Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


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A question that many early career scientists ask themselves... We discussed this topic at the EGU GA during the Polar Science Career Panel, which was co-organized by the EGU Cryosphere ECS team and APECS on 27 April 2017.

Our five panellists, from different backgrounds and job fields, engaged in a lively discussion with over 50 session attendees. Questions ranged from “How and when did you know what you wanted to do”, to “How important is social media presence” and “What will be the next hot topic in the field.

One hot topic of debate was whether moving to different working groups, and with that to different countries, is a must? While most of our panellists pointed to the clear advantages, some words of caution were also voiced. Moving around comes at a cost not only regarding the personal life but also the professional networks. It is not easy to keep in touch when gone for a number of years, but as realization/acknowledgment is the first step, be sure to keep it in mind.

At the end we asked each panellist to come up with some final words of advice for ECSs, which were:

  • There is no right and wrong, ask other people and see what you like
  • Remember you can shape your own job
  • Take chances! Even if you are likely to fail, and think outside the box
  • Remember that you are a whole human being... not only a scientist, and use all your skills
  • And last but not least... come and work at Carbon Brief (thanks Robert McSweeney;))

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We would again like to thank our five panellists, namely - Felicity Liggins (Climate Scientist and Outreach Program Manager from the Met Office, UK), Robert McSweeney (Science Writer for Carbon Brief), Lindsey Nicholson (SeniorPostDoc from the University of Innsbruck, Austria), Kerim Nisancioglu (Prof. of Earth Science, University of Bergen, Norway) and Wiebke Schubotz (Project Coordinator of HD(CP)² at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Germany) and everybody who attended and participated in the lively discussion.

If you would like more details, you can read up on twitter @EGU_CR, search for the #CareerPanel.

... and maybe see you next year at EGU!


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APECS International Directorate
Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research
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