Forget the PowerPoint and get out the juggling balls: EAPC Science Slam 2020

Only 27 days to #EAPC2020 – The 11th World Research Congress Online of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) goes live on 21 September 2020 with masses of on-demand content and live, interactive sessions on 7 to 9 October. Claudia Sütfeld, EAPC Congress Coordinator,  invites you to share your research at the EAPC Science Slam.


Reaching the minds and hearts of the audience at the Science Slam EAPC World Congress 2019. Photograph © Arts in Palliative Care supported by Charité Stiftung.

Last year, the EAPC presented its first Science Slam. It was an optional evening event in a beautiful garden in Berlin, a chance to socialise with a glass of wine after the day’s rigorous scientific programme. Yes, there was more science but this time presented in a less orthodox way…

Zana Bayley, who presented at last year’s Science Slam with a poem, ‘Research it is’, sums it up perfectly:

“As for the Slam, well I thought it was a great idea! We need to be much more creative and imaginative about how we present our researching, findings, ideas, concepts, puzzles and conundra to the world. Not everyone is an academic, and even for us academics, we have become far too rigid in our own methods. PowerPoints and Posters. Ugh. Is that it?  Surely this can be brought into the 21stC?  

“The Slam was one way of doing this. I loved it, informal, fun, but relevant and interesting.  The uniqueness of its approach made it more memorable than a dry PowerPoint presentation, or an inanimate poster you cannot engage with. 

“I appreciate this is a sensitive area of research, but working with the dying has shown me creativity, initiative, thinking out-of-the-box and humour are definitely present and appreciated.” (Download a PDF of ‘Research it is’).

How the Science Slam works

At the Science Slam, you present your own research project to the audience. Even if research is the focus, the scientific value of the lecture plays a more subordinate role. Rather, it is about making the topic entertaining and showing what project you are working on. The aim is to reach the minds and hearts of the audience with scientific topics because your audience forms the jury and chooses the winner!

And this jury does not expect dry, boring lectures. On the contrary: A sparkling, funny, surprising presentation that’s well grounded in evidence. This is how you should explain your work – and in such a way that everyone understands it.

For visual aids, just use your own body or what can be worn on the body, for example juggling balls to portray neurological disorders. But please, no PowerPoint presentations!

The format of the Science Slam is especially suitable if you want to present your (new) project. You get the chance to explain individual aspects or fundamentals of your project – the audience will literally experience science as it unfolds. You can present individually or as a team.

Clockwise: Berend Feddersen, Christina Gerlach and Crew, Marie Friedel, Yakubu Salifu and Zana Bayley. Photographs © Arts in Palliative Care supported by Charité Stiftung.

Last year’s contestants, pictured above, presented a variety of topical issues in innovative ways: amusing, creative, sometimes poignant, always respectful, and hard-hitting:

Yakubu Salifu, UK: ‘Prostate Cancer’.
Zana Bayley, UK: Poem ‘Research it is!’
Marie Friedel, Belgium: ‘Spice of life’ – Paediatric Palliative Care.
Christina Gerlach and Crew, Germany: The ‘Surprise Question!’
Berend Feddersen, Germany: ‘ACP – Ask the rabbit!’ (winner).

Two of the contestants, Marie Friedel and Yakubu Salifu, both agreed that a Science Slam makes an important contribution to science communication.

What a wonderful and funny experience to participate in the slam session! It helped me to [defend] the synthesis of my research about quality of life in paediatric palliative care. Beyond the first stress, it resulted in a fruitful learning experience to overcome the usual scientifical jargon. Thank you for this opportunity!”   (Marie Friedel).

“The Science Slam was a great idea; it was very informal, and I had the chance to speak to colleagues about my work in simple, non-technical language. I enjoyed it, and I will encourage others to consider participating.” (Yakubu Salifu).

How to participate

The Science Slam is open to all registered delegates attending the 11th EAPC World Research Congress Online – you can register here. If you want to be part of the fun, please send a three-minute-video to scienceslam@posteo.de or via the Science Slam webpage.

Contributions will be published starting on September 21. The audience will judge your video based on: Did I have fun? Did I learn something? The presenters of the five highest-rated performances will be invited to participate in a live Science Slam on Thursday, October 8 with the chance to win a great prize! 

So, start thinking and planning your three-minute video now…

Read more posts about the 11th EAPC World Research Congress on the EAPC blog.


JOIN PALLIATIVE CARE SPECIALISTS FROM ACROSS THE WORLD AT #EAPC2020 –11thEAPC WORLD RESEARCH CONGRESS ONLINE 2020 – Interactive online sessions 7 to 9 October 2020 with on-demand content available from 21 September to 31 January 2021.

A blend of Pre-recorded On-demand Sessions, Live Presentations, Live Panels hosted by international experts, Children’s Seminar, Poster Sessions and EAPC Group Meetings, will bring you all the latest research from the world’s top researchers in palliative and end-of-life care. CME accreditation will be available. Meet some of our plenary speakers on the EAPC YouTube channel. Find out more and view/download the full programme here. Register here.

This entry was posted in 11th EAPC World Research Congress Online, EAPC World Research Congresses, RESEARCH. Bookmark the permalink.

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