14 June 2024

Idoia Beloqui Ezquer, PhD student in Chemistry at the Department of physics, chemistry and biology, has been awarded second prize in Swedish Chemical Society's competition in research communication.

"For many, chemistry is seen as complex and inaccessible, something they believe isn't relevant to them. However, research in this field directly impacts many lives, making it crucial to break down these barriers and help more people understand what we do.", says Idoia Beloqui Ezquer.

When she entered the Swedish Chemical Society's competition, she found the idea of the initiative to create an inspiring public library of engaging pitches that inform the general population about chemistry, interesting. While it was important for her to win a scholarship that would secure her funding for attending international conferences, she was also intrigued by the three minute pitch format,which she feels is very inviting to watch.

Communicating research

"My research is directly related to everyone's daily life, yet many people are unaware of the hazardous chemicals present in their homes, offices, gyms, schools, so my primary goal with research communication is to raise awareness about these risks so that people can take steps to reduce their exposure. For example, if someone doesn't know that paints may contain hazardous chemicals, they might paint their walls without proper ventilation and experience high exposure. So it’s crucial for my research to effectively communicate with non-scientific audiences and help them understand the implications of indoor pollution.", concludes Idoia.

The greatest challenge in any research communication, and also in this pitch video competition, is shifting from a scientific mindset and language to everyday communication. "When discussing our research, I'm accustomed to using scientific jargon and chemical terminology. Explaining my project in terms that everyone can understand has been quite difficult. I want to provide detailed explanations, but doing so requires background information, which can quickly become overwhelming in a three minute video.", explains Idoia. She grades her video skills to next to none, so in this video she tried to make is as simple as possible, by recording her screen while making notes on her tablet.

Scholarship trip to Singapore

For her scholarship grant Idoia plans to attend the conference “Dioxin”, which will be held in Singapore this year. "Dioxin" is an international symposium focused on halogenated persistent pollutants, of which polychlorinated alkanes, the compounds Idoia works with, are a part. 

Idoia Beloqui Ezquer's research is conducted in Chemistry division at the Department of physics, chemistry and biology, in collaboration with Environmental change (Tema M) at the Department of thematic studies, both at Linköping University.

 

 

Idoia Beloqui Ezquer

Idoia's pitch film

See Idoia's prize winning video "Analytical chemistry pitch film: Study of polychlorinated alkanes in indoor dust" here.

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