Sharing our research

[By: Joanna Rutkowska]

As ESRs in MOTION, funded by the European Union, we have a duty to disseminate our research findings as much as possible. There are several ways of doing so, and different audiences that we can present to. Firstly, one can present the research to the lawmakers and politicians in hopes of influencing future policies and governmental plans. Unfortunately, only few of the scientists are ever invited to do so, and they are definitely not PhD candidates, but rather respectable professors! Secondly, one can present their research to the (wider) public – everyone from parents to children themselves. I believe this is the best way to get everyone interested in research and try to make a change on a societal level bottom-up. However, there is one obstacle here that some cannot overcome so easily – you have to speak the language that the public speaks too! I am based in the Netherlands, and as much as I am trying to learn Dutch (attending a second course now!), there is no way I could lecture in that language now. To disseminate my research, I am thus left with the third option for now: presenting to the scientific community. And this is what I want to briefly tell you about now.

In August, I presented at my first scientific conference as a PhD student: LCICD 2019. LCICD is the Lancaster Conference on Infant and Early Child Development, and it, as the name suggests, it takes place at one of our MOTION sites: Lancaster University. There are three types of conference contributions one can make: paper presentation (a talk), poster presentation, and hosting a symposium. As the result analysis for the study I was presenting was still not finalised, I opted for the poster presentation of my research. Making a poster can seem like an easy task. Indeed, just making a poster is quite easy, but making a good one is an art in itself. I cannot say I mastered it, but I tried to do my best. You can look at the result yourself on the photo from the conference! I had some great chats with fellow scientists and got some great feedback on our study. I was also happy to meet and chat with the ESRs from Lancaster University (Saya and Chiara) at the conference, and to have a look at the posters they were also presenting. It is great to see MOTION research out in the world!

Apart from presenting my poster, I also attended other people’s talks and poster presentations. This is always an invaluable opportunity to see the newest research in the field, as well as to network and meet future collaborators. I was also fortunate enough to attend a pre-conference day on the open science practises and Bayesian statistics given by (soon-to-be-dr) Priya Silverstein. It has provided me with a lot of food for thought about how I want to conduct my research in the future, and what I want our field of developmental psychology to look like (hint: transparency is important). To sum up, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to show my research to the world, and to benefit from others’ advice and expertise.