We start with Laurine Burdorf – the winner of the TEDxGhent PhD contest 2015, where some of the masterminds of Ghent presented their research and competed for a spot on the TEDxGhent main stage. Trained as a (marine) biologist at KU Leuven and UPMC Paris, she started her PhD in 2013 at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) in Yerseke. As part of a research-team at the NIOZ and VUB she studies the intriguing electric cable bacteria that are present throughout the seafloor.
Within her PhD Laurine has tried to elucidate in which environments electric cable bacteria thrive – from large-scale global distribution to small-scale lab created environments.
In her talk ‘Electricity in the seafloor’ she will elaborate on the efficiency of this electron transport, and how it opens up future application in bio- and nanotechnology.
Next up is Matthias Stevens, a computer scientist with a passion for maps, mobile apps and community-centric projects aimed at tackling socio-economic and environmental injustices, from European cities to remote rainforests. Since 2012 he works as a post-doctoral researcher at University College London (UCL).
Before, as a PhD student at VUB and the Sony Computer Science Lab in Paris, Matthias co-founded NoiseTube – a platform which enables anyone with smartphone to contribute to dynamic maps of urban noise pollution.
At UCL, Matthias leads the ExCiteS group’s effort to design, develop, evaluate and deploy a generic (software) platform that enables people with no or limited literacy – in the strict and broader technological sense – to use smartphones and tablets to collect, share, visualise and analyse data. In his talk Matthias will explain how this platform fits in the group’s strategy the enable vulnerable communities to document and communicate about the environmental or socio-economic issues they face.
Ellen De bruin will also be joining us for a talk on why we shouldn’t go to business meetings. Ellen is a science reporter at the Dutch twin newspapers NRC Handelsblad en nrc.next. She has a phd in psychology and mainly covers social sciences and human behavior.
She has written a few books: Hoe komen die vrouwen zo stoer (Dutch Women Don’t Get Depressed, 2007) and Onsterfelijkheid voor beginners (Immortality, A Beginners’ Guide, 2009). In 2014 she published her last book Vergaderen? Niet Doen! (Don’t go to Business Meetings), a book listing all that is bad about business meetings, underpinned by scientific research.
It’s not a book on how to do meetings more efficiently, it is a book against pointless and boring meetings. According to her you shouldn’t go to meetings at all. She says meetings are an attack on freedom, creativity, joy of life, and they cost too much time, energy and money. Why? Because they are too institutionalized, they kill productivity and are usually led by the people who aren’t the experts at what they do, but only the best speakers in the room.
More about TEDxGhent #5 on June 13th here.