published: February 9, 2011
Plant sciences in Switzerland should be heard more clearly. This is, in brief, the task of Franziska Humair. She is a journalist by training, but also a plant scientist.
As one measure to achieve this goal, Franziska Humair plans to set up media training for plant scientists. Further, she invites all SPSW members, and their friends, to "talk planty" - or in other words: "Do good (plant science) and talk about it!"
Dear SPSW members,
To be honest, I had never thought of becoming a spokesperson for a company or an organization. Being a journalist, I was afraid that if I did, I would lose my independence, become too narrowly focused, or be swayed by different principles. One thing was clear to me: If I ever did become a spokesperson, the company or organization would have to fit, just as it does in the case of the Swiss Plant Science Web. The SPSW is a network, it is about research, and, above all, it is all about plants; finally, I have the chance to combine my fascination for biology with my passion for journalism and communication.
So now, I am “on the other side”, as journalists would say. I am lobbying and representing the views of a single community. However, I do not feel as if I am being swayed by other people’s opinions or becoming too narrow in my focus. On the contrary! Checking the research portfolios of our senior scientists, I do not find a single topic I could not give my full support to. And I like the idea of being part of a national umbrella structure, where regional networks still have their own voice and considerable independence. At the same time, I am impressed by how closely many of these researchers work together, bridging (scientific) cultures regardless of their disciplinary background.
Thus, it seems to me that the objectives of the SPSW make perfect sense:
Improve excellence of plant sciences in Switzerland by
- enhancing cross-linkage among researchers at home and abroad
- sharing technologies and knowledge
- providing a comprehensive education, thereby applying the most modern learning techniques and keeping in touch with the most current research challenges
- supporting members in their difficult task of fundraising
- making plant research visible
Given the diversity of research within the SPSW, the (cultural) variety among SPSW members, and the range of services provided by the SPSW staff, it is a challenge to communicate satisfactorily. However, in my new position, I am allowed to observe the most fascinating process of network formation close-up, and I am convinced that the excellence of the plant research done in our country has to be made more visible – within the research community itself, and, above all, among stakeholders and the public.
I cordially invite you to accompany us on our journey. Feel free to get in touch with us!