Financing research and research dissemination: the need to reach out to larger groups of our society

#Standbehindscience is happy to share with our readers Sabrina Lenz political advisor views on academic research results dissemination towards non-academic audiences and FAIR research data (Sorbonne Declaration). Highly recommended read. Thank you Sabrina.

Could you please introduce yourself? 

I have a Bachelor´s degree in political sciences and intercultural business communication and a master´s in management. I studied in Jena, Paris and Rio de Janeiro and love to gain experiences outside  the box. I am 32 years old and I have been working for the last three years as a political advisor for the Green Party at the state´s parliament of Rhineland-Palatinate. Our planet’s environmental challenges have been on my radar since my childhood as I grew up in the countryside of Germany and learned on my grandparents´ farm about our dependence on a stable ecosystem.

What do you think about the way academic research is disseminated towards non-academic audiences? From your point of view, what´s the impact of academic research on our society? Could it be improved?

I think there is a certain gap between goals and results derived from the dissemination of academic research among non-academic audiences although we could see some good improvements during the Covid-19-crisis. More people are starting to look for more fact-based news and many politicians in the world are seeking for academic consultation. However, in our „breaking-news-world“, today’s academic research can barely keep up with the public need for high-speed-news in small portions. I find it could be helpful to drift a little bit away from the importance of Scientific Journals and to focus more on ways to reach larger groups of our societies. From a political point of view, I can also state that it supports having rather factual discussions. I strongly believe digital channels and scientific platforms can improve this broader reach.

What is your opinion about making research data FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) like stated in the Sorbonne Declaration?

In my opinion, the Sorbonne Declaration states some very good principles on how to deal with research data. However, I believe that there is no guarantee that Open Data generates automatically profound information with high quality. Human expertise, guidelines and financial resources will be indispensable for data management.