Finnish Journalists Are Interested in Research in Lithuania

2017-10-13 17:00

“Science and technologies are creating the world of today. I am not worried about the environmental problems any more – I trust science”, says Eeva Pitkälä, a science journalist from Finland. She is convinced that most young researchers from various fields today are having in mind the environmental issues as the main priority.

Having once considered a path of a researcher, Pitkälä has chosen to become a science journalist following her dream to write about science.

“In 2000, Oulu university in Finland has opened science communication studies, which I have been waiting for. Although I was no longer in student age, I have graduated from this programme”, said the journalist, who is currently writing for several chemistry magazines in Finland, and belonging to the Finnish Association of Technology Journalists.

Biologist by education she is convinced – in order to write about science a person does not need to be a researcher herself.

“Of course, there is a certain risk that you will simplify science by trying to popularise it. On the other hand, you can ask questions, which would be asked by an ordinary person. A scientist wouldn’t be able to ask these questions, he is on the other side”, says Eeva Pitkälä.

She, together with colleagues from Finnish Association of Technology Journalists, was visiting Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) Santaka Valley, Vilnius and Klaipėda universities.

Shining eyes is a typical characteristic for a scientist

“For many years I have been working in communications of Aalto University. After visiting Kaunas University of Technology I can see many possibilities where Lithuanian and Finnish scientists can collaborate”, says Pitkälä, who in KTU Santaka Valley joined the tour to the laboratories in Department of Polymer Chemistry and Technology of Faculty of Chemical Technology.

She was one of the initiators of the visit of Finnish journalists to Lithuania.

“We obviously have been to Tallinn, because it is so close and some of us have visited Latvia, but we knew nothing about Lithuania. After reading a little about Lithuanian research we understood that there are interesting things happening in your universities”, says Eeva Pitkälä.

From the visit in Lithuania she found KTU Santaka Valley and Klaipėda University most interesting. She has prepared articles on these visits to chemistry science magazines in Finland.

“Although I am biologist, at the moment polymer chemistry interests me most as I care about the environmental problems, related to pollution with plastics. I really appreciated the opportunity to choose the different laboratory tours, as this allowed to concentrate more on the topic of interest. To be honest, the young scientist who introduced us the research on organic light emission diodes at KTU, Audrius Bučinskas, reminded me the Nobel Prize winner Shuji Nakamura whom I once interviewed – he has the same shining eyes”, says the Finnish journalist.

Bridge between business and research

Visiting KTU Santaka Valley Finnish journalists not only had a chance to visit laboratories of the research centre, to get acquainted with the research and researchers working here, but they also had a walk around visited other premises in Santaka Valley, such as Design Library Kaunas, one of the 27 branches around the globe, the only one in Lithuania.

“Sometimes people just talk, but do not have a chance to show anything. KTU visit was very efficient – we had a chance to look more closely into very interesting research in a short time. I can see many common points of interested between the research undertaken in our countries”, says Eeva Pitkälä of from Finnish Association of Technology Journalists.

Founded in 2014 KTU Santaka Valley was almost instantly named Silicon Valley of the Baltics. More than 150 researchers and almost the same amount of business staff are working together creating innovative products and technologies, attracting foreign and local investments. There are more than 1,000 specialised research and development services available for business in KTU Santaka Valley, accessible through the open-access system APCIS, which serves as a single window for business to contact research.

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