Bringing a personal touch to science communications

Communications play a key role to share scientific breakthroughs and highlight researchers work. To follow Idiap’s growth, a new team member is joining the institute he knows for many years thanks to his internships.

As more researchers are joining the institute to support its growth, the need to strengthen the connection with both our community and our partners is also increasing. From February, communications department beneficiates from the help of Maxime Bourlard. We met him for an interview.

Why did you join our research institute?

I was planning to be a journalist, but during my studies at the University of Neuchatel I discovered how much I appreciate communications for its human dimension. For my master thesis on gender aspects in online video games, I interviewed and followed members of a Swiss eSports team, and I had the opportunity to manage social media channels for another team during an online competition. It helped me to realize how I like to be part of an organization when it comes to communicate. As I have been at Idiap for several summer internships—for sessions of automated transcripts checking and image annotation, and to reorganize the library and help with the International Create Challenge—I already knew how much I appreciated this working environment. So it was quite obvious to apply when the opportunity showed up.

What are your main strengths to contribute to our institute?

I grew up with visual media and both during my previous experiences and free time, I have learned to use social media and to use video editing tools. Seeing the potential of Idiap online, there is a lot to do to reinforce institute’s online presence. There is so much to share! For example, I was astonished to see that I was among a group of about 15 people starting on February 1st. It’s great to see that despite the current situation research activities are still going on. It conveys a message of hope. I’d like to bring that personal sensitivity to science communications.

About this peculiar situation, how are you getting integrated at Idiap?

Thanks to my previous internships, I was familiar with arrival at Idiap procedure in normal time, so I was a bit concerned to see how it was going to be this time. Nevertheless, I was glad to see that essential support was still functioning. Everything went quite smoothly. The main challenges come from the difficulty to communicate directly with people due to the work from home situation. It’s harder to freely chat during coffee break. I am looking forward for a normal office life. Whatsoever I still enjoy my come back to Martigny where I grew up. Even if the city is getting bigger, the atmosphere is still the same: very friendly.