Dessislava VELTCHEVA, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Lauren JACOCKS, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Ophélie LEBRASSEUR, Centre for Anthropobiology and Genomics of Toulouse, Purpan Medical School, CNRS, France
Sophie HEDGES, The Royal Veterinary College, United Kingdom
Alejandra DÁVILA-BARCLAY, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Perou
Food security and safety is a major global challenge, with 26.4% of the world population affected in 2018. There is growing recognition that this and other global challenges can be successfully tackled through interdisciplinary research. Yet, the mechanisms through which such investigations are initiated and conducted presents numerous challenges. A significant impediment in effectively communicating across rigid discipline-boundaries is the exclusivity of academic-vocabulary and research methodology. The answer to solving this issue is a new reflexive practice of scientific communication. A platform allowing people to learn from one another and encouraging transferable research, resulting in science being communicated to all. The first stage is breaking barriers between disciplines. That is what we achieved through our new scientific communication in Chicken journal club.
As a ubiquitous source of animal protein, chickens’ importance in global food-security is associated with significant biosecurity threats that have wide-ranging impacts on health and economy. From backyards to more specialised intensive production systems, basic and applied sciences have carved out niches to study topics including domestication, socioeconomic impacts, behaviour, immunity, disease transmission, gut microbiome and antimicrobial resistance. However, disciplinary-gaps and geographically disconnected urbanising regions worldwide preclude holistic assessment of the ‘chicken conundrum’. We are a multinational and multidisciplinary group from 10 countries across all six continents composed of 80 graduate-level early career researchers, and global leaders in their field. We have created a platform that invites our members to discuss their work across various disciplines on a termly basis. This is an opportunity to bring together diverse viewpoints and generate novel ideas.
Our efforts are also geared towards reaching audiences from a non-specialist background through an accessible and freely available online presence, by sharing the recorded sessions on YouTube[https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdWOOyepXKpRfCEYfhaCyqg], with subtitles in various languages currently in development and communicating updates, events and research outputs from members on Twitte[https://twitter.com/ChickenJClub]. We also strive to reach early career researchers and connect different specialisms by demystifying scientific specialisms. This is done through a series of talks, workshops and ‘crash courses’ to introduce complex topics discussed in meetings involving biostatistics, genomics, geospatial modelling, and coding. We are working on launching an Instagram to connect with younger audiences as well.
Chicken journal club is just the first step to establishing a global interdisciplinary network. By reaching more audiences, what we can to showcase the science quickly, and clearly from the source, equipping people with the knowledge and information to use before they act.