This conference aims to discuss aspects of STEM research that were traditionally neglected, yet have proved particularly relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic: soft skills, ethics and credibility.
It will be divided into 2 panels of 3 experts, each panel lasting 1 hour. The panels start with a short (7-minute) introduction by each of the panellists in which they describe their background and expertise, followed by a 40-minute Q&A with the moderators and the audience.
Panel 1: Improving Soft Skills in STEM
Being a scientist or engineer involves much more than being able to perform experiments and interpret data. It involves being able to communicate effectively, show empathy, creativity, flexibility and open mindedness. These soft skills are hard to acquire and sometimes even harder to evaluate.
We have all heard that “soft skills are important”, but exactly why is that so? How do we evaluate our own abilities in order to improve? How do we motivate others to improve their soft skills when they may not even know there’s a problem? And how do we help without imposing our own views, biases or judgements?
This panel will aim to address and debate over these questions and propose ideas for action.
Panel 2: Ethics and Credibility in STEM
The COVID-19 pandemic showed some of the best and worst of the scientific world: while millions of scientists around the world openly shared their research and collaborated towards finding treatments and ways to prevent new infections and deaths, several big scandals arouse involving forged results, badly designed clinical trials and other types of scientific misconduct.
How can we, as a scientific community, discourage “cheating”? What are the factors that may be tempting scientists to commit scientific fraud? And how do we recover the public faith in science when the scandals resonate louder than the “good science”?
In this panel the focus will be on how to combat the spread of misinformation by encouraging ethical science and by increasing the credibility of scientists in the public eye.