Mendeley Brainstorm: Augmented Reality — Here and Now

 

IT expert touching a hexagon grid with the letters AR for augmented reality and surrounding fields of usage
IT expert touching a hexagon grid with the letters AR for augmented reality and surrounding fields of usage

 

“Pokemon Go” has made Augmented Reality wildly popular; this month, we’re asking in our latest Brainstorm competition – what Augmented Reality innovation do you think will be the next “killer app”? We are looking for the most well thought out answer to this question in up to 150 words: use the comment feature below the blog and please feel free to promote your research! The winner will receive an Amazon gift certificate worth $50 and a bag full of Mendeley items; competition closes September 6th.

It’s usual to see people constantly staring at their mobile phones; it used to be that they were just texting friends or awaiting the latest post on social media. However, there is now a burgeoning tribe of gamers who squint, peer, then shift their phone around; they’re hunting for virtual creatures which are visible only to the eye of augmented reality. This craze has become so widespread that even the leader of the UK Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, spent part of his time on a Sunday political programme hunting for virtual creatures rather than expounding on his policies. (Jeremy Corbyn learns to play Pokemon Go, 2016)

AR is nothing new; in 2012, Google launched “Google Glass”, a headset which integrated Google information with what users could see in front of them. In turn, users could take photographs and video. It wasn’t a commercial success; it broke the First Rule of Wearable Technology as described by the inventor of the NFC Ring (www.nfcring.com), John McClear: “Wearable technology shouldn’t be ugly!” Furthermore, users were also concerned that they were in effect sharing their lives with Google. Finally, there were safety concerns: a person paying attention to a virtual object may not take sufficient notice of real ones.

Despite the setbacks, augmented reality is becoming increasingly prevalent in the fields of medicine, architecture, education, and tourism. For example, AR is rapidly becoming a valuable tool for surgeons: while minimally invasive procedures have made patients’ lives easier, nevertheless, these “techniques bring up new difficulties for surgeons by greatly reducing their usual abilities” such as touch and depth perception. (Nicolau et al., 2011 p. 190) Though utilizing AR in this scenario has limitations (such as the fact that living beings aren’t rigid in their positioning), it was concluded “interactive augmented reality is a relevant approach to provide intra-operatively additional information to surgeons. This information usually can help for port positioning and give them confidence by showing them hidden structures at some steps with an accuracy which seems sufficient to them.” (Nicolau et al., 2011 p. 196)

Mobile Augmented Reality applications are also being tested in Greece to enhance the tourist experience; an application called “CorfuAR” “supports personalized content provision and navigation features to tourists on the move”. (Kourouthanassis et al, 2015, p. 72) The user journey can be personalized on the phone app according to interest: business, culture, religion, shopping, nightlife, gastronomy, nature study, tripping and water sports. (Kourouthanassis et al, 2015, p. 77).

With these and other applications, it seems that AR is here to stay; but where else will it show up? Tell us!

About Mendeley Brainstorms

Our Brainstorms are challenges so we can engage with you, our users, on the hottest topics in the world of research. We look for the most in-depth and well thought through responses; the best response as judged by the Mendeley team will earn a prize.

References

Jeremy Corbyn learns to play Pokemon Go (2016), BBC News. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36820874 [Accessed July 18, 2016]

KOUROUTHANASSIS, P., BOLETSIS, C., BARDAKI, C. and CHASANIDOU, D. (2015). Tourists responses to mobile augmented reality travel guides: The role of emotions on adoption behavior. Pervasive and Mobile Computing, 18, pp.71-87.

NICOLAU, S., SOLER, L., MUTTER, D. and MARESCAUX, J. (2011). Augmented reality in laparoscopic surgical oncology. Surgical Oncology, 20(3), pp.189-201.

Beginners guide to writing a manuscript in LaTeX

Interactive course available now.

