Effective science communication is an increasingly important part of research, but a skill that – like all other – needs to be trained and developed. On April 22, the Stockholm university science student club organized the first #SUscislam2015, where 9 PhD students from the science faculty presented their work. PlantFish was of course represented.

How would society function if we had only doctors, or taxi drivers, or lawyers? Not that well, right – because we need people with different skills to uphold the many functions that make society work. It’s largely the same with organisms in nature; some species are good at one thing, whereas other are good at another. Therefore, having several species together typically makes ecosystem processes stronger, and losing diversity means a loss of ecosystem functions, but potentially also loss of the ecosystem services that society depends on. This was the neatly packaged message that PlantFish PhD student Åsa Nilsson conveyed to an enthusiastic audience at the Green Villa #SUscislam15 science communication pub last night. The event ended a 1-week science communication course organized by Dr Jennifer Griffiths at the department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences at Stockholm University. We applaud Jennifer for organizing the course and making this event happen, all the presenters for their efforts to make their science understandable and interesting to the public, and of course the People’s Choice award winner Lina Rasmusson for her enthusiastic and inspiring talk on the role of seagrasses and their photosynthesis/respiration for carbon sequestration. We highly encourage Naturvetenskapliga föreningen to make this a yearly event, which will strengthen the science communication skills at the university and decrease the distance between research and undergraduate students.

Well done!

/PlantFish project leader Johan Eklöf

(figure courtesy of Naturvetenskapliga Föreningen: https://www.facebook.com/NF.stockholm?fref=ts)