A look at... Debut

Programme maker Lieke Dekker works with media creators Tobias Mathijsen and Roshni Dokkum to create short videos in which researchers describe the personal paths that led them to science.

They do so for the programme Debut (Debuut), a collaboration with the online platform UGO, which is aimed at children who benefit from additional help with language skills. They offer a sneak peek here.

Debut is a good example of how we at the Centre for Science and Culture create ever more programmes for target groups that the university finds it hard to reach. It’s also an example of how we like to collaborate with people at Utrecht University as well as elsewhere. Colleagues in communications at the faculties make suggestions for researchers to approach. Researchers provide the content, the video creators of Mediaproducties make it into a quality video, and our partner UGO provides access to the target group. At the Centre for Science and Culture we take the initiative, lead the project and monitor the content. It’s great to create something beautiful in this way!

I think it’s important to give students the opportunity to look over a researcher’s shoulder. ‘Doing science’ is an abstract idea, but in fact it’s very practical. My research is about improving the health of pregnant women worldwide. I often work with researchers and doctors from all over the world, and on top of that I teach the subject.

The main thing is to explain the research and its relevance clearly and simply. Sometimes, researchers are so immersed in their own specialisation that they need help presenting their work to the outside world. The best stories are the ones that are told with conviction and passion. When making videos, you want to be clear on what you want to say and who you want to say it to. At Mediaproducties we like to help with this from the start of the process. We provide guidance and advice on the video’s content and format so as to present the researcher’s stories with maximum effect.


This article also appears in the second edition of the magazine Close-up, full of inspiring columns, background stories and experiences of researchers and support staff. 

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Dr. Joyce Browne vertelt op camera over haar onderzoek