Great (Scientific) Promises from a Great Power – Science Slam of Benoît Richard

Sometimes new methods are made available not thanks to a theoretical breakthrough but thanks to the progressive development of a known apparatus. Through a journey to Middle Earth, Benoît explains how embracing the raw power of the European XFEL and throwing a large amount of computing power at the generated data may lead to a new practical imaging technique for molecules.

Great (Scientific) Promises from a Great Power – Benoît Richard at the First PIER Science Slam

Benoît Richard

photo of a young man wearing glasses and a blue shirt sitiing in front of a plant
Benoît Richard

Benoît develops algorithms to allow the reconstruction of molecule structures based on measurements of their fragments, after they are caused to explode in the European X-ray Free Electron Laser (European XFEL).

About the First PIER Science Slam

After blogposts and podcasts, PIER wanted to tackle what is probably the most entertaining form of science communication: Science Slams. Theresa Schredelseker then teamed up with Philipp Gadow, postdoctoral researcher at DESY and experienced science slammer. In the workshop they offered, five PhD students from various research institutions at the Hamburg Bahrenfeld campus were assisted to develop their own Science Slam. They received one-on-one coachings with experienced science slammers (Philipp Gadow, Michael Büker or Matthias Mader) and a full-day workshop in which Philipp prepared them for their stage appearance.

Logo of the First PIER Science Slam showing the PIER logo, a microphone and many raised arms

On May 4, 2022 it was finally time to perform their slam in front of an amazing audience in the DESY auditorium. The show was hosted by Matthias Mader, who also performed a Science Slam as the opening act to break the ice and warm up the audience for our five contesters. The winner was determined by the audience and their applause, judged by three jurors, Michael Büker, Matthew Robinson and Theresa Schredelseker. It was such a close race, but Judita was found to have won this friendly battle of wits! Congrats to her but also to all other slammers who did a great job entertaining the audience! It was such a fun night!

Many thanks also go to Matthias Kreuzeder and the DESY Meeting Service. They were tremendously helpful when it came to organizing this event and preparing the videos.

Theresa Schredelseker

As a molecular biologist by training, Theresa is currently trying to share her enthusiasm for science communication with early career researchers at DESY and Uni Hamburg.

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