC)

Review of revision 4460806 [Passed]Edit

Front page picEdit

Who picked out that cover pic? It looks like they're holding hands. It's gorgeous. Darkfrog24 (talk) 18:20, 31 January 2019 (UTC)

Heh. Makelead was defaulting to the first image in the article, which didn't seem to me to work very well at the smaller magnification of lead images, so I looked at the other images on the article and chose the one I thought would work best. Glad you like it. :-)  --Pi zero (talk) 19:54, 31 January 2019 (UTC)
I'd also suggested another alternative, above, although I'm glad to say Tasha's seems to work alright. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 22:17, 2 February 2019 (UTC)
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