LaTeX is a document preparation system for the communication and publication of scientific documents that include complex math expressions or non-Latin scripts, such as Arabic, Sanskrit and Chinese. It is widely used in many fields in academia, including mathematics, physics, computer science, statistics, economics and political science. In LaTeX the writer uses plain text and uses mark-up tagging conventions to define the general structure of a document (such as article, book, and letter), to stylise text throughout a document (such as bold and italic), and to add citations and cross-references.

After having followed this interactive course you will be able to work with LaTeX for your manuscripts. Topics addressed are:

* Downloading the software;

* Using the software for scientific manuscripts;

* Adding equations, figures and tables;

* Output of data and documents;

* Rules, common mistakes and troubleshooting.

Understanding of all topics is checked during the course.

Webinar Thursday 23 June – Creating a good research data management plan

Thursday 23 June, 2016 – 15.00 CET, 14.00 BST, 09.00 EDT
Duration: 45 min

Increasingly, funders require researchers to submit a data management plan – a document describing how data will be acquired, treated and preserved during and after a research project – when they apply for a grant.

Beyond funding, good research data management helps researchers save time and efforts whilst running experiments. It is also of value to the wider scientific community, as well-organised data can be further analysed by other researchers.

This online lecture, produced in collaboration with the Dutch TechCentre for Life Sciences will address the following topics:

What is a data management plan?
When do you need a data management plan?
Why is research data management important?
What are the FAIR principles?
Attending this lecture will equip you with the knowledge to start your own research data management plan and get the most out of your data. The presentation will be followed by a Questions & Answers session.

Sign up here!

Congratulations April Advisor of the Month!

Sofia BlazevicCongratulations and thank you to Advisor Sofia Blazevik! Sofia is a PhD at the Department of Animal Physiology in Zagreb, Croatia. Sofia joined the Mendeley Advisors exactly two years ago and since then has hosted a “Blaze” of seminars and workshops on Mendeley (forgive the pun!)

Sophia works on animal models of neurobiological disorders and also on bioethics.  “I enjoy this field of research and most of all I enjoy sharing this with my students,” she said. “I love transferring knowledge, empowering people with it.”

What is the one thing she’d like people to know about Mendeley?

“Mendeley lets you concentrate on what research really is about: discovering more new phenomena while wasting the least time writing about it.”

Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you?
I do my best research working with a group of people, interchanging ideas, big open spaces suit me best. When I have to write a paper I have to isolate completely, but the rest of the time I work best with a team.

How long have you been on Mendeley and what were you using prior to Mendeley and how does Mendeley influence your research?
I have been on Mendeley for 7 years already! I had tested Endnote and Zotero prior to Mendeley but for a very short time. I was at the beginning of my research career and wanted to make things easier. Why would I do the work a program on my computer could do for me, and do it better?! I was decided to find the appropriate program that would take the hours out of reference writing. After trying other programs, I loved the way Mendeley was so user friendly and easy to use, and at the same time adaptable and flexible (go ahead write your own .csl file!).Kulturni centar Harmica

As time goes by I like it more and more, because it keeps getting better and better. The students at my last workshop smiled at my enthusiasm at the begging: “you are in love with Mendeley” they said, and I answered “I am and at the end of the workshop you will be too”, when they started inserting the inline citations and creating the reference lists they sighed “Now, I am in love too!”

Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program?
I really enjoy teaching, and I find it very fulfilling giving people the tools to make their work easier. I always say that if there were a working position called “the problem solver,” I would love to have it. Mendeley is a research problem solver. Being an Advisor allowed me to spread the word, get it to as many people as I can, make people’s research life easier, more enjoyable.

To date I have mostly given workshops to small groups (I prefer smaller groups). I do an introduction in which I give an overview of the whole program and then we get to work step by step, we literally go through every option on the program. I ask everyone to bring their own devices, the ones they will be using later. We go from zero to master, so that the participant goes home with his/her own Mendeley library started. This way I know that they will use it and I often get emails soon after with questions on troubleshooting.

