RNP creates the role of Science Engagement

Science engagement is a new role increasingly strategic in the national networks for education and research (NRENs) for the advance of data-oriented science, the so-called e-Science. With this in mind, RNP created the position as a specialist in e-Science, which will be taken over by Alex Moura (photograph). The model follows the examples of other international networks, such as ESNet, in the United States and GÉANT, in Europe.

In an interview with RNP, Eli Dart, who is responsible for the activity at ESNet, said that the results of this activity are focused on people. “A department of successful scientific engagement helps scientists and installations to adopt the best practices and teaches them new technologies. While there are certainly technical parts to this work, there is a lot of focus on people”, said Dart.

According to him, it is important that the leaders understand that the job of a Scientific Engagement department can take longer to be achieved. “Engagement requires long-term relationships with the community of users and the cultivation of trust and understanding”, added the specialist.

Read more about the theme in the following interview with Alex Moura.

- Which are the challenges of implementing a field of Science Engagement at RNP?

The key is to encourage and maintain relationships with people from other organizations and their different cultures, seeking their engagement so that they get the most of the services and solutions offered by RNP to accelerate their scientific research work. A measure of success in this role will be to make possible successful scientific cooperation, which requires a dose of connectivity, resolution, and patience to define and cultivate long-term relationships with mutual understanding and confidence.

- How do you feel about being appointed to this role?

It is a privilege. I am very proud of being a collaborator for over 20 years and can contribute to its mission, which I deem very important due to its impact, scope, and benefits for all society in the country and abroad. Being a pioneer in a new and important role of relationship with people and communities of RNP system will be a huge responsibility.

What would be your strategies to promote the engagement of scientists?

As in most relationships, most part of the strategy is communication, which needs to be a good quality to maintain a balance between highly technical discourse - which is the tool of researchers and scientists - and unskilled discourse, without leaving out the cultural and political aspects of each community. For this reason, an approach with people will be important in the scientific journalism field to help them to extract public interest from research and also to help in disseminating the benefits achieved by those who use the services and solutions of RNP to support their activities of eScience.

Another side will be to map people, communities and research projects to learn more about their pains, difficulties, and challenges to internalize this knowledge and seek ways, develop methods and work with them to find the best solutions to their problems. When the current minister of MCTIC said that “he wanted to see researchers in the news covers”, I would like that these same researchers recognize RNP as a partner of value when achieving the results.