29 May 2012

Prize Winner: Here are the Researchers' Recipes for Succes

In two articles in the Danish newspaper Information, the effects of scientists adapting to changing research policies are discussed and phd-cup winner and social scientist Birgitte Gorm Hansen uses the UNIK synthetic biology initiative to illustrate how the researchers navigate the "knowledge economy".  

Research needs to be properly communicated to the general public in order to be put to use in the society. Associate Professor at Copenhagen Business School, Birgitte Gorm Hansen knows this more than anyone: She has just won a prize for best science communication (PhD-cuppen 2012), for communicating the results of her PhD thesis, which itself is addressing the relationship between researchers and the society. 

In her thesis she examines the strategies chosen by scientists aiming at creating initatives like UNIK Center for Synthetic Biology. For her field work, Birgitte Gorm Hansen, visited the center regularly and engaged in conversations with several of the center scientists including Thomas Bjørnholm and Birger Lindberg Møller - the former and the current Head of Center for Synthetic Biology respectively - as the main subjects.

Too Many Cooks...

In the article "Fakturaen mangler" (The Invoice is Missing), Birger Lindberg Møller joins other research leaders in critisizing the micro-regulating "Fra tanke til faktura" (From Thought to Invoice) research policy of the former Danish goverment. Professor Lindberg Møller says:

"The decision to give wind power a higher priority than solar energy or biomass is the most recent example of politicians obviously getting their priorities wrong. Solar energy and biomass is where the future really lies, and where many jobs will be created. 

Birger Lindberg Møller has enjoyed the collaboration with Birgitte Gorm Hansen and says:

"It is always in dialogue with researchers from different disciplines and from persons representing other approaches to science that you are given the opportunity to self-reflect. And it has been a pleasure to invite Birgitte Gorm Hansen into our world and let her be our real-time sparring partner in developing synthetic biology as a novel field of research at the University of Copenhagen"

Furthermore, Birger Lindberg Møller stresses the focus Center for Synthetic Biology has on collaborating with social scientists:  

 "Working in an area of science, which is of great interest to the public, it is important that we continuously focus on integrating social aspects of our science in our every day work and in our approaches to use synthetic biology in order to benefit society. Our doors are always open!" 

PhD thesis:

Birgitte Gorm Hansen: "Adapting in the Knowledge Economy. Lateral Strategies for Scientists and Those Who Study Them" Doctoral School of Organisation and Management Studies.

Read both full articles in Danish in the newspaper Information here: