E3S Eurosense Student Award – Kaat Philippe
First of all, I would like to thank the European Sensory Science Society for awarding me with one of the E3S student awards. I feel honoured to receive this award and it was very nice to end 2020 with such positive news.
Twenty-twenty, it was a special year. COVID-19 sparked a pandemic all over the world and the year has not all turned out as expected. I had to reorganize the planning and methods of my upcoming study, and many conferences I was already looking forward to, were cancelled or postponed. Fortunately, this unexpected situation was also accompanied by some interesting opportunities. My supervisors and I decided to take advantage of the situation and we set up a study during the lockdown in France to study a possible impact of the lockdown on families’ eating habits and feeding practices. This study also turned out to be my ticket to a participation at Eurosense 2020, where I was invited to give an extended flash poster presentation!
In summer, we were still hoping to attend the conference in Rotterdam, but finally the conference was held 100% virtually in December 2020. I think it is amazing how the organizing team of Eurosense (and the technical team!) managed to reorganize the conference several times and to maintain a conference of such high quality with speakers from various disciplines related to sensory science.
In my PhD project, I focus on young children’s eating behaviours. Therefore, I was delighted that the conference included so many interesting talks with a focus on children and families: I learned about school interventions to promote a healthy food intake, co-creation with children and adolescents, methods to study pre-adolescents’ food-related emotions, and much more. The session about vulnerable populations (e.g., children, cancer patients, elderly) was also very interesting. Besides, Eurosense gave me the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and to learn about topics that were relatively new to me, both content-wise and method-wise.
I was afraid that the virtual event would be quite “cold”, and of course it could never be a similar experience than an in-person event. Nevertheless, I think that the video support during the presentations, the Q&A during the talks, and the discussions in the poster rooms made us feel like we were part of a community.
Overall, my experience with Eurosense 2020 was very positive, but let us hope that we can all meet again in person at Eurosense 2022 in Turku, Finland!