GTALKS: Ensuring knowledge exchange and public engagement

The conference was open to the world through live streaming of the organization’s social media pages.
by Tala Ramadan

11 June 2019 | 13:18

Source: by Annahar

  • by Tala Ramadan
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 11 June 2019 | 13:18

This photo was taken during the conference. (GTALKS Photo)

BEIRUT: In an effort to improve efficiency, The Goguikian Foundation at The American University of Beirut initiated “GTALKS,” a global platform for Ph.D. holders to share their research findings in 7-minute presentations. This platform serves as a bridge between researchers and society for knowledge sharing.

GTALKS’ first conference took place on Monday at The Issam Fares Institute. It fostered a community of academics, scientists, researchers and practitioners of interdisciplinary fields to provide an eclectic audience with effective means to benefit from their expertise.

“Researchers in particular play a crucial role in articulating paths towards a prosperous future for the country, and thus their findings should reach as many people as possible,” Soheila Hayek, Executive Director of The Goguikian Foundation, told Annahar. “We want the researchers to release what they have, no one knows what the outcome can be,” she added. 

The topics discussed ranged from online algorithms, air pollution, monetary policy, neuro-finance, to labor laws.

GTALKS has given the chance to many researchers to submit their findings to showcase their achievements and potential during the conference, yet few have been selected. The selected researchers went through coaching sessions where they were trained to communicate clearly in order for the public to understand and interact with them.

“It’s usually hard for me to break down academic terminologies into simple words to help the general public understand what I am trying to deliver,” Dr. Sara Makhoul, who presented her neuro-finance research, told Annahar, “yet the intensive coaching sessions that GTALKS has given us, has helped me in spreading my research and let people know what was once a finding restricted to professionals and experts of my field.”

The conference was open to the world through live streaming of the organization’s social media pages. An open online library of all the presentations given at Gtalks by researchers will be up on the organization’s Youtube channel.

“Sharing my research with the world has helped in bringing attention to the issue I am trying to tackle, especially that it would stand as an awareness to the community and thus, hopefully, bring advancement benefits,” Dr. Nada Khaddage Soboh, who presented her research on labor law, told Annahar.

Rima Kalfayan, an attendee, said that this initiative serves the public interest by having the local community know the benefits of the new knowledge that research is designed to yield.

At the end of the conference, a networking cocktail took place, where the attendees talked with the researchers who opened unforeseen avenues of research to the public.

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