Mgr. Andrea Settey Hajdúchová is Also a Populariser of Science
She increased the sensitivity of media on issues of science with her tireless and personal approach and contributed to the increased coverage of scientific topics and results of male and female scientists' work in the media. The Award for Science and Technology 2016 in the category Populariser of Science has been awarded to Mgr. Andrea Settey Hajdúchová. This award belongs to her for the steadfast popularisation and mass medialisation of the work of Slovak male and female scientists and successful scientific projects.
The culmination of the Week of Science and Technology in Slovakia is the awarding of the Award for Science and Technology. The event aims to recognise the work of scientists and researchers for their achievements and contribution in the field of science, technology and innovation. Nominees for each category have received the award from the hands of the Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic Peter Plavčan at the gala evening on 10 November 2016.
Mgr. Andrea Settey Hajdúchová, who was proposed for the award by the Slovak Rectors' Conference, is today working as an expert in the field of mass media, and has extensive experience in the media and public relations. After graduating from the Department of Journalism of the Faculty of Philosophy, Comenius University in Bratislava, she held various positions in media, as well as in the field of PR. She also worked at the Press Service of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, and later as a spokesperson of the Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family. Today, she works at the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava as a communication manager. In this position, she informs the media about the results of scientists' work, ongoing research projects, successful patents and the results of contract research. She also promotes the work of active and successful students in order to enhance young people's interest in science and technology and the study of these disciplines in Slovakia. She works closely with the National Centre for Popularisation of Science and Technology in Society to strengthen its efforts and tools for the popularisation of science among the Slovak public. She is also a member of the editorial board of the scientific journal Quark.
A work, which is really enjoyable
Mgr. Andrea Settey Hajdúchová said definitely yes, when we asked her whether she was surprised by receiving the prestigious award. "Promotion of great people, female and male scientists, their interesting research and projects is my job. It is a job I love and I try to do my best... Moreover, it is a job which enriches me personally. Slovak University of Technology has very diverse faculties, so I listen to wise people from areas ranging from electronics, nanotechnologies, informatics, mechanical engineering, chemistry, biotechnology, food to construction, architecture or design..."
From her past work, she would highlight the fact that she managed to establish an intensive cooperation with several media, which now have scientific sections and inform not only about foreign universities' research, but also about scientists here at home. Not only about those from the Slovak University of Technology, but also about others from different universities or scientific institutes. "Some topics have resonated in the media so much that also foreign media showed interest in reportage. These topics include already patented bioplastics, an interior design which serves as a prevention of lifestyle diseases, some IT applications and start-ups of our students, e.g. speekle – an aid for the correct pronunciation, etc."
What pleases her most is that she manages to connect these 'two worlds' and build trust between them – the world of scientists and the world of media. "It's difficult, because first of all, both sides have to trust me that their expectations will be met and I do not want and cannot disappoint them."
How to connect two worlds
Mgr. Andrea Settey Hajdúchová stated that she tries to connect the world of scientists with the world of media and through this medium with public. She argues that it requires understanding of the topic, facilitation via appropriate language and format to a point that scientists do not feel their work and results have been over-simplified. "People at the Slovak University of Technology – scientists, teachers, professors and many, many students – are doing really amazing things that resonate in media. I am even more pleased when I hear from practitioners or the public and they ask for contact for male or female scientist, who they saw on TV and they are interested in cooperation."
That is what she would like to see more often in the future – so many projects with great result do not end up in a drawer because of a lack of money and overdue notices. That young people in science and academia were not unhappy from the amount of senseless duties, excessive administration, and obstacles they have to fight to create a space for work and research. "And for me personally – for me the untapped challenge is the new media and the use of new communication channels (social networks, YouTube channels, etc.…) for communicating information directly to the public and target groups, which I, unfortunately, do not have the capacity to grasp."
Even 'good PR' is not enough
Mgr. Andrea Settey Hajdúchová is convinced that the Slovak science is being step by step more and more popularised. "This is despite the fact that my effort and that of the collective of the SCSTI – NCP S&T encounters information about the insufficient conditions for science in Slovakia, how unpromising and poorly financially and socially valued profession this is in Slovakia, what a wonderful conditions scientists have in other countries and international institutions, etc.."
In her view, these are, in many cases, issues where even 'good PR' is not enough and which communication won't change. Here it's about implementation of necessary changes in this area, from legislative to setting financial mechanisms, support and attention of those responsible. Awarded Mgr. Andrea Settey Hajdúchová concluded, "the field of science and technology and the field of education and preparation of children and young people deserve a stronger attention and support of those responsible, because it's really not a cliché that they have the prospect to move this country forward."
The Award for Science and Technology has been awarded since 2014, replacing the Award of the Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. The objective of this transformation is to increase the social prestige of the awards for science and technology.
Please visit the event's website Week of Science and Technology in Slovakia (only Slovak version) to find the list of all awarded in the individual categories, or see the e-newspapers Scientific kaleidoscope.
The main organiser of the Week of Science and Technology in Slovakia is the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic in cooperation with the Slovak Centre of Scientific and Technical Information and the National Centre for the Popularisation of Science and Technology in Society. The general partner of the event is Huawei.
Edited by: Slávka Habrmanová, NCP S&T within the SCSTI
Intro photo: from the archive of Andrey Settey Hajdúchovej
Photo: Ján Laštinec, NCP S&T within the SCSTI
Published by: ZVČ
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