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Etna Winter School

Communication is crucial in disseminating good research. Today it is absolutely essential for scientists not only to know its most effective strategies and rhetorical rules, but also to be fully aware of its positive implications. It is for this reason that the Etna Winter School of the University of Catania will focus on academic writing and public speaking. Availing itself of the most experienced international scholars in these fields, it will develop the participants’ written and oral skills, while giving them a special insight into the complex world of scientific publishing. The course is specifically designed for Ph.D. students, but postgraduates (also at an MSc level) and early career researchers will also be welcome.

An overview of the programme

The Etna Winter School is a four-night/five-day event organized by three PhD programmes: Agricultural, Food and Environmental Science, Chemistry and Materials Science and Nanotechnology. In this first edition it will centre on communication as a key component of advanced academic learning. Gathering at a fascinating venue near Mount Etna – the highest active volcano in Europe and one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites (https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1427/) – Ph.D. students and early career researchers will learn how to communicate their research effectively, thus combing theory with practice. The starting point of all activities will be the Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment. On December 14th 2020 Professor Frank Monahan (University College, Dublin) will give a keynote lecture on food authentication, then all the participants will reach the School’s venue up on Etna, where they will attend the German volcanologist Boris Behncke's lecture. The core issues of the course will be discussed in the ensuing days: the bestseller scientific author Marialuisa Aliotta (Edinburgh University) will work on the most effective strategies of academic writing; Patrizia La Fonte (Accademia Internazionale di Teatro – Rome) will focus on public speaking. In order to offer practical advice on how to face the various phases of the publishing process in scientific areas, Henrik Rudolph (Editor-in-Chief of the Elsevier journal “Applied Surface Science”) will also show how to select the right journals, as well as the principles underlying every peer review system. A highly focused and intensive programme, it will also include a guided walk of spectacular Etna, which will be led by Sandro Privitera and Giovanni Sturiale (Cutgana Centre – University of Catania).
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