Young Dairy Scientist Communication Award
The emphasis for this competition is on COMMUNICATION. Research plays a critical role in driving the NZ Dairy industry forward, however scientists are often criticised for not communicating the results of their research to herd owners in a readily understandable and usable form.
This award will provide the finalist with a new “communication” experience. Each one of them must take the skills that relate to communicating scientific information within the scientific community and adapt them to deliver the same scientific message but to the end user. That end user will usually be a levy payer who likely funded the research that the young dairy scientists will describe.
The 2012 Palmerston North conference will be the fourth time that NZLHA delegates will see and hear from finalists competing for the Young Dairy Scientists Communication Award (YDSCA).
To enter scientists submit a conventionally written scientific abstract that allows the scientific merit of the research to be evaluated. Once this is established they are advised to start all over again and forget about using technical jargon supported by statistical probabilities.
What will the finalists have to do?
There are three sections to the competition. The first is to make a 5 minute presentation at the annual conference. The objective for this presentation is to promote delegate interest in the research that can be discussed in detail by visiting the presenter’s poster. The presentation is followed by a single question that is asked by the chairperson.
The second discipline involves effective use of a poster to deliver a scientific message, usually on a one-to-one or small group basis. It requires the presenter to be a good listener and to answer enquirers’ questions.
The third discipline involves writing a short article that is suitable for publishing in a magazine such as the Dairy Exporter.
This is a skill that most young scientists are not required to develop in their scientific training. They must choose an attention-grabbing title and follow it with a punchy first sentence that arouses the reader’s interest. In contrast to scientific writing, they must avoid writing a ponderous conclusion that may be “scientifically correct” but quite boring.
Who are the judges? All delegates can be judges!
There are two panels of official judges.
The first is made up of conference delegates who will judge the oral presentation and the posters.
The second panel of five includes professional agricultural journalists, academics and research leaders. They give each article “the third degree” as well as providing written feedback to each finalist.
Score sheets will be provided to be used by each panel. Please participate and make this session a success for delegates and finalists by participating in the judging. Completed score sheets can be left at the registration desk.
The final ranking and places are obtained by averaging each finalist’s score for each discipline and then adding up the three averages. Prizes are awarded for first, second and third.
The rules for entry are quite simple. An entrant must be less than 40 years of age on the date of their presentation and have completed their most recent qualification within the last five years or still be studying for a qualification. They can be employed by a research organisation, commercial company, university or government agency as long as they are a resident in New Zealand at the time of entry.