Science is great again

We love sharing our science with each other. These are only some of the topics of the DR Retreat. Poster headings by retreat participants, Collage by Elisa Klein

This year a small group of passionate Doctorate Researchers (DRs) had a big role to fulfill, you may call us the DokTeam. After a long time living with Corona, a long time only knowing people from zoom meetings, a long time being at home alone, we had to make the PhD Great Again!

We started having ONE single person joining us for a casual meeting at the beginning of the year and ended with an incredible weekend retreat with 30 people (!!!). And that might seem small and not much at all, but it gains a different proportion when we see people excited about science away from the screen.

Even though geoscientists are in general a bunch of people that get the chills by staring at excel sheets or licking rocks (you get it…we don’t need much), talking about what we are doing gives us another type of excitement. It is the SHARING what you discovered that makes science science.

The retreat was planned and made by DRs. We took this opportunity to fit it to our needs. We discussed about time and conflict management, career planning, science communication and presented our work. Again, 30 people from different backgrounds (geophysics, oceanography, geology, biology, computer science and engineering, to name a few), different countries, at different stages of their research, presented their work in a way that would fit and integrate all areas.

After three hours, the discussions were still buzzing!

After 3 hours (for the posters session alone), discussions were still buzzing and the feeling of accomplishment only got higher.

Did you know that we can image whales just by visualising the sound that they make?! Or how our automated under water vehicles (AUVs) know where they are?! Well, I didn’t. Or at the very least, I didn’t know that my colleagues were experts in these topics. Not only am I proud of their achievements, but I can see people wanting to collaborate with each other. Another powerful thing about science!

There is no better person to understand the life of a PhD than another PhD!

Finally, (the icing on the cake in my opinion) we got to share how the life of a Doctoral Researcher is and all the ups and downs we feel. A recurring topic in this blog and in the daily conversation. We got to share our insecurities (See The scientific identity crisis), the pressure (A fish out of the water), how to get motivated and most importantly how we are not alone in this and can always count on each other. There is no better person to understand the life of a PhD than another PhD.

I can only say that SCIENCE is great indeed and most importantly that we can make it GREAT! With 30 new people or just 1 at a time, we can renew the science enthusiasm, move away from the screens and go back to the good old coffee rounds (breaks?). After all, no good science is made without coffee.

All the best,

Bruna Pandolpho

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