Popular ‘engaging researcher’ themed afternoon for young scientists of the BSSC 2013

 

At the end of August 2013, the 9th Baltic Sea Science Congress draw together close to 300 marine scientists, experts and young researchers of the Baltic Sea region, and wider, to the sea-side university town of Klaipeda, Lithuania. The 5-day Congress convened to exchange information and strengthen interdisciplinary approaches around the Baltic Sea. It was devoted to the presentation of results of research on the climate, physics, chemistry, biology and geology of the region, and the  BONUS sponsored public engagement themed afternoon for the young researchers of the Baltic Sea region.

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Participants of the 'Engaging researcher' workshop engrossed in group activities. Photo: Viktorija Vaitkeviciene


The public engagement themed session was held on the fourth day of the Congress with Ms. Joanna Gawrylczyk- Malesa, Information and Communication Officer from the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission setting the scene for the afternoon with a lecture titled “Leaving the ivory tower – why and how engage in science communication”.

 

An interactive public engagement workshop ‘The engaging researcher’ facilitated by a professional researcher trainer, Mr. Paul Toombs from the UK was next on the agenda. This three hour workshop was designed to inspire young researchers and support to engage the public with their work. It was noted that an engaging researcher is just like any other researcher - with one important difference. Engaging researchers go out of their way to involve the public with their research. They open up opportunities for others to get involved, provide new perspectives on the value of their work, and stimulate people to be curious about the world of research - and why it matters. The evening ended in a relaxed atmosphere of games and dining at the fourth BONUS-sponsored Young Scientists Club evening organised by Ilona Minevičiūtė together with other young scientists of the Klaipeda University.

 

Based on the feedback received from the participants, not only was the public engagement considered an important topic with a lot of demand ‘out there’ for the early career researchers, but an overwhelming majority viewed also all the different activities of the afternoon positively and eagerly, and interactively and with enthusiasm participated in everything.

 

When asked “What did you like about the afternoon”, one participant said “It made me realise that I have done public engagement already before and won’t be afraid of trying again!” Another wrote “It’s inspiring, it gives perspectives to our research. Also it’s a chance to meet other young scientists in similar domains.”, and a third said “Useful activities, interesting topic (public engagement is something I like and would like to be better in) but at the same time relaxing atmosphere.” As for the less liked experiences, some  constructive feedback was provided: “A bit more theory could be given on communication strategy techniques and on public/ people to target for public engagement.” “Next time earlier in the week please to get to know each other!” As for suggestions for future themes for young scientists’ training, participants noted “more on public engagement!”, “time management” and “how to write down text with impact” to name a few. So until next time!

 

The ambition of the BONUS sponsored Young Scientist Club is to promote the creation of networks of tomorrow’s leading Baltic Sea scientists in the early stages of their careers. www.bonusportal.org/ysc

 

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To young researchers:

REGISTER to a public engagement workshop and a young scientist club event

Baltic Sea Science Congress, Klaipeda, Lithuania, 29 August 2013

 

The BONUS-sponsored workshop ‘The engaging researcher’ will run by a professional expert is designed to inspire young researchers and support to engage the public with their work. The workshop is free-of-charge and will be held from 16.40 to 19.40. This will be followed by the fourth BONUS-sponsored Young Scientists Club that will convene in the evening of 29 August 2013 during the 9th Baltic Sea Science Congress taking place in Klaipeda, Lithuania.

 

Come along to an inspiring evening, including dinner, enjoyed among peers and hosted by the young scientists and students of the Klaipeda University. The ambition in the Young Scientists Club is also to look into the future and create networks of tomorrow’s leading Baltic Sea scientists in the early stages of their careers (PhD students and Post Docs in their early years).

 

About the workshop: The engaging researcher

Keen to engage the public with your research but not sure where to begin?

 

An engaging researcher is just like any other researcher - with one important difference. Engaging researchers go out of their way to involve the public with their research. They open up opportunities for others to get involved, provide new perspectives on the value of their work, and stimulate people to be curious about the world of research - and why it matters.

 

This highly interactive workshop has been designed for researchers who are new to, or have some experience with public engagement. During the workshop, participants will:


Explore the benefits and range of public engagement activities

Investigate the needs of different public audiences

Explore methods for evaluating the impact and success of public engagement activities

Collaborate with peers to design and plan public engagement activities

Examine which public engagement activities complement your current skills and what will help you develop your skills further

 

Previous participants said about this workshop:


"Very enjoyable, useful and thought provoking"

"Good starting point for thinking about how to use public engagement with my own research, about potential barriers and ways to overcome them."

"It was fun and definitely engaging!!! Extremely worthwhile"

"This is the best public engagement course I have been on. It was fully interactive and not a lot of being talked at! Much better to use our own initiative!"

"Rekindled the ‘dreamer' in me - sparked a few innovative ideas and showed that I can be engaging and it is possible to hold your own public engagement event"


More details will be made available closer to date: Check also the Congress notice boards or subscribe to the BONUS e-bulletin at www.bonusportal.org/bulletin.