By Lejla Emini, TUD
Think ahead summer school (part 1, online) hosted by Dr. Sandrine Soubes, USFD/ Tesselle Development
The workshop ran virtually over 2 days, focusing on “Research Communication” and “Implicit Bias”. Before the two interactive days, we received material to prepare (such as videos and simple online-tests to check our own biases) and worksheets which helped us to stay on top of the course. Furthermore, we were asked to record videos in which we should introduce ourselves and our research which were accessible for all of us.
The first day was a “Research Communication” masterclass. Sandrine advised us to present our research through streamlined storytelling and how the communication needs to be adapted when presented in different formats such as scientific papers, posters and oral presentations. We learned different tools and how they can be employed in our role as scientists.
Day two focussed on “Implicit Bias” and how our unconscious minds can mislead and derail our rational decision-making. Sandrine explained to us how implicit biases arise and how they can mislead our minds. We learned and realized that we are all affected by them. To that end, Sandrine raised our awareness of implicit bias within the academic setting and unraveled the underlying mechanism promoting equal opportunity.
Our own experiences, media presentations and similarities to ourselves can lead to quick, unfairly made decisions and assessments. We highly agree that it is important to be aware of these mechanistic processes in our brains and knowing about it already can support rational decision making.
What the ESR forum had to say about their experience:
„Her courses supplied us with a good knowledge of how to communicate effectively and to rationally interact within the research environment.“ ~ Ruolin Li
„It was an interesting, enlightening, enjoyable, very useful and very well presented workshop with an excellent balance of information, practice and interaction.“ ~ Malak Faraj
„In each aspect of the workshop, everything was explained in detail. Presentation was very clear and generated good discussions. Sandrines own personal experience was shared freely with us, so we had a personal insight, which was excellent.“ ~ Lejla Emini
“Especially the implicit bias part of the workshop really aroused my interest and was a nice starting point to see how this important topic affects us from different angles.” ~ Sebastian Zanner
In brief: We learned about different tools for research communication and how we can directly implement these in our daily life as researchers. The sessions on implicit bias which was new to many of us raised our awareness to counteract negative effects of our unconsciousness with real-life examples and possibilities to avoid biased decisions. Most definitely, we would recommend other early stage researchers to consider Sandrine’s workshop to advance their communication skills and raise awareness of implicit social cognition!