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Building networks in Bayreuth

Every two years, the Bay­reuth Poly­mer Sym­posi­um takes place, where re­nowned sci­entists in the field of poly­mer sci­ences pre­sent their cur­rent re­search. The Elite Study Pro­gram Mac­romo­lecular Sci­ence pro­vides its stu­dents a dif­ferent view on such an event. Among in­sights into the organ­iza­tion, the stu­dents had the oppor­tunity to ex­change ideas with inter­na­tional­ly re­nowned pro­fessors in a special set­ting.

Experience a conference in a different way

The Bay­reuth Poly­mer Sym­posi­um (BPS) is a bien­nial, inter­na­tional­ly re­nowned con­fer­ence, which is mainly dedi­cated to cur­rent topics in pol­ymer sci­ence, pre­sented by a multi­tude of re­nowned re­searchers. The BPS also offers a ded­icated lecture series on a highly topical sub­ject. This year, for exam­ple, the BPS in­cluded a ses­sion on micro­plas­tics, an area in which scien­tists from the Uni­versity of Bay­reuth are also active­ly per­form­ing re­search in a col­labora­tive re­search center. An­other major task of this con­fer­ence is also to bring scien­tists in these fields into a dia­logue.

In this con­text, the Elite Grad­uate Pro­gram „Macromolecular Science" offers the mod­ule Future Trends in Poly­mer Sci­ence. This mod­ule is de­signed in a un­com­mon way, as the stu­dents have to deal inten­sively with the con­fer­ence and its speak­ers in ad­vance. This ap­proach allows for a deeper insight into the aims and topics of this mul­ti-day con­fer­ence. Prof. Hans-Werner Schmidt, speak­er of the Elite Study Pro­gramme and also one of the organ­izers of the con­fer­ence, dis­cusses in his lecture "Be­hind the scenes of BPS" a mul­titude of as­pects that have to be con­sidered and taken into ac­count during the organ­ization of a con­fer­ence. Within the framework of the mod­ule, the stu­dents also pre­sent in detail the devel­op­ment and re­search areas of select­ed inter­na­tional con­fer­ence partic­ipants in a semi­nar se­ries.

Networking in an exclusive setting

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A high­light of the mod­ule is that the stu­dents had the oppor­tunity to meet exclu­sively with the re­searchers they had previ­ously pre­sented in the semi­nar in a sepa­rate set­ting. The stu­dents were cer­tainly enthu­siastic about the con­cept of the mod­ule.

In the after­math, for exam­ple, one could hear: "I found the meet­ing very good. My speak­er had taken the time to talk to me. That was great!" Obvi­ously, the speak­ers them­selves were also pleased with the open-minded will­ingness of the stu­dents of the Elite Study Pro­gram to en­gage in dis­cussion.

Text: Dr. Klaus Kreger, Elite Graduate Program "Macromolecular Science"