Ira Didenkulova gave an oral presentation “Scientific mobility within EU: benefits and challenges” at the Union Symposium “Scientific research in a changing European Union: where we stand and what we aim for?” at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018.
Scientific research in a changing European Union
The 2018 EGU General Assembly was a huge success. Not only was it the biggest yet (with over 15,000 participants) but it also held a large variety of Short Courses, Townhalls and Union Symposia that gave the scientists attending a chance to step out of their comfort zone and learn about something other than their area of expertise.
One example of such a session was the Union Symposium titled: Scientific research in a changing European Union: where we stand and what we aim for? This session had some fantastic speakers who described some of the current challenges and potential threats to academics living in the EU as well as the advantages.
Dr Ira Didenkulova, a senior researcher in Tallinn University of Technology, closed the presentation section of the session by focusing on her personal experience of moving from Russia to Estonia soon after it had joined the European Union. She emphasised the importance of the EU’s cross-border programmes, reduced travel bureaucracy and researcher mobility while also explaining some of the benefits of research mobility such as knowledge exchange and increased collaboration. Didenkulova also mentioned the challenges that researchers living abroad may face, despite the European Union’s focus on mobility.
She highlighted some statistics that showed both female researchers and researchers who are parents are less likely to be mobile and stated that more family friendly research meetings and conferences are needed.
I think it’s notable that almost all of speakers underscored not only the abiliy but also the responsibility of scientists to engage with policymakers and the public. The optimism expressed by the speakers regarding the future of the EU despite the challenges, was also refreshing and a great message to all participants on the final day of the 2018 EGU General Assembly. If this session inspired you to engage more with the public or policymakers you can find various resources and tools to help you on the outreach and policy sections of the EGU website.
A big thank you to all of the speakers and Dr Francesca Pianosi, the moderator of the session. If you missed the session or would like to see it again, you can watch the web streamed version in its entirety here.