Standing onstage at the end of Research culture: changing expectations, the concluding conference of the research culture programme we had delivered as part of the Royal Society’s Research culture programme, we felt elated. We had achieved what we had intended: an engaging, innovative programme that raised the profile of the concept of research culture, brought together different communities from across the research system and created ambassadors for change, with a whole group of people going back to their own organisations to move forward discussions about research culture.
But what next?
Research culture is an area we both feel passionately about. Huge issues are facing our societies; climate change, antimicrobial resistance, feeding a growing population, resource shortages and pollution to name a few. Humanity is going to need the best people doing the best research in order for us to find ways to meet these challenges. And for those people to thrive, they need the best support and the most encouraging and healthiest work culture.
We knew we’d both soon be moving on from the Royal Society, but we still felt like there was so much to do. Following several obligatory hot chocolates and throwing around ideas, we settled on creating a blog focused solely on research culture. We felt that whilst many organisations and individuals were thinking and talking about research culture, there was no central point where they could share ideas and explore new avenues together.
MetisTalk is the realisation of that idea. We are hoping it will be more than a blog for us to post on. We want all of you writing and submitting blogs too. This could be to help road test new ideas, propagate good practice or try to start building an evidence base of what works.
All sorts of changes are happening across the system; people are thinking differently about reward and recognition, research integrity, diversity and inclusivity, open science, permeability and research excellence. We want to hear about these changes from you; what do you think about them, what are you doing in response to them; how are changes affecting you.
More thought, enthusiasm and action is required to continue to build a strong and healthy research culture. Let’s improve, innovate and talk together.
By Frances Downey & Karen Stroobants
First featured by MetisTalk on 18th September 2019