A bioCEED student seminar with researcher Gro D. Villanger
The seminar was successful with 44 students joining in from all four departments (biology, geology, technology and geophysics). The scientific theme of the seminar was environmental pollutants, their effects on arctic marine fauna and how this could be combined with research on health issues in children. Researcher Gro Dehli Villanger presented her educational pathway, and emphasized the importance of interdisciplinary science. She wrote her master on endocrine disturbance of thyroid hormones in Arctic marine mammals, and ended up researching prenatal exposure for hazardous substances in children, in cooperation with NeuroTox. Her past experience in endocrine disruption, as well as working on an airport developing a more environmental friendly form of flame-retardant, formed a sufficient knowledge base for researching the link between environmental contaminants and disruption in the nervous system of children.
In combination with the lecture, two short videos concerning the same topic where showed. In addition, the participants were encouraged to discuss different ways of communicating science. It was evident from the following dialogue that the videos and that research papers are aimed at different target groups, and that this (i.e. defining the target group) is a crucial factor when deciding how to communicate research results. It was pointed out that we, the future scientist, always should strive for «thinking out of the box» to front interdisciplinary research and combine existing data with new findings, both within the same and across different fields of study.