What academic/researcher/librarian would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?IMG_5394
I would love to meet two dead researchers: Jérôme Lejeune, because he was an honest researcher putting people first; and Santiago Ramón y Cajal, his histological work was amazing! I would love to learn from him how to approach a scientific problem. And two that are alive: Michael Gazzaniga and Vilayanur S. Ramachandran both are neuroscientist that have fun learning about the processes of the brain, just watching them work would be a great school for me.

What book are you reading at the moment and why?
I am reading two books right now, “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” by Oliver Sacks, an interesting account on several psychiatric disorders described in a way everyone can understand. I am reading it because it gives me new insights into how the brain works, and it’s a classic for neuroscience researchers. And “Amoris Laetitia” by Pope Francis because it gives practical lessons on how to love everyone around us and live a more fulfilling life.

What is the best part about working in research?
Workshop_Zagreb_20160419_2The best part of working in research is the never ending ability to wonder. Discovering the beauty of things and the logical answer to why a phenomenon occurs, which was not known before and makes complete sense, that “aha” moment is incredible!

And the most challenging part about working in research?
I would say that the most challenging part of working in research today is getting the whole picture. At least in the field of biology, we go very deep on a specific receptor or molecule but we sometimes forget that it is only one bit of an enormous picture. It takes a lot of effort to see the whole picture, it is easier to focus just on a picometer of it but then it does not reflect the whole reality. I must admit it is sometimes easy to feel demoralized when there are so many articles on the same field of research and each only adds just a little of knowledge…

 

 

*Answers edited for length and clarity

March Advisor of the Month: YOU!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We asked our global Advisor community to “Show us your corner of the world.” And, boy, did they respond! The pictures poured in from all corners of the globe, from Austria to Taiwan to Cameroon to Brazil to Ghana to Indonesia to India…we could go on!

Our original intent was to pick one and interview them as our Advisor of the Month, but, boy, did that cause some arguments on our team! The pictures and stories behind why our Advisors chose these spots to highlight were so compelling and interesting, we couldn’t choose one. Which is fairly representative of the Mendeley Advisor Program, as there are multiple ways at getting involved.

The Mendeley Advisor community is 3,600+ strong global network, ranging from students to professors in nearly every field. Advisors can choose how they want to participate and the Advisor program is designed to fit around your work schedule – not the other way around. Our Advisors spread the word about Mendeley through one-on-one recommendations to giving presentations to their department or institutes. They help shape Mendeley by participating in User Discovery, or by beta testing.

The corners of the world highlighted by our Advisors show the global diversity and reach of the Mendeley network. Like Muhammad Sholahuddin from Muhammadiyah University of Surakarta in Indonesia, who is pictured with a local landmark that represents being an “umbrella” to ordinary people.

Or Librarian Mary Lister, from Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town pictured in front of Table Mountain one of the seven modern wonders of the world, and the former Breakwater Jail which now houses the Graduate School of Business.

We loved the creativity shown by Henry Dilong Meriki and his colleagues at the University of Buea in Cameroon, who printed out their own Mendeley badges and stood in front of the flag of their country flying high over their campus, where they study drug resistance in HIV and Tuberculosis.

Beatriz Benitez Juan, a librarian at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Spain, highlighted the unique Catalonian culture in her picture, where she is dwarfed by a tower, or castell, of students.

And we felt the calm beauty of Kassel, Germany in Adrian Calma‘s beautiful portrait with his Mendeley bag in front of the Hercules Monument in Bergpark Wilhelmhöhe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We wondered if, while waiting for his tram, he was using Mendeley’s iOS or Android apps to stay on top of his research!

So take a peek at our favourite photos in the above slideshow, and Show us YOUR Corner of the World here in the comments, or on Facebook, or on Twitter. Want to know more about the Advisor Program? Visit our Mendeley Advisor Program page to learn more and apply for the program.

Can Mendeley help you find your next job?

Jobs Home

Finding the right job is important to build your expertise, further your research and get the exposure you need to develop your career. And job listings are not always about finding your next position, but keeping up-to-date in your field, or across disciplines.

