2nd ISOS PhD Retreat: Scientific Communication

June 25, 2008

ISOS PhD Candidates had their 2nd retreat in Rendsburg.

 

Report of the 2nd PhD retreat

Twenty-seven young scientists from the Integrated School of Ocean Sciences (ISOS) at the University of Kiel met on the last weekend of May for the second PhD retreat.The chosen location at the Nordkolleg Rendsburg offered a great opportunity for the students to exchange knowledge and to practice various ways of scientific communication which was the theme chosen for the retreat.

No science without communication!
To be a scientist is to be a "player" in different "leagues" - increasingly it is important for us to communicate our work to peers and prospective employers, but also to the public, family and friends . To be introduced to these leagues and to get insights into the "rules" of the communication within them was the main focus for this retreat. It is the responsibility of scientists to use different communication ways in order to get "the news" to "the people" with quite different background knowledge. This task is very challenging but also enjoyable.

Nikolaus Gelpke, chief editor of the German culture and feature magazine MARE (www.mare.de) gave insights into the "evolution" of a popular science article. Furthermore in a subsequent workshop and under his tutelage the participants had a lively discussion on some very interesting topics from current research. The Ph. D. students had prepared outlines beforehand with the objective of producing an interesting "suite" for publishing in MARE. So we might be surprised to read one of these in a future MARE-issue.

Foremost, however, publications in original research journals are an important part of scientists' every day life. Thus, the retreat was accompanied by Matthias Seaman and Hans-Heinrich Janssen from Inter-Research, a German scientific publishing house. Both editors gave very good advice on how to prepare manuscripts for publication and how the review process is conducted.

But written communication is not the only communication. To complement the theme for this retreat, a session of oral communication was planned. Students were asked to introduce the other students to their research in a limited amount of time. The challenge was to get the "message" through and not to loose the audience. This practice was very good and benefited everyone. Clearly, we all have a lot to learn and practice in this area!

We, as part of the organizing committee for this retreat, would like to especially thank Matthias Seaman and Hans-Heinrich Janssen as well as Nikolaus Gelpke for their contribution to this retreat. We'd also like to thank all Ph.D. Students for their active participation in this very beneficial weekend. It was really fun

Madlen Kimmritz, Wiebke Mohr and Kerstin Maczassek, the PhD organisers.

Feedback from Participants

"Das Retreat war eine gelungene Sache! Die Einblicke durch Nico [Gelpke] waren sehr interessant und auch die Schreibtipps am 2. Tag durch Insider waren durchaus hilfreich! Ein bischen vermisst habe ich Kommentare zum Open Access...aber die Literatur, die herumgeschickt wurde, hat da ja so manchen Einblick gegeben und war eine gute Ergänzung."

"Das Namen ziehen und in 5 Minuten das eigene Thema vorstellen war eine gute Idee. Nicht nur als Übung für sich selber, sondern auch, um einen Einblick in die Arbeiten der anderen zu bekommen. Ich finde, dass kann man auf jedem Retreat wiederholen, da ja auch ständig neue Leute dazu kommen!"

"Das Retreat in Rendsburg hat in netter Atmosphaere und Umgebung Einblicke in die Welt des Veroeffentlichens und der Kommunikation gegeben. Spannend war am ersten Tag das Treffen mit Niko Gelpke, der selbst aus einem sehr trockenen und theoretischen wissenschaftlichen Thema zumindest einen Ansatz fuer eine gute Story zaubern kann. Die beiden Repraesentanten von Inter-Research gaben eine Menge hilfreiche Tipps fuer das Veroeffentlichen in wissenschaftlichen Zeitschriften."

"Das entspannte Drumherum in den Pausen und am Abend als auch die Themenvorstellung mit einfachen Worten haben, wie ich finde, uns ISOS Mitglieder mehr zusammengefuehrt. Unterkunft, Verpflegung, Betreuung und Organisation waren spitze."