Science Events Student Style – still looking for inspiration!

I believe that communicating and discussing science is incredibly important. So, not surprisingly, I love going to meetings and courses. Amongst these, events organized by students are frequently under-appreciated gems: they are affordable, with much less naval-gazing, and much more lively discussions. Student organizers are usually extremely enthusiastic, who will go that extra mile to make the event a success. Even the speakers are often more motivated, because the ones you get on a low-budget, low-key event are the ones who do it for the love of science, and not for prestige. Finally, the program can be super creative, with items you would normally not see on a science schedule. Oh, and of course the parties. They’re generally great. (And the after-parties. And the reunions.)

Therefore, I would like to dedicate a section of this blog to student science meetings: the ones organized by students and the ones organized for students, regardlehelp_wanted-neonss whether they are at high-school or university. The first post was about a Science Summer Camp organized at my old alma mater, the Eotvos College in Budapest. I have some more ideas about other events, but if you are a student and are organizing (have organized or know of) some kind of science event for students/by students – I’d probably love to write about it, and would be very happy if you’d contact me!

Science for students by students: The Eötvös College Science Summer Camp

Do you remember that terrible week of your summer holidays when you were little, and your parents didn’t know what to do with you? When they would sign you up for a… Summer Camp? Without fail they would get everything wrong: your interests, which summer camp your friends attended, and when they wanted to send you to the cool-and-trendy camp, they were normally lagging behind the actual trends by about a year (or sometimes even a decade). This is a post about a different kind of summer camp, a summer camp that kids can choose to attend and actually enjoy: the Eötvös College Science Summer Camp, which was held this summer for the second year running. Continue reading

On the (possible) Origin of Terrible PIs by Means of Natural Selection

This is a post about a species most young scientists have probably encountered at some point or another: terrible bosses. The PIs who are insecure, awful at recognizing and resolving conflicts, or distrustful control freaks. The group leaders, who think bullying employees, insisting on long working hours or installing a no-holiday policy will create a productive work environment. Or the (often young) PIs who are still so unaware of their position, and so involved in promoting themselves rather than their group, that they completely neglect their students/postdocs. The list goes on. Over the years I have seen many of my friends, who started off as enthusiastic, talented students, become victims of such bosses, and leave research disillusioned. And every time this happened, I have wondered how those PIs got their position in the first place? Continue reading

Woman, know thy place!

Generally, I try not get (too) involved in the whole gender bias, glass ceiling, women having to chose between family and career, etc debate, mainly because I think it’s too complex an issue to briefly discuss in a blog post. But a new Hungarian ad for a fair for women has made my blood boil, and calls for commentary. Continue reading