Networking for Scientists
Every conference is an opportunity. An opportunity to present your work to others. An opportunity to meet with people you know. An opportunity to eat exotic food in an exotic place.
It could be so much more. It's an opportunity to discover your next grant collaborator, your future co-authors, or even your future boss or employee.
The key to unlocking the potential of a conference (or even a chance encounter) lies in a single word: networking. Networking is not the domain of the extrovert. It is a skill, and it can be mastered. As a scientific networker, you will rarely find yourself lacking resources, because every person you meet is potentially an opportunity.
Science and the Media
A perfect scientific paper, presented masterfully at conferences, referenced by scores of your peers... still only touches a relatively small number of people. What if your research could impact thousands, instead of dozens?
All research is vitally important, but not all research is media worthy. It may be too early, or too impractical for implementation. Recognizing the right conditions and acting on them, can put your career in the fast track.
Writing for the media is entirely different from scientific writing, and being featured in a radio or TV interview is unlike any scientific presentation. Both are fraught with ethical and communication barriers which you must overcome.
Science and the Public
The majority of professions can be visualized in the public eye. The general public can imagine a chef, even if people do not understand the details of the culinary practice. It is much more difficult to imagine a researcher, since their work is, by definition, pushing the boundaries of human knowledge far beyond the grasp of many in every direction, from developing sushi peptides to preparing monolayer graphene coatings.
Mastering public communication benefits you in greater ways than just being able to talk about your job with your friends, acquaintances, and your spouse! As a public scientist, you grow not only in the scientific community, but also in popular opinion. This can grant you significant influence and impact on the development of your field, and in the eyes of your peers.