From early 2016 we have successfully run the Strathclyde’s Physics Journal Club fortnightly with really good acceptance and collaboration from the students involved. The aim of this activity was to both give the chapter members the opportunity to present some of the relevant papers in their field or more broadly in general interest science and also enhance the communication with other students, learning and talking about physics in a relaxed atmosphere. As many of the students were lacking this kind of activities in their own groups, we provided this student-run platform with great success.
Throughout the year, we had the chance to learn about a whole variety of physics subjects from quantum optics to optogenetics. The participants ranging from 10 to 20 people with high regularity chaired at least one session during this period. The presentation was usually 20 to 30 minutes long, followed by an informal discussion with some refreshments.
We consider that this activity is helping to develop a vital skill for junior scientists which is the ability to efficiently analyse and present a high-profile scientific paper.
We regularly asked for feedback to our participants and adapted the sessions to their needs. The atmosphere was really friendly during the sessions and we are certain that this activity will remain valued by the students in the coming years.
Here is a list of the talks given by SCOPE members in the Journal Club meetings:
Friday 26th January – Liam Walker presents:
Mastering the game of Go without human knowledge
(David Silver et al., doi:10.1038/nature24270)
Friday 23rd February – Jacopo Surace presents:
Could the physical world be emergent instead of fundamental, and why should we ask?
(Markus P. Muller, arxiv.org/abs/1712.01826)