“Not every scientist wears a lab coat.”

Anouk Mish turned one year ago Get elected To the “face of science.” Her term is now coming to an end. “This process made me realize the importance of science communication.”

Every year, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) selects twelve doctoral students to be the Face of Science. For a year, they provide insight into their work as scientists, thus giving a ‘face to science’. Anouk Misch (Education, Learning, Consumption and Healthy Lifestyle Sciences) shared her first blog post around this time last year.

What is your job as the face of science?

‘As the faces of science, we contribute to communication about science to young people, especially high school students. We want to spread our knowledge, but also to clarify the image of a scientist: a scientist is not always a person in a lab coat.

How did you do that?

“We created blogs and vlogs for NEMO Knowledge Link, and took turns maintaining an Instagram account on which we showcased our work as scientists for a week. We also helped with inspiration evenings for teachers and were heard on the radio and in podcasts, for example.

“In addition to these information activities, KNAW uses us when there is a demand for experts on a particular topic and they want someone other than the usual names. This way they want to give young scientists a platform.

What did you learn from that?

“We’ve had a lot of training over the past year – how to stand on stage, how to look natural, how to explain succinctly and clearly what your research is about. As a scientist, you have plenty of space in articles to describe your research, but in a blog or presentation it should be short and concise.” Especially on social media: You should be able to explain something in one picture or in three words.

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What form of scientific communication suits you best?

“I enjoy talking to people more than others. This suits me better than just ‘casting.’ My PhD program SWITCH is also about students and their teachers, so the contact I make with that target group through Face of Science is also very valuable So when I’m in a high school collecting data, I can of course also talk to students about their ideas about science.’

And now?

“This process has definitely made me realize the importance of science communication. It is your responsibility as a scientist not to keep knowledge to yourself. It would be great if young people were encouraged to think about communication while doing their PhD or training.”

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