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WINGS Conference 2012

Research strategies and communication
WINGS 5th annual conference was held May 9th at Hornbergssalen, Kulturen, Lund.

Summary

ThemeResearch strategies and communication. It is a known fact that the number of women scientists is low at the Faculty of Science. Creating a strong scientific network is a way for the faculty to utilise the scientific competence of these women. For that reason the network WINGS arranged – for the fifth year - an annual network meeting for women scientists. This year we discussed research strategies and communication. About 150 women scientists, employed as researchers at the faculty, and women researchers working outside the university as well as interested women PhD students and post docs were invited. All others at the faculty were also welcomed. Invited key speakers were Madeleine Rohlin and Gunnel Svensäter, both Professors at Malmö Högskola, sharing their insights into Change as a Chance. Carla Cederbaum, Assistant Research Professor in Mathematics from Duke University, NC, USA, was leading a workshop on science communication themed "Outreach and Outcome. 30 attendees interacted, networked and lively discussed their research during the meeting. The new dean, professor Olov Sterner, opened the meeting.

The meeting was organized by: Miriam Liedvogel and Carin Nilsson.

The new dean of the Faculty of Science, Olov Sterner, opened the meeting and expressed his great support for WINGS.

Maren Wellenreuther, WINGS coordinator, informed about the background and history of WINGS. More information can be found on the WINGS website www.lu.se/wings.

Short scientific presentations by WINGS members.

We practiced to give short – 1 minute long - presentations of ourselves to each of the other participants. It was a good icebreaker!

Keynote speakers

Madeleine Rohlin, Professor in Odontology and Gunnel Svensäter, Professor in Oral Biology, from Malmö University talked on the subject “Change: a great opportunity”. With the restart of the dental education in Malmö in 1990 Madeleine Rohlin and Gunnel Svensäter got the opportunity to design a completely different curriculum and collaborate with a lot of new people. They told us about the challenges and how they have enjoyed being challenged. They also told us about their research and how research and education can be linked together. The education should be based on a multidisciplinary “model ecosystem” that includes all disciplines within the curriculum, and all teachers need to cooperate.

They stressed that you have to stand the fights and have your visions and principals. It is also important to communicate your visions and to put your research in a social context – for instance when you write a proposal.

Model with arrows

This model shows how Society and Profession press on research and education to change. The arrows going in the other direction should be much stronger, says Madeleine Rohlin. Research and education should change Society and Profession!

Workshop: Science communication – outreach and outcome

In the workshop with Carla Cederbaum, Assistant Research Professor in  Mathematics, from Duke University, NC, USA, we got to learn about how to communicate our science. When communicating be sure to do it in a way that engages “Head, Heart and Hand”. We practised the balloon trick to show that the angles of a triangle changes when the balloon is inflated. We had group discussions about different ways of outreach. We also listed the pros and cons of communicating your research. Carla said that sometimes it is not only a good thing to be good at communicating – some people seemed to think that her research must be very easy and basic, since it was so easy to communicate!

Has WINGS made a difference?

At the equality conference “Doctoral studies on equal terms?” arranged by LU 7-8 May Helena Filipsson presented WINGS and the results from our questionnaire Has WINGS made a difference? Are we supporting young female scientists? Asked all PhD students who had been taking part in WINGS arrangements during previous years.
Today Helena highlighted some of the results and comments from the questionnaire. Several PhD students found that WINGS activities led to an increased insight regarding the university, practice to present your research and improved career planning.

Helena concluded that: 
YES – WINGS has made a difference
YES we have the right focus: research and networking
YES our efforts correspond to our aims
YES the faculty gets value for their money.
Additional support needed – mentor programs always high on the list, which is also shown in other studies and discussions. More soft skill workshops are also wished for.

Round Table discussion 

The WINGS Working Group (WG) 2011/2012 presented themselves: Maren Wellenreuther (coordinator), Johanna Stadmark (treasurer), Pia Romare (communicator), Helena Filipsson, and Daniel Conley. Other members of the old WG, not present at the meeting, are: Frida Rosengren (webmaster), Edith Hammar, Anna Broström, Sindra Peterson Årsköld and Charlotte Sparrenbom.

Following WG members have decided to step down: Sindra Peterson Årsköld, Helena Filipsson, Daniel Conley, Charlotte Sparrenbom and Anna Broström. Thank you for all your work and inspiration!

Following participants showed an interest to join the WG or help out in any other way: Miriam Liedvogel, Carin Nilsson, Heather Reader, Angela Caballero Alfonso, Rosa Aragão, Peralta, Anne Nielsen, Yujing Li and Rachel Muheim. Welcome to the WINGS Working Group!

The round table discussion resulted in some new ideas for future work:
It is to big an engagement for WINGS to arrange a mentor program of our own – however we could invite some of the people from MIL to give workshops.

Suggestions for workshops:

  • looking at CV’s interdisciplinary where senior researchers share their best ideas,
  • how to use body language and practice communicating to large groups, or to journalists.
  • We could use our Facebook group for networking, e.g. to see who is going to a conferences.
  • We could arrange science presentations within faculty / LU inviting female scientists from different disciplines.

More:

  • Olov Sterner will invite WINGS to a round table discussion with himself and the department heads.
  • WINGS will be invited to interact with CanMove and their Women support group.
  • WINGS plan to send two members to represent WINGS at European Platform of Women Scientists annual general assembly in Brussels 27th of September 2012.
  • Next year, 2013, there will be a new one-day meeting or a two-day retreat! It will most likely take place in early May.

Please join us next year!
Pia Romare

Contact during 2012/2013: maren.wellenreuther [at] biol.lu.se
www.lu.se/wings 
Facebook group: WINGS (Lund University)

Page Manager:

WINGS (Women IN Great Sciences)
Science Faculty, Medical Faculty & LTH, Lund University

wings [at] wings.lu.se