Annual Progress Conference – COST – MPNS domain – Reykjavik

Annual Progress Conference – COST – MPNS domain – Reykjavik

Each COST domain holds an Annual Progress Conference, where chairs from all ongoing COST Actions report to each other and the Domain Committee. KnowEscape belongs to the Materials, Physics an Nanosciences Domain (MPNS) with currently 38 Actions – among them 6 TransDomain Actions. Most near to KnowEscape is  TD1201 Colour and Space in Cultural Heritage (COSCH) lead by Frank Boosch. This Action promotes research, development and application of non-contact optical measurement techniques (spectral and spatial), adapted to the needs of the documentation of cultural heritage objects. Standards used for documentation is one possible overlap with KnowEscape.

As a chair from a just started Action I picked up a lot about how other Chairs organize their Actions. Each of the many presentations choose a slightly different focus and among them a pattern emerges about what is important for an Action beyond publications: numbers of STSM, proposal writing and new funding for research, PhD’s, forming societies and starting conference series, writing handbooks, and MOOCs.

Even more concretely I got a lot of interesting pointers from Sebastien Vaucher from EMPA about visualization tools, such as Liveplasma for the visualization of music and artists. Another hint concerns CES – Edupack software for advanced visualization of materials properties which might also lean itself to visualize other kind of information.

Very interesting and a possible activity for our Action to join in is a Training school Cultivating Entrepreneurial Ideas Thodoris Karapantsios, Chair of Action MP1106 Smart and green interfaces – from single bubbles and drops to industrial, environmental and biomedical applications (SGI). This training school format is very broad and might as well be suitable for entrepreneurship in the sector of creative industries. (see Flyer 2013)

As a researcher with a background in philosophy of science I found it interesting to hear repetitively voices expressing the problems to achieve a common ground of understanding, to create trustful relationship, and about how people solve this for instance by for instance writing review articles for internal use in the Action that are at the same time published. I think the COST framework leans itself very well for a study of Best Practices in funding network activities – if this has not be done already.


Picture: APC MPNS Reykjavik in the Culture House, The Library Room, the old reading room of the National Library. Courtesy of Andrea Scharnhorst.