Mendeley is partnering with our sister company, New Scientist, to provide jobs information to our community. The jobs board points to thousands of science job opportunities with commercial companies, research institutes and universities and more. You can find a link to Jobs at Mendeley at the top of your Newsfeed.

Actively search for your next position by signing up for email alerts tailored to your desired position, location, and topic areas. You can also upload your CV and let recruiters and jobs come to you.

We are interested to learn from you about your interest in seeking job and funding opportunities via the Mendeley network. So whether you’re actively seeking or just keeping your options open, check out these opportunities, and let us know what you think in the comments below!

How new technology can create a healthier public: Bridging Science and Policy

communication technologies

Our Mendeley Advisors are one of the groups continuing to participate in the global conversation launched by Atomium — The European Institute for Science, Media, and Democracy — on increasing collaboration and cooperation between policy makers, scientists and other people.

This week we are featuring an essay by Angelo Basteris, a postdoc at Griffith University in Australia, and a Mendeley Advisor, on this week’s topic: New Technologies and Innovation.

You can also participate in this conversation by filling out weekly questionnaires on chronic disease at the REISearch forums.

 

What would you do if you had a stroke? I’d be playing with my smartphone

Have you ever thought “What would I do if I had a stroke?”. I have, quite often. Perhaps because I worked on a project for letting people with chronic stroke do rehabilitation while playing videogames, at home, with a robotic glove [1].

Our group was not the first to design robots for rehabilitation: thousands of researchers have been working on rehabilitation robotics, for at least thirty years [2]. Robots can help the rehabilitation of several diseases such as stroke[3], multiple sclerosis[4], and Parkinson’s Disease[5].

Very likely, you have a facility administering robot-therapy in your city, or in the head city of your region. And if I had a stroke (or if in general I needed rehabilitation), I would definitely try to visit one of these.

Unfortunately, we know that “robots work well only for some people” – and if you are among those who need treatment, I hope it works for you. We also know that not many people can buy a robot for rehabilitation, because of the high costs.

The good news is that you may not need a robot for rehabilitation. While robots are enabling those people with a severe impairment to exercise by providing “extra force” to their bodies, we can do much for our health with other technologies.

A very rapidly growing sector, the industry of smartphones and wearable devices, represents a goldmine for health in general. You can have your sleep monitored by your smartphone, have it checking how far you walk (and warning you if you’re being lazy!) – even on the basic models. Forone or two hundred dollars more you can have your heart rate monitored by a wristband connected to the phone.

A famous slogan was “there’s an app for that” – it’s time for an update to: “there are many apps for that.” This is true even if you are after something more specific, like a pill reminder, something to help you cope with pain, or you want to try a geeky way to quit smoking. Don’t you trust me? Just search some of these terms on your app store.

We do not know yet which of these work and which do not, nor what for. So when you find that something works (or doesn’t work for you), try to share your findings. And look for a different solution, which will hopefully work better.

[1] S. M. Nijenhuis, G. B. Prange, F. Amirabdollahian, P. Sale, F. Infarinato, N. Nasr, G. Mountain,
H. J. Hermens, A. H. A. Stienen, J. H. Buurke, and J. S. Rietman, “Feasibility study into self-
administered training at home using an arm and hand device with motivational gaming
environment in chronic stroke,” J. Neuroeng. Rehabil., vol. 12, no. 1, p. 89, Oct. 2015.
[2] A. Basteris, S. M. Nijenhuis, A. H. Stienen, J. H. Buurke, G. B. Prange, and F. Amirabdollahian,
“Training modalities in robot-mediated upper limb rehabilitation in stroke: a framework for
classification based on a systematic review.,” J. Neuroeng. Rehabil., vol. 11, no. 1, p. 111,
2014.
[3] N. Norouzi-Gheidari, P. S. Archambault, and J. Fung, “Effects of robot-assisted therapy on
stroke rehabilitation in upper limbs: systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature.,” J.
Rehabil. Res. Dev., vol. 49, no. 4, pp. 479–96, Jan. 2012.
[4] I. Lamers, A. Maris, D. Severijns, W. Dielkens, S. Geurts, B. Van Wijmeersch, and P. Feys,
“Upper Limb Rehabilitation in People With Multiple Sclerosis: A Systematic Review.,”
Neurorehabil. Neural Repair, Jan. 2016.
[5] A. Picelli, S. Tamburin, M. Passuello, A. Waldner, and N. Smania, “Robot-assisted arm training
in patients with Parkinson’s disease: a pilot study.,” J. Neuroeng. Rehabil., vol. 11, p. 28, Jan.
2014.

