Long planned and often announced, it finally happened! On 6th-8th November 2017, 150 doctoral researchers of the N² networks gathered for their first joint event. It was an exciting and dense program, also involving the interested public during the “Science beyond borders” festival, which was framed by the Berlin Science Week.
Most impressive was the talk of Sam Illingworth – subtle slides, optimally tuned body language, and impressive use of language. He set out to connect poetry and science with own and foreign examples and it was a pleasure to listen. On top, this was a contribution to the field of science communication that widened the boundaries, formerly fenced in responsibility towards tax payers and Twitter, finding the right spin for a story, and presenting science and data in a non-misleading way – all covered by neat workshops during this conference.
Truly, kudos have to be given to the organizers – doctoral researchers devoting their spare time: the picks of speakers, coaches, and caterers were almost all sweet cherries. Scientifically correct irritation on physics in Hollywood movies (worst: The Core) with Sascha Vogel was just as great as listening to the honest, uplifting, and pitying (because we do not have teaching obligations) words of Onur Güntürkün. Poster sessions, art presentations (including exciting live performance), pub quiz, and panel discussion – it was a lot to take in. Apart from this, only a tiny flaw cast a shadow on the event: the first coffee break did not include coffee. “As this is all about communication: you’re not supposed to drink coffee, but to discuss and stimulate each other as if you were the coffee!” – well then, carry on!
Text: Jeanne Wilbrandt (ZFMK)