Participation in the 2018 Conference on Energy organized by the Energy Research Society at Texas A&M University left me disappointed. I was not expecting first prize and I also was not expecting nothing either. The poster presentation went well, there was no idea of who the judges were. Ten different explanations were given to ten different people. I was flanked on the left by my colleague in architecture whose research was focused on double skin facades and a student whom I forget his major was by my right. His project was focused on measuring the efficiency of kitchen hoods. He was working on a better kitchen hood and I am looking forward to using it because I sometimes wonder if my current one is extracting the hot air at all. His topic was quite an interesting one and it gave me a sense of inspiration. My presentation focused on the energy saved by the reuse of scrap metal from the automotive industry as a living green wall.
Fast forward to about six weeks later at the Virtual Built Symposium 2018 organized by the College of Architecture, I realized the benefits on my involvement at the Conference on Energy. It taught me that research is a practice. Taking part in research presentations is the practice one needs to grow personally; some truths are revealed in those sessions. It recalls the story of fishes staying active in water to improve their health and taste. Registering and showing up a presentation is key. There have been empty spots and seats at some of the events. This could be from an unforeseen event or a late minute cancellation. It is undeniable that active presentation helps growth, imagination and creativity.
The United States National Science Foundation asks a principal investigator to list his or her research “products” rather than “publications” in the biographical sketch section. This means that a scientist’s worth is dependent on the impact of their publication. https://www.nature.com/articles/493159a
.This calls for more rigor and study of societal problems and their solutions as we review and revisit our areas of focus from feedback at presentations.
Patricia is a Ph.D. student in the College of Architecture