The University of Vaasa Science communication award to Professor Liisa Mäkelä and her LEADIS team

The University of Vaasa has given Professor of Human Resource Management Liisa Mäkelä and her LEADIS team the yearly science communication award. The award was given in recognition of the popularisation of science and societal interaction. In addition, the University of Vaasa awarded one honourable mention for successful science communication. The honourable mention was awarded to Assistant Professor of Finance Klaus Grobys.

The current year 2021 is the Year of Research-Based Knowledge. The University of Vaasa wants to highlight the connection and trust between science and society, as well as the right of citizens to scientific information.

– With the award, we encourage researchers to communicate their research. This can increase interaction with citizens, policymakers and the media. The University of Vaasa emphasises the impact of research, open science, and the diverse evaluation of research in the spirit of the DORA Declaration. Active communication of researchers, participation in the social debate and support for decision-making help to achieve these goals, says Rector Jari Kuusisto.

According to the chair of the jury, Professor Merja Koskela, the university community must appreciate not only scientific publishing but also that the research is communicated to a wider audience.

– The task of the jury was difficult because so many of our researchers do impressive science communication. This year, the jury wanted to highlight the fact that communication is active at different stages of research. Another criterion was the versatile use of social media, says Koskela.

The jury wants to encourage all researchers at the university to develop as science communicators. Science communication can have an impact by increasing the understanding of science and the use of research results in society.

Research on remote work made interesting

During the past year, the awarded researchers Professor Liisa Mäkelä and the LEADIS team have succeeded in interactive science communication about remote work through their blog, website, research publications, social media channels, traditional media, and interactive online lectures and events.

– Right from the beginning of our telework study, we realised that the information we gathered is needed in working life immediately. We started to communicate our research on a very fast schedule and publish it as blog posts and various reports, says Professor Mäkelä.

Mäkelä says that the team strives to disseminate information to the widest possible audience by using social media. The science communication that began in the form of a blog, in turn, quickly expanded into a knowledge database on remote work.

The new website of the LEADIS team, The Telework Compass (Etätyökompassi), gathers important information on the effective management of telework. The site has, among other things, a telework database that provides tips for employees and employers, a science blog with research, expert and guest sections, research reports and scientific articles.

– We really appreciate the award we have received, it is great that the big effort made by the team in science communication was given recognition at our university, Mäkelä says.

Liisa Mäkelä

An academic YouTuber in finance gets attention in the New York Times

The University of Vaasa has awarded an honourable mention in science communication to Klaus Grobys, Assistant professor in finance, who has, among other things, set up his own "Finance channel" on YouTube. He gives online lectures and hosts expert discussions for students all around the world and anyone interested in finance.

Grobys has recently researched cryptocurrencies. He has actively popularised his research results in various forums, written blogs, shared information on social media and given media interviews on the topic. Just last week, the New York Times quoted his article on the impact of cyberattacks on the Bitcoin market as one of the most interesting academic studies of the week.

– To my mind, sharing information about my research with a wider audience is an important part of my profession. I think what is done in academia will be much more transparent in the future, and that is a good and healthy development, says Grobys.

He says the inspiration to set up his own YouTube channel came from Professor Jordan Peterson of the University of Toronto, who had shared his lectures online.

– I liked the idea a lot: giving the opportunity to learn for free.

Grobys says that his lectures on his Finance Channel on YouTube also help his own master's students that are working and living elsewhere. YouTube also has the big advantage that you can see the English subtitles.

– Students that have difficulties understanding my spoken English can read the text while watching my lectures. The final reason is about contribution. Isn’t life about contributing to society? At least I think it is.

Klaus Grobys

See also

Etätyökompassi site:

Klaus Grobys Finance Channel on YouTube:

Further information

Professor Liisa Mäkelä, tel +358 29 449 8447
Assistant Professor (tenure track) Klaus Grobys, tel +358 29 449 8524

Rector Jari Kuusisto, tel +358 29 449 8291
Professor Merja Koskela, tel +358 29 449 8353

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