I have a lot of interest in the subject of clinical academic careers at the moment, as I’ve been trying to find ways in which to combine my love of research with my desire to continue some element of clinical presence. It’s been quite tough, and I was trying to communicate this with someone who might be able to influence my future. Happily, the London presentation was filmed, so I thought it would be good to send it as a video to said influential person. I decided I should watch the presentation first, just to make sure I didn’t say anything inflammatory along the way (a minor fear I have – instant forgetting of words just uttered), and while it was on my laptop, my eldest daughter wandered past.
My daughter watched the whole thing with me, and seemed quite moved by having finally seen me in action. At which point it occurred to me that my family and (non-university based) friends see very little of what I do. I did try to get them to have a little read of bits of my doctoral thesis, but amazingly (!) they didn’t seem that keen. However, a video appears far more appealing.
That, of course, got me thinking about the use of video presentations. In the space of 23 minutes, I’m now able to explain all about the role of liminality in my career to date, and spread this to people all over the world – without having to write a single word of academic language! So I’ve tweeted about it, blogged on my personal site, emailed the link to a couple of interested friends – for goodness’ sake, even my MUM can watch it! And of course, this has the potential to help build collaborations elsewhere – and Piirus is perfect for this. I can link the presentation video to my profile on Piirus, and then when people look me up, there’s a quick way for them to see whether we share in interest in liminality, or clinical academic careers, or midwifery.
A couple of days ago, I was invited by Elsevier to ‘speak’ the contents of a paper that’s about to be published in ‘Midwifery’. You get 5 minutes, and you speak over a slide presentation, summarising the work you’ve published. Having been thinking about how best to communicate research, this seems a golden opportunity in the wake of my presenting experience. Funnily enough, I remember in the days of writing up my doctoral thesis, having several conversations with colleagues on the subject of how much lovelier the world would be if we could just SAY what we’ve been up to instead of having to WRITE it!
This also reminds me of Emma Cole’s v-log, as an example of a researcher talking about her work: watch her in action in a guest blog post for Piirus, all about v-logging.
What do other people think? Do you find it frustrating that we seem to live in something of a ‘closed’ world? Have you found fun and interesting ways in which to let people in? Do you think I’ll have a challenge in trying to fit a paper into a 5-minute presentation?! We’d love to hear your experiences.