PhD student Kayla Green of Erasmus University Rotterdam, has been chosen as one of twelve new ‘Faces of Science’ researchers. Each year, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), The Young Academy and Nemo Kennislink select 12 PhD students who will focus on science communication. Through blogs, vlogs, videos, articles and lectures, she will give a glimpse into her life and talk about her research. Kayla Green works at the Erasmus SYNC lab of the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences. For the past 1.5 years, she has been working with the YoungXperts platform to reach better and involve young people in science and policy.
Kayla: "I think it is a huge honour to be selected. It allows me to use an even broader platform to show young people what it's like to be a scientist, to share scientific knowledge with them, and of course, I also hope to to engage in conversation with young people.'
Engaging young people in research and policy
Kayla Green is a developmental psychologist and neuroscientist. She investigates the complex relationship between brain development and social-emotional behaviour using MRI scans, surveys and youth participation. What causes one young person to have a better well-being than another? Can we predict that by looking at how the brain develops during adolescence and the environment in which someone grows up? With her research, she wants to get a better understanding of well-being, and ultimately improve it for those adolescents who are vulnerable. With the YoungXperts platform, she has been working to reach and engage more young people in science and policy. Through her participation in Faces of Science, she can expand this: "Writing blogs and making vlogs gives me energy. It's really the interaction between transferring knowledge and getting input from the society that I'm looking forward to", says Kayla.
Science is for everyone
The program Faces of Science also wants to show young people who have to choose their studies what it's like to be a scientist. Kayla Green believes it is important that not only young people who follow a theoretical education see what scientists do, but also young people who are often forgotten in the academic world. Kayla: "I hope that with my vlogs and blogs, I can reach young people who are following practical training or who have a bi- or multi-cultural background. I want to show them that their voice is valuable, that there are similarities between them and me, and that science is ultimately important to all of us."