Visit of prof. Brendan Kennedy

Associate professor Brendan Kennedy from The University of Western Australia, a renowned expert in biomedical optics and tissue biomechanics imaging and long-time collaborator of prof. Maciej Wojtkowski and dr Andrea Curatolo, visited the ICTER labs at Skierniewicka on July 4th, 2022. Here are some photos of the lab tour, where prof. Kennedy saw several imaging setups in some of the Physical Optics and Biophotonics, and Image-guided Devices for Ophthalmic Care labs’ projects. Dr Andrea Curatolo, dr Karol Karnowski, dr Piotr Ciąćka, PhD, mr Maciej Wielgo and mr Wiktor Kulesza presented the latest research advances. 

While visiting our centre, prof. Brendan Kennedy also gave a short interview on science PR, his connections with Poland, and the strengths of Polish scientists.

– Professor Brendan Kennedy, you mentioned the importance of positivity for scientists, can you develop this idea, please?

– In my experience researchers often spend their whole days in the labs, especially PhD students and postdocs, and it sometimes becomes difficult to make a connection between the impact they are trying to have as researchers. When your institute has a clear strategy towards publicizing the research that you do, it can really give scientists a boost and a kind of confidence, that the work that they do will have an impact in the world.

– What would be the Australian way in terms of science PR? What can we learn from you?

– I think everybody has their own specific style. I am actually from Ireland originally, so when I went to Australia, I saw that they do things differently and for me, one of the biggest differences between Australia and Europe is the positivity that people have. This approach also helps researchers to feel more secure that what they do is good, I think it comes more naturally to the Australians to be more positive, and to promote what they do. So in the Polish context, I am not sure exactly how it works, but I am confident that this way can have some positive impacts as well. 

– Do you have any Polish connections?

– Yes, my wife is from Poland, so I first came here eighteen years ago. I can see a lot of changes in this time, in the society and in the research as well. Changes for the better: it is much easier to get around, and visit places, also the amount of people who speak English now is much more significant than before.

– What are the three best qualities in Polish scientists for you?

– I think one is the attention to detail, the rigor. I worked with a quite a few Polish scientists: Maciej WojtkowskiKarol KarnowskiMaciej Szkulmowski, and others; and noticed that their deep understanding of the technical aspects allows Polish scientists to go to a lot of detail, and this is one thing that really strikes me. For me, Polish scientists are also very passionate, if they work on something that is motivating, they work really hard. Another important aspect is the team; when you are friends with Polish people, it helps to work much stronger; this team mentality is something I noticed as well. The smart way is that if we realize that we can achieve our personal aims more if we work together, it is much better.

I see you are a real strategist (he laughs). Thank you very much for your comments, Prof. Brendan Kennedy

The Interview was conducted by dr Anna Przybyło-Józefowicz.