From 1st to 2nd of October, the MAO doc.funds. Retreat took place in Mallnitz. Faculty members and PhD students met for an intensive scientific exchange – away from their daily work routine.
After a morning train ride and a short walk alongside a picturesque brook the group composed of faculty members and doctoral students took up quarters in “Hotel Eggerhof” where they were also served excellent meals for the duration of the stay.
Friday’s scientific program, for which everyone gathered in a seminar room of nearby “Pension Edlinger”, held a surprise. A quick round of introductions (some participants had joined AAU only recently, one predoc was even having his first day “in the office”) was followed by a challenge. In randomly chosen groups of two, the partners were to quickly explain each other their research questions with the goal of presenting the respectively opposite topic to the entire group as concisely and convincingly as possible. A full switch of identities and (now completely unanswerable) questions from the audience led to amusing misunderstandings and improvisations.
On Saturday, the scientific program contained a performance by Prof. Barbara Kaltenbacher and Prof. Michaela Szölgyenyi who – with unquestionable acting talent – simulated a horrible scientific conference. The countless content- and communication-related mistakes committed by both speaker and host were then discussed and commented on.
Finally, the retreat was completed by a hike in the idyllic “Seebachtal” valley. Surrounded by tree-covered mountains of the Goldberg and Ankogel group, a path following the “Seebach” brook passes by a lake, a source, waterfalls and rock formations before reaching the Schwußnerhütte mountain hut which served the group as a stop before heading back to the hotel and later Klagenfurt.
Text by: Tim Krüger