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Women Communicating Arctic Science | Gender in Transdisciplinary Research

May 6 @ 8:00 am - 9:00 am


In 2021, a coalition of organizations including The Arctic Institute, Women in Polar Sciences, and Women of the Arctic are organizing a webinar series, Breaking the Ice Ceiling, to illuminate polar research by those who identify as women and to foster discussion on systemic change in polar sciences (Indigenous, natural, and social sciences) to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. In this webinar, you will hear from Dr. Alexandra Middleton about Arctic science communicated by women, the heart and sense dilemma, and Dr. Amy Lauren Lovecraft about whether gender matters in transdisiplinary Arctic research.

Dr. Middleton is a researcher, with PhD in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Oulu. Her research focuses on sustainable business development in the Arctic and the socio-economic changes in the Arctic. She has published research on sustainable business development, demographics, human capital, innovations, employment and connectivity solutions in the Arctic. In her presentation, “Arctic science communicated by women: heart and sense dilemma,” she will explore how Arctic women researchers are avid communicators of their research through different typically non-academic outlets, e.g. media, social media, podcasts, non-academic presentations, engagements with stakeholders. This is what many women see as their contribution to society where the greatest impact can be achieved. However, this type of scientific communication is not recognized in university quality assessment schemes and cannot lead to career progression. Hence, the dilemma arises whether to follow your heart and communicate research through the most natural channels that bring engagement and impact or follow the voice of sense and abide by rigid rules of research excellence evaluation that predominantly values peer-reviewed academic publications. The questions that she is going to address are the following: How to make time spent on communicating research count in researcher evaluations? How to make a balance between heart and sense? Views shared during the seminar can be used as an input to recommendations to policymakers to recognize science communication and science diplomacy efforts as part of research efforts.

Dr. Lovecraft is a Full Professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Director of the Center for Arctic Policy Studies at the International Arctic Research Center. She has dealt with being a woman in male dominated professions (Political Science and all the geophysical and natural sciences) in the Arctic, and has learned a lot about navigation for her own career but to also help others coming up. In, “Doing Transdisciplinary Arctic Research: Does Gender Matter?,” she will trace my career from trying to do novel work in Grad School to getting a job and then developing as a researcher. Uing myself as an example for what she has seen at different key junctures in women’s careers, Dr. Lovecraft will present takeaways about how navigating this process from learner to to expert as a woman is different from that of men.