Published March 29, 2018
Potentially due to my own misconception of a “tutorial”, I went into the session expecting to learn about methods and techniques employed in malaria research. I was thus rather surprised when finding myself in a six hour lecture. Gladly, Maria Mota gave a compelling presentation making it easy for the listener to follow for longer periods of time.
The lecture was separated into several stories each exploring one line of research conducted in her laboratory. Maria used the slides to support her arguments with data and to illustrate general concepts rather than using them as the framework. As she clearly knew her research well, she was able to interact with the audience while talking instead of having to refer back to the slides all the time. The data presented on the slides was kept at an appropriate level, showing all the relevant information without getting lost in too many details. All of this contributed to a better understanding of the research presented and eventually made it easier to ask relevant questions.
While this sounds like basic advice for how to give a good presentation, it once again made it clear to me how important it is to pay attention to how you present your data.
There was one additional thing that made Maria’s lecture stand out in contrast to others. At several points she pointed out that some wild ideas, an open mind and a few coincidences were important for her research and even contributed to the successful outcome of some of the projects. She encouraged us to think creatively and to interact with other researchers. She specifically mentioned conversations with scientists from other areas of research that had quite an impact on the direction a project was taking.
In conclusion, I learned a valuable lesson about science communication and project management while hearing about Maria’s exciting research into plasmodium liver and blood stages. However, I would like to point out that I personally do not see how this tutorial conceptually differs from any other seminar (other than the time frame) as most of the aspects that made it unique out seemed to be based on Maria as a speaker.
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
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