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  • Foto van schrijverSjon Hartman

A Spring Of #SciComm

Bijgewerkt op: 27 jun. 2022

The lab is almost 6 months old and summer has officially started. It is perhaps a good moment to reflect back on what we've achieved and done this first half year. Me, and mainly Lena and Aida, have built a functional molecular lab and started the first experiments. BSc student Andreas is getting interesting preliminary results as well! We got our first grant and 2 papers accepted (one already published). In addition, I am slowly getting involved in teaching different Biology courses. More and more BSc/MSc students are starting to find us and are interested to join us for an internship. Overall, we're doing the job we're expected to do at a University: Research & Teaching.

But I realized we've also made good efforts on something that's not part of the job description: Science Communication (#SciComm) and Outreach. Why should scientists invest time on science communication and outreach? I would argue mostly because our work is paid from taxpayer money, and we owe it to the public to explain what we are spending this money on. Why do we study flooding tolerance? In addition, direct communication between scientists and the public typically enhances the public's trust in science. Something quite important in times of climate change and pandemics. Finally, spending time on outreach and communication can strongly increase the impact of your work.

See below what #scicomm we've been up to in the last few months:

On May 9th, we contributed to Pint of Science 2022 in Borso Bar in Freiburg.

On May 18th, it was Fascination of Plants Day, and I gave an online talk to over a hundred students of Ege University in Turkey, about the science of plant flooding stress.

On May 30th, our paper about how the early flooding signal ethylene improves root survival during hypoxia was published in Plant Physiology. With the amazing help of CIBSS and the University, we prepared a small press release which was picked up by 22 different news agencies so far, including the local newspaper Badische Zeitung. Only 3 out of ~11.200 other publications ever published in Plant Physiology received more media attention, so we're happy we could reach such a large audience with this publication about flooding stress resilience in plants.

Due to this, we received a request for an interview with Inside Climate News to discuss flooding tolerance in plants. Me and other first author Zeguang Liu had a great interactive discussion with the reporter and you can read the article here.

To another 6 months of exciting research, teaching and #scicomm!

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