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  • Writer's pictureMeghann Ormond

How to do innovative research? Wageningen Science Cafe

Prof Dolf Weijers and I will be sharing our perspectives on how to do innovative research

at the Wageningen University Science Cafe on Wednesday, 25 October. For more details, check out:

Here's the organisers' promotional text:

A key first step in doing science is deciding what questions to answer. There are many more scientific questions than we can ever study and questions nobody has even thought about. How do we get to important questions to answer? Should we involve society in this process? What about purely curiosity-driven questions with no clear application in mind, should they be pursued, and if so how? And what about the questions that can only emerge from different societal stakeholders and science disciplines working together? If we look to the current practices in science, should we start doing the science process differently to decide on what question to answer, and what do we need to get there?

These topics will be discussed by Dr. Dolf Weijers, who studies purely curiosity-driven science questions in the field of plant development, and by Dr. Meghann Ormond, a cultural geographer who advocates for and experiments with new ways of performing science involving diverse societal stakeholders and disciplines.

Dr. Dolf Weijers is full professor and chair holder of the Laboratory of Biochemistry at Wageningen University. His deep interest lies in fundamental aspects of plant development and the unraveling of new and innovative research questions. Even though his research into the role of the plant hormone auxine would find its application in the field, his personal interest lies in the fundamental part of the research. He became the youngest full professor at WUR in 2012 and is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization as recognition for his scientific achievements. He has founded several initiatives for science communication and scientific networks, such as the Science Café Wageningen and the Wageningen Young Academy.

Dr. Meghann Ormond is associate professor at the Cultural Geography Chair Group at Wageningen University. The focus of her work is on transnational mobility, care and heritage. Being interested in working towards a more humane kind of university, she aims to connect people of diverse backgrounds and co-founded the CSPS Transformative Learning Hub at WUR and is board member of the Centre for Unusual Collaborations (CUCo). Her societal engagement has translated into initiatives on migrant heritage both nationally as well as internationally, such as the Migrantour Utrecht and Roots Guide initiatives.

This is a special Science Café edition to celebrate both the ‘10th’ anniversary of Science Café Wageningen (SCW) and of Wageningen Young Academy (WYA) (if we deduct 2 pandemic years). Both SCW and WYA were founded in the academic year 2011-2012. WYA is a group of young, engaged scientists at Wageningen University, which amongst other goals, strives to improve the academic system at Wageningen University and stimulate science communication to the public. Dolf Weijers was one of the co-founders of both SCW and WYA, and Meghann Ormond is a current member of WYA.

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