In the first event of Science's new webinar series - aimed to connect leading scientists with their colleagues and the public on topics of scientific and societal interest - experts from institutions in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom discussed success, a concept not uniformly defined.
During the event, moderated by Science's Senior Editor of Custom Publishing Dr. Sean Sanders, the speakers explored how individuals including scientists develop a concept of success, as well as how this process is influenced by environment and culture.
The 24 January webinar, which attracted approximately 400 attendees and inspired viewers to weigh in with hopes for future webinar topics, will be followed by at least 11 more webinars this year.
"This series bring opinion leaders in specific fields to engage in open discussions on important topics," said Roger Goncalves, Associate Director of Advertising Sales at Science.
One goal of the webinar series is to actively hear from voices from different countries.
Looking ahead in 2019, the various freely viewable webinars in the series will address topics that many believe scientists should be evaluating more critically and openly, including "Fighting fake science," "How to make your science more impactful" and "The science of evil," to name a few.
Critically, because they will allow viewers to pose questions that speakers can answer in real time, the webinars will serve as a direct communication channel between scientists and the public.
"These webinars provide a voice for science across traditional boundaries. Members of the public can directly engage with the scientific community," said Dr. James Levine, President of Fondation IPSEN, which sponsored the series. Levine believes the webinars will provide scientists with the tools, visibility and guidelines to engage in productive public debate.
The "Fighting fake science" webinar will shed light on what is meant by fake science, why some scientists are motivated to engage in this activity, and the types of institutional or systematic pressures that foster it. Importantly, a strong focus of the discussion will be on solutions, current and future.
The "How to make your science more impactful" webinar will highlight techniques that improve how researchers communicate their studies to the public. Some of these techniques necessitate researchers stepping out of their comfort zones but can create significant visibility for those who engage.
"The science of evil" webinar will discuss the scientific underpinnings of wrongdoing, to understand why these and other "good" and "evil" phenomena happen, and how science can serve society to affect positive related change.
Fondation IPSEN joined forces with AAAS/Science to create these webinars on topics that both organizations agreed were worthy of broader conversations, to positively affect people's lives.
"The webinars showcase the importance of science and what a scientist can do to advance the community and the well-being of all people," said Goncalves.
Levine added that, to him, working with AAAS - a scientific organization Fondation IPSEN views as committed to discourse on science - is exciting because it is a collaborative effort.
The monthly series, for now, runs through 2019, though it might become a longer project.
To find out more about the latest events in the webinar series please visit webinar.sciencemag.org