Yesterday I had a meeting with a guy that I know for some time now. At one
moment he was the editor in chief of the scientific magazine that gave me my
first assignment. He is now a professor of Biomedical science communication,
emphasizing on visual communications, at Leiden University and is allowed to
function as a promoter for people that want to get a PhD.
Yesterday we talked about me giving lectures in his classes in October and
November, but we also talked about the fact that I am thinking about getting
a PhD for some years now and he now has the ability to guide me in that.
Since there are very few possibilities (almost none) in the Netherlands to
get a Masters degree, let alone a PhD, in our field and the other
possibility to get a PhD is too arty for me, this is the route I love to
But: although I have been thinking of this for some years now, I still
haven't narrowed it down to a specific subject. I must say that, since I
only begun working in this field 4 years ago, what is the same amount of
time I have been thinking about the PhD, my perspective changed a lot over
the years. I now have a feeling of what I want to accomplice with getting
the PhD, and I know that one of the things I don't want is to research the
history of scientific illustration (what seemed to be the logical choice
when I started) so that's a start.
What do I want to accomplice? Since science illustration is almost extinct
over here and since the trend is to communicate more and more visual, this
is a great area to do research upon and develop tools that can be used to
enhance visual scientific communication. One of my goals therefore is that I
want to try to place science illustration on the map as being a serious
business as most other businesses are in communication. One of the means I
want to use for that is getting communications about this field out there:
now matter what, but if you know what to do it is relatively easy over here
to get television and radio time, especially within the field of scientific
communication. Writing and illustrating a book that has the potential of
attracting interest of the larger public is one way of getting there. For
making it within the PhD programme it has to have enough scientific weight
as you can imagine.
Within a month the professor and I will have a brainstorm session to narrow
down the subjects so I can write a proposal and I want to be as prepared as
I can. I know the field is a lot different in the States than it is in the
Netherlands, but I love the read your thoughts about this.