by Hanne von Weissenberg
Thirty members of the Centre of Excellence met for a one-day meeting in Helsinki on the 3rd June 2014. The day was an interesting, inspiring and unique combination of academic papers and discussions concerning academic career and its challenges.
In the first session, a representative of each of the four teams gave a short presentation. Papers were delivered by Izaak de Hulster (Team 1), Hanne von Weissenberg (Team 2), Juha Pakkala (Team 3), and Hanna Tervanotko (Team 4). The papers provided a glimpse to the work of each team and made more visible the links and joint interests between each group.
After a coffee break, the afternoon session was initiated by a motivational talk by the leader of the Centre, Martti Nissinen. Martti challenged us to think in unconventional ways about what it means to be a scholar, and to work in the academia. He encouraged us to question some of the old fashioned ideals of a prototypical researcher who works alone, isolated and uninterrupted in his study without ever taking a break or a holiday. Martti’s talk was followed by a communal reflection, facilitated by Hanne von Weissenberg, in which we concentrated on questions concerning what makes us a good research community, how to be a member of a research community in a highly competitive environment, and how to create practices of good work for the CSTT. One good practice the members of the CSTT unanimously wanted to maintain was the informal meetings on Thursday afternoons! Other excellent ideas were developed during this session, and the Board will carry on with the implementation of these in due course.
The day concluded with a dinner. On behalf of the organizing committee, many thanks to all who participated with enthusiasm and open-mindedness!