You can also participate in this conversation by filling out weekly questionnaires on chronic disease at the REISearch forums.

 

Previous week’s essays
“Prevention is the Better Cure”

 

How a PhD prize is supporting chemistry’s bright young stars

By David Evans, Scientific Affairs Director at Reed Elsevier Properties SA

The fuel efficiency of our cars depends on the relative reactivity of the hydrocarbons in the fuel; in 2013 a PhD student published a paper describing a new material that can filter out the molecules that make our cars less efficient. A year later, a different PhD student published work that makes it possible to watch the tiny structures inside cells moving around in real-time, using a microscope.

Rising chemistry stars like these will be tomorrow’s leading scientists, developing solutions to many of the problems we face today. Recognizing their work and supporting their careers is vital, and that’s exactly what the Reaxys PhD Prize is for. The best known and respected of its kind, the Prize has attracted almost 2500 submissions from more than 400 universities in its six-year history.

Every year, 45 finalists are selected out of hundreds of submissions from chemistry PhD candidates and researchers who have recently been awarded their PhD, in a process managed by a review committee of renowned chemists. The finalists represent the world’s best young chemists, and their work is showcased at an annual Symposium.

Submissions are now open for the 2016 PhD Prize, and we’re preparing to see even more outstanding and impactful research this year.

Celebrating success
Imagine you’re just finishing your chemistry PhD and you’re standing at the foot of your career, wondering how you’ll be able to scale the mountain. You’ve done some really cutting-edge work already, but you have even bigger ideas. Now you need people to bounce them around with and a mentor to guide you.

The Reaxys PhD Prize gives exceptional young researchers a leg-up, helping them scale the difficult first part of their career and supporting them with lifetime benefits.

The two PhD students mentioned at the start of this article are previous PhD Prize winners and are now two of almost 300 members of an elite group – the Reaxys Prize Club. Each year the 45 new finalists are welcomed into the Prize Club, giving them the chance to network with some of the world’s best chemists.

The PhD Prize has been running since 2010, hence, Club members now hold a variety of positions in academia and industry, giving incoming members a great opportunity to find mentors and collaborators. Over 50 members are now in their first independent academic positions.

How it works
The 2016 PhD Prize is open to those who are in a chemistry PhD program or have completed their PhD after 1 January 2015, and who have published a peer-reviewed paper during their PhD. They apply online with their peer-reviewed paper, along with a CV (resume) and a letter of recommendation from their PhD supervisor.

Submissions are open until 8 February 2016, after this the review process will start, and once completed the review committee will select the 45 finalists. All 45 finalists automatically become members of the Reaxys Prize Club and a host of other benefits, including unlimited personal access to Reaxys and Reaxys Medicinal Chemistry and discounts on Elsevier Chemistry books and scientific conferences.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 16.05.46

All the finalists are invited to attend the 2016 Reaxys PhD Prize Symposium. Before the symposium, the review committee will publish a shortlist of applicants. At the Symposium, all the finalists will present their research at a poster session, and the shortlisted candidates will give oral presentations. The three winners will be chosen after the oral presentations and will each be awarded a cheque for $2000.

Are you up for the challenge? We are looking forward to seeing the exciting new research being done by today’s rising stars and to welcoming a new wave of members to the Reaxys Prize Club.

