Not all researchers make a comic strip about their research, but language researcher Martijn Wieling of the Information Science department did. Wieling uses an articulograph to the study tongue movements of dialect users. The comic strip allows him to explain his research in a different way and to a different audience. And he learned a lot from it, too.
‘Partly because the data were collected from children and young people, a comic strip seemed a nice way to reach these target groups’, says Wieling. ‘The comic strip is about my research, but also shows what conducting research is like; brainstorming about an idea, collecting data and processing it, presenting at a congress, submitting an article, revising and eventually publishing it. Plus, that conducting research requires perseverance.’ Making the comic strip took a lot more time than expected, but Wieling is very pleased with the result. What I learned from it? That you can’t explain too much and must formulate clearly and concisely. I am now much better prepared for a 2-minute pitch. The nice thing about the comic strip is that it’s here to stay. It’s a good visiting card and give-away summary of my research. People will read it sooner than two pages full of text.’
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