I F***ing Love YOUNG Science Conference
A few weeks ago, Marco Egle and Timothy Sondej, graduates of the Psychology Bachelor and Research Master students in Groningen, co-organised the I F***ing Love YOUNG Science Conference in Groningen. Their aim was to showcase exciting research projects by PhD students in Groningen and connect them with students who may be considering following a career in science. We asked them to write about their experience organising this conference and share with us their enthusiasm for academic research.
The University of Groningen is an amazing place to study and work as a student and as a researcher. This institution is composed of so many exciting science disciplines ranging from physics to chemistry to medicine to psychology. For me, it has always been a real pleasure to get involved in different scientific projects with so many great scientists at our university.
However, I also realized that some students are not only unaware of the research progress made in the science disciplines unrelated to their study program but they even often have no idea what the big scientific questions in their disciplines are at the University of Groningen. In addition, I believe that too few students actually seriously think about entering a science career after their master program.
The aim of the conference was therefore to familiarize our audience with the science of today and tomorrow, to invite young successful PhD students from many different disciplines and to let them talk about their research projects and their life of being a PhD student at this university. We had very interesting speakers from neuroscience, physics, biochemistry, biomedicine and psychology. Scientific questions such as Is Multitasking really beneficial for us in the real world?, Why do we study flies in order to investigate time perception?, How can protein engineering help us to combat Alzheimer, Diabetes and Malaria?, How can we spin nanoparticles with magnetism?, Can we treat injuries and maladies with light in the future? were answered by our speakers. I really felt that these subjects are amazing topics that need further science investigations.
“it has always been a real pleasure to get involved in different scientific projects with so many great scientists at our university”
After the presentations we invited the speakers together with the audience for a free coffee/tea- biscuit session in the foyer of the Bernoulliborg. I brought my Nespresso Coffee machine from home and we all had a really nice time drinking good coffee. The students in the audience were also pleased to discuss the presented research projects with the speakers and to receive some pieces of advice of how to become a PhD student at our university.
All in all, we all agreed that this event was a real success. Even days after the conference, I received messages from our speakers and people from the audience thanking us for this nice evening. The biggest surprise, however, came a couple of days later when it was announced that Prof. Ben Feringa just won the Nobel Price in chemistry. To our excitement, we could now conclude that we had not only organized a great conference event but that among our speakers was even a PhD student of a Nobel price winner.
Editor’s Note: Marco and co-organiser Timothy may not be in Groningen next year to organise a follow-up to this exciting conference, as the next steps in their academic careers are likely to find them moving to another country or even continent. Would you like to help (and learn how to) organise an event like this? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help!