RESEARCH EXCELLENCE INITIATIVE
BACK TO MOBILITY
“Back to mobility” series
consists in accounts on research expeditions
of the “Staff mobility” winners
Prof. Damian Guzek
The accounts of the scientific internship at the University of Edinburgh
Nothing changes the approach to scientific work as much as a change of the research environment (even for a while!). Shortly after I had returned from the post-doctoral internship in Sweden, and before I got used to the University of Silesia anew, I had to leave again, this time to Edinburgh.
Four months in Scotland were for me the most productive time in the years. I owe much to Prof. Jolyon Mitchell, a guru of research on religion, media, and counteracting religious conflicts. He was an incredible mentor and warden. Thanks to him, I quickly found my place among the staff of the University of Edinburgh, and thanks to his classes and scientific meetings, I started looking at research carried out by me through the aspect of its social effect.
For me, Edinburgh has become a base for scientific activities and travels for conferences and seminars in Durham, Cambridge, and Uppsala, where I broadened my scientific contacts and established close relations with researchers from Great Britain, Switzerland, and Germany. The library, coffee room for staff, and huge dining room have become my second home. I often interrupted my work at the library to run, wearing a characteristic sweater, across a chilly patio of the college to social rooms. There was always a conversation over coffee with friends passionate about their work.
My stay in Edinburgh let me not only self-develop in the professional sphere but also realized a certain dream of mine. Thanks to my free weekends and cheap domestic flights, I was able to visit almost all gothic cathedrals in Great Britain. It sometimes happened that I began my trip on Friday afternoon, and I visited as many as 5 cathedrals during the weekend! I still feel sentimental about a lot of those places. My head is full of memories, talks, and funny stories. During my stay, I have also visited Scotland and made a few trips at the seaside near the picturesque Dunbar and Firth of Forth.
My time in Scotland was very productive. Until now, I use the experiences gathered during that travel and foster established relations.