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Tips to navigate a successful career in science

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The pathway to success for a modern scientist is strewn with more than just academic challenges. After years of fielding enquiries from fellow scientists about how best to navigate the tricky aspects of media interaction, public presentations and bids for funding, Flinders University’s Professor Corey Bradshaw realised that his advice would be best collated in a book, which is being released in Australia by Cambridge University Press on 7 April.

Organisation/s: Flinders University

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From: Flinders University

Tips to navigate a successful career in science

The pathway to success for a modern scientist is strewn with more than just academic challenges. After years of fielding enquiries from fellow scientists about how best to navigate the tricky aspects of media interaction, public presentations and bids for funding, Flinders University’s Professor Corey Bradshaw realised that his advice would be best collated in a book, which is being released in Australia by Cambridge University Press on 7 April.

“When various bits of advice about the mistakes that I’d made and learned from over the years became the most popular posts on my blog about conservation science, I realised this was something many academics need to have explained in more detail,” says Professor Bradshaw. “These are things for which a scientist never receives formal training at university, but are now crucial elements to master if they want to be successful.”

Aiming to embrace all scientists with a far-reaching set of recommendations, Professor Bradshaw’s book - The Effective Scientist: A Handy Guide to a Successful Academic Career ($34.95) – will be officially launched in Adelaide on Monday 16 April, at Level 1, Flinders University Victoria Square from 5pm to 7pm. At attend the book launch and exhibition, register at www.eventbrite.com.au/e/the-effective-scientist-book-launch-exhibition-tickets-44577632900

“It’s a quick-and-dirty guide about what academics need to know, to maximise the chance of their scientific work being effective,” says Professor Bradshaw. “It underlines that scientists must exert influence beyond academic circles, and also to apply and market their research to non-scientists.”

The book takes an all-encompassing approach to improving a scientist's career, starting with writing and publishing – which Professor Bradshaw says is a scientist's most important weapon in the academic arsenal – but also covering financial aspects and tips on how to run a lab effectively.

“I’ve deliberately placed great emphasis on the clarity of language, and the need for greater public discourse by academics,” says Professor Bradshaw. “There’s a growing need to engage with the wider community about science, but that requires a particular skill set beyond what a scientist normally gets taught.

“This certainly includes tips on effectively using social media, but also traditional media. I can’t think of one senior academic who hasn’t been burned at least once by a bad media experience – but it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s about learning from experiences, which I’ve laid out in this book for others to absorb.”

Professor Bradshaw says the book also discusses such sensitive aspects as dealing with personality conflicts and stress management, along with gender, race and sex issues, which are of increasing relevance for the modern scientist working in universities, industries and engaging with the wider public.

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