To stay updated on the finalists, shortlisted candidates and the winners, visit the PhD Prize website.

Breaking down the wall of prostate cancer metastasis

Meet Lian Willetts, Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. John Lewis Laboratory, Department of Oncology, University of Alberta and one of the standout stories of the recent Falling Walls 2015 conference. We had the pleasure of seeing her present her work twice during our trip to Berlin earlier this month, firstly during the fantastic Falling Walls Lab competition and then again as one of the three winners of Lab presenting her work at the main conference.

The Lab format offers excellent young academics and professionals the opportunity to present their outstanding ideas, research projects and initiatives. Each participant is asked to present his/her work in 3 minutes, which Lian managed in a clear, confident, concise manner.

falling walls 2015

There is no better person to describe her work than Lian herself, so we reached out to get an overview of the groundbreaking research she is making great strides with.

Over a third of newly diagnosed cancer in North America will be prostate cancer, and 250,000 men and their families will receive this devastating new this year alone. Men do not die from cancer that stays in the prostate, they die when cancer cells spread from prostate to bones and lymph nodes. This deadliest aspect of cancer is called metastasis and this is true for many other types of aggressive cancer. Our current diagnostics for prostate cancer do not predict metastasis and our current treatments do not prevent metastasis. Without accurate and predicative diagnostics and preventative treatment, prostate cancer is still claiming 10% of all cancer-related death in men; and leaving a majority of diagnosed patients living with significantly reduced quality of life as results of aggressive treatments.

In order for cancer cells to metastasize, they have to be able to move. Our lab at the University of Alberta, has pioneered an imaging platform capable of capturing every movement of a spreading cancer cell. Using this platform, we discovered a panel of cell derived signals that indicate the switch in cancer cells, from growing to metastasizing, and we call them motility indicators. Take one of the indicators as an example, it is switched on in patients whose cancer spread 10 years earlier than patients who had it switch off according to their prostate biopsy.

Keeping the invasiveness of current diagnostics and patients’ quality of life in mind, our team developed a liquid biopsy platform to accurately analyze the level of these motility indicators using a single drop of blood. Applying this technology in a small cohort of patents we are able to accurately predict which patients’ cancer is metastatic, and whose cancer would remained non-invasive and stay in the prostate. Currently we are running clinical trials in collaboration with multiple Prostate Cancer centers around the world to further validate our technology. When validated we will have a non-invasive blood test to predict if your prostate cancer will metastasize. Many men get a diagnosis of prostate cancer that never would have killed them, but they still opt for radiation or surgery, which can severely compromise their quality of life. The biggest benefit of this test will be in determining which patients can feel comfortable making the decision to forgo aggressive treatment and just monitor their disease to live with it over the long term.

Lian also kindly shared her views on the importance of breaking out of the lab and attending events such as this, and also some insights on how she went about preparing for her talk.

In our lab at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, I get to discover new things pretty much every day. I am surrounded by great scientists who help and challenge me on a daily basis. We are a very diverse group with projects and experience ranging from discovery research to clinical application. On a day-to-day basis, it is easy to focus on only the project you are working on and forget about the big picture of the lab. Participating in FWlab 2015 helped me to tie all the projects in my lab together. To share the breakthrough and the impact of our work to people with a wide variety of backgrounds, in less than 3 minutes, is an extremely challenging task for me. In the process of preparing for the selection process of regional competition, and in the end for the finale in Berlin, I practiced in front of anybody who cared to listen. This process helped me in refining my speech and organizing my thoughts. It was a great learning experience for better communication in the field of medical science research.

The best award I got for this year’s FWLab competition is to be part of the Falling Walls conference on the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9th. All speakers, regardless of their area of expertise, which ranged from aerospace and medical science to social and environmental issues, have been breaking down some of the toughest walls that humanity has been facing around the world. I am truly humbled and also very excited to be part of this prestigious, thought-provoking, and cutting edge experience in Berlin. The Falling Walls Foundation and A.T.Kearney had done a tremendous job organizing the event. I am truly grateful for the experience. I would recommend the FWLab experience to all researchers. It is a character building experience as well as a very effective training program for anyone who wants to learn how to communicate well.

