Agnese Dāvidsone is the director of Media, Communication and Governance studies at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences. Every day she lectures on such subjects as Latvian media environment, sociology, communication tools, and journalism genres and techniques. In her research, Agnese focuses on media literacy and audiences.
Tell us about your current work!
In addition to lecturing and administrative duties – development of study courses and programs, working with lecturers and addressing various student issues – this year I have also written a project to attract funding for research activities. This year we launched media literacy initiatives in the study programs – several courses are being modified to incorporate various elements of media literacy and sometimes I also go to schools to talk about the topic. Alongside my colleagues, we have also prepared content for two lifelong education programs for teachers on media literacy issues. We are developing a network with our international and Latvian partners. Currently I’m quite busy with my work.
What are your scientific achievements?
My current scientific achievement is my dissertation. The study is related to how and why teachers use different technologies in an attempt to respond to the very long-running idea that there are good educators and poor educators. The good ones are those who work intensively with these different technologies. I would like to highlight that the intensive use of different technologies does not necessarily mean a smart use. The non-use of technologies is based on considerations of great importance, rather than narrow- mindedness, agility or age, but combination of different circumstances. I know that there are researchers, who are no longer interested in the chosen dissertation topic as the years progress, nothing seems to be important or interesting anymore, but it wasn't like that for me. I have a number of publications, I have spoken at conferences and there are still ideas for continuing this topic in the future.
Why and how did you start to focus on research?
I don’t even know – it happened very simply and naturally. I worked in journalism when I was offered to lead a couple of courses at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences. Later I started to work in the administrative post here and at one point I realised, that this university is already my full-time job, which I really liked. Working in this area and getting a PhD is something that I wanted and needed to do. This is also the way how I self-acualize. I think I have such a hunter mind, it is not only a desire to scream in positive emotions, but still say something evidence-based, data-based. Here, at the university, we also talk a lot with each other and discuss various things – at any moment we can start a discussion about some kind of idea, research or something that someone has read. We share, we talk where we can see some correlations, creating ideas for new research. Science gives you the ability to systematize what you see – it gives you a completely different way of looking at the world, and I really like it.
What would be your suggestions for young people on the path to the researcher’s profession?
They need to know that it will not come easily, it will be tough. In general, you have to get used to reading a lot and taking a systematic approach to working with information and it is absolutely vital to stay focused and be patient – because nothing worth your efforts happens quickly. But with all this comes satisfaction and knowledge is something immensely valuable – it can’t be taken away by anyone.
What do you think is the most significant scientific achievement in the world?
First thing that comes in my mind is electricity. If there would be an unexpected situation in which electricity would disappear, it would be quite unpleasant for science as well – all databases, internet communications and environment we are researching would be lost. It could also be an extremely interesting situation in the field of communication – figuring out how to offset the huge shortage. How then would we scientists write our great publications!?