Vice-Rector Roigé states dissemination should be mandatory for any researcher

Source: UB News
Published on 19.07.2017

The Science Communicators Meeting -organized every year by La UB Divulga- took place on 18 July. This meeting offers the attendants an opportunity to gather together each year, with researchers from the University who share the same passion: providing society with the knowledge that results from their research. They exchange experiences, comment on which strategies work better and evaluate dissemination.

The opening of the sixth edition of this meeting was given by the Vice-Rector for Doctorate and Research Promotion, Xavier Roigé, who –despite being his first time attending the Meeting- was very convincing: “those who work on research should always be disseminators”. He regretted the fact that this not all researchers agree on this and sometimes “there are colleagues who think dissemination means lowering the level of research, when it should be one of our priorities, because apart from all this, it is fun”. Since Roigé started his position as institutional head of the UCC+i, some researchers such as Carme Llasat, Miquel Àngels Cuevas or Xavier Luri reminded him that the PDA should recognize their dissemination task despite being vocational. Roigé accepted receiving them in order to listen to all their proposals regarding this topic.

Like every year, the head of UCC+i, Marga Becerra, gave all the details of the projects that were carried out or coordinated during this academic year, giving a short description and evaluation, and highlighted, for instance, the success in their project Toc-toc and the amount of visits collected in the three Animated Science chapters. Also, she talked about three projects that were not directly organized by the Unit but in which they collaborated, such as YoMo, Espai Ciència and Recerkids. As usual, she went over the data related to their presence in social networks, where there the number of followers has risen, in Facebook and Twitter, and highlighted that they reached almost eight thousand views in their website. Last, she talked about some of the new projects to be set up soon, such as the NeuroArt contest, jointly organized with the Institute of Neurosciences of the UB.

Five dissemination experiences, quite different from each other

Professor Javier Martin Vide, who was awarded with the 4th UB Award for the Best Science and Humanities Dissemination Activities, went over his task as communicator, “an adventure –he said- that started thirty years ago, the day I handed in my first article El fenómeno de la isla de calor, el caso de Barcelona in the former head office of La Vanguardia in carrer Pelai. I remember I was more excited with this one than any other scientific journal article”.

Afterwards, the researcher Bruno Julià and the student Iván Morera, from the Institute of Cosmos Sciences (ICCUB) of the Faculty of Physics, presented the project Ultracold UB, on quantic mechanics and ultracold gases, which was brought to YoMo as a workshop this year, as well as in Espai Ciència and the 3rd Science Festival of the UB. They remarked they were very happy with it, especially with the high involvement from the students in the project: “without all the work from the students this would not have been possible”, said Julià.

Thirdly, Narcís Prat talked about the app, an app developed years ago by FEM, for mobile phones, in assess the ecological state of the rivers, and which, apart from a dissemination experience, is a model for citizen science. He explained its functioning and the latest updates and showed the obtained results. “When I started doing this research, I didn’t imagine I would end up creating”, he concluded.

Then, the PhD student Amilcar Vargas, who share the dissemination vocation with the other researchers who currently collaborate with La UB Divulga, gave a speech on the role of young researchers as characters in dissemination and the lessons he learnt from this experience.

Last, Miquel Àngel Cuevas, emeritus professor from the Faculty of Earth Sciences, talked about one of the most successful projects which received support from La UB Divulga from the very beginning: the Contest of Crystallization at School, which has been successful in all its sixth editions and reached more than seven thousand high school students. When ending his speech, Cuevas invited the other researchers to copy this model “because –he said- I can tell you it will be a success”.

How to benefit from social networks

The Meeting ended with a lecture and practical workshop by Marcos Gómez Piñeiro, digital communication consultant, teacher of social media marketing and director of Concepto05. After a short general introduction, Piñeiro focused on how to create a Twitter profile and which strategy to follow in order to make it successful. The guidelines Piñeiro gave created some debate because it meant a change of paradigm for many: “Contrary to what we think, networks are not mass communication media, like the TV. It can seem strange but we sometimes do it the other way round, we first create a profile and then fill it up with content, when the first thing to decide is who you want to reach and define an audience, and then develop a strategy”.