Make sure you take a look the official website of The Alberta Prostate Cancer Research Initiative: http://apcari.ca

The first call for applications has already started for a new round of international FW Lab in 2016: http://falling-walls.com/lab/apply

The first will take place in Moscow on 8 December, the second in Hong Kong on 16 February 2016 with many more to follow. You can also sign up for the Lab Newsletter here: http://falling-walls.com/lab/newsletter

Falling Walls – The International Conference on Future Breakthroughs in Science and Society

For the last two years, Mendeley and Elsevier have been partners of the Falling Walls Conference. Next week, we’ll be heading to the Falling Walls Lab in Berlin and tweeting live from #fallingwalls15 so follow @mendeley_com and @Falling_Walls to stay updated.

http://livestream.com/accounts/1153663/events/4410710/player?width=560&height=315&autoPlay=true&mute=false

In the run up, we’ve explored the event’s beginnings and how it continues to bring together young professionals from different cultures and disciplines, who share the same passion for discovery and innovation.

What is it?
The Falling Walls foundation was established on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. Inspired by this world-changing event on 9 November 1989, the question at the heart of the gathering is: Which walls will fall next?

Since its symbolic beginning, the conference has expanded its sphere of influence. Extensions to the original programme now exist, including the Lab, an opportunity for the brightest minds to showcase their breakthroughs and hone their science communication skills.

ATKearney-Logotype-rd2_comparison

The Lab aims to build and promote interdisciplinary connections between young academics, entrepreneurs and professionals from all fields, and in the lead-up to the Lab Finale in Berlin, 36 qualifying events in 29 countries took place in 2015. The three winners of the Berlin Lab will get the chance to present their ideas once more on the grand stage of the Falling Walls Conference, to an international audience.

Why is it different?
Falling Walls gathers the brightest minds from all over the world. Rarely is it possible to learn and share with as many world leaders in their field, all in one place: ‘Leaders at the intellectual frontier’, describes Scientific American.

Similarly, the Lab is not just any science slam; it incorporates a unique mixture of competition, assertiveness and real curiosity in what other people are doing.

Falling-Walls

Why should I get involved?
Get inspired – Participating in the Lab can give young researchers and innovators visibility on a global stage, but above all it will offer inspiration. Past winning ideas are as diverse as they are exciting. Last year winning projects included ‘the Lorm hand’ – a communication device enabling deaf-blind people to connect with others using social media, technology allowing salt to be filtered out of water and sold on, making the treatment of wastewater profitable, and a project to induce fat cells to secrete insulin, so that type 1 diabetes patients would no longer depend on insulin injections in the future.

Network – Even more so than the conference itself, The Lab is an ideal place to network with like-minded people who want to share their passion and their work with you. Find who works near you, and with whom you would like to collaborate. After the event, stay in touch with Falling Walls and the conference alumni through Facebook, Twitter and Vimeo. Keep them updated with your ideas and get a chance to get your work ‘In the Spotlight’: a new feature in store for this year’s edition, which will document and promote the breakthroughs of conference alumni all over the world.

Hone your outreach skills – Transforming your research into a 3-minute long ‘elevator pitch’ is a challenging restriction. Drawing a compelling presentation out of a complex project will bring out the most essential aspects of your idea: What is it? How does it work? What problem does it solve? Having a strong answer to these questions will help you make your idea sound exciting to people – which is the beginning of success.

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 16.10.19

We’ll be providing updates from Berlin next week, and will be profiling the  winning Lab projects in more detail, so watch this space. You’ll also be able to watch the live stream. In the meantime, check out the Falling Walls blog and watch some videos to find out about previous winning ideas to get your innovative, creative brains working.