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Judith Lundberg Felten

How does it feel to be part of Researchers' Friday Stand up?

“Great fun, exciting, challenging, developing as person! So fun to get a chance to be a part of it! I like challenges and have tried a stand-up comedy course over a weekend last winter. It felt like a perfect opportunity to be able to further develop it.”

How can you make research fun?

“By using curious situations from tour everyday experience from the lab (there are many when you open your eyes to it!). Then exaggerate a bit, play with prejudices about the researchers and weave science and a lot of enthusiasm into it and always return to situations, thoughts, things that the audience can relate to.”

What are you researching?

“I am researching the life of the tree root with fungi in the forest soil. How do they communicate with each other? How do they know that each one have good intentions when they are part of a symbiosis and do not defend themselves against the partner? What happens when we cut down the trees and the fungi lose their tree friend and how can we then conduct better forestry with more respect for all terrestrial (micro) organisms?”

What is the most fun and interesting thing about research and what is the challenge?

“The most fun is to be with my research group, to come up with results, to support my doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows and help them find the right path in their projects and to see how they themselves develop during a project. The biggest challenge is to get financing, not to be able to give their employees more stability (due to short contracts) and that it can take very long time to reach results and even longer until they (maybe) are used in reality.”

Why do you think popular(izing) science is important?

“Popular science is important so that researchers can create a relationship of trust with society. We are also just people, we know a lot but not everything and we (me at least) are happy to answer questions about our research topics. There is a lot of knowledge in the research world that can be very useful, but if we do not spread it through our own channels and are visible, fake news will have an increasing place in our world. By telling about our results but also about the way to get there and what is required, we can encourage society to a questioning mind-set and to be source-critical when they read something from non-scientific sources.”

What do you hope to "get out" of the stand up and learn?

“To find a new way to talk about research and to see how the audience receives it.”

Short facts about Judith

Lives: in Uppsala and Umeå. Comes from Germany, lived in France for six years before I came to Sweden in 2010
Family: Husband, one daughter and one bonus daughter, an ex-cat who lives with my ex-husband.
Interests: plants in every way at home, in the garden, in the woods, under the microscope, yoga, sewing clothes, playing the flute, learning to speak other languages
Me in three words: Enthusiastic. Creative. Analytical
Favorite comedy: Best in Test and Bing Bang Theory
Favorite comedian and role model: I have laughed at Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) since I was a child, Anke Engelke is one of my German favourite comedians.
My favourite joke: "Time flies like an arrow, fruit (-) flies like a banana."
Makes me laugh: Jokes! My children's philosophical thoughts and fun everyday situations.
Talent I have (no one knew): I have a podcast "Flora and Friends - your botanical cup of tea" and I do textile design based on microscopic images of plants
Does in five years: Opens a museum about plants
Spends a free Sunday: Stands up before everyone else here at home for a session on the yoga mat in peace and quiet, eats large breakfast, digs in the garden or sews clothes or goes on an outing with the family, bakes something good for coffee with the kids, skypes with parents in Germany, plays the flute and read a book, plans for the coming week
Three top places in Umeå: Arboretum Norr. Cycle along the river from Arboretum to town with an ice cream break on Strandvägen. Kont and Norrmjöle
I stood on stage for the first time: In primary school when I was seven years old as a clown on the show "Circus Salami" that the class performed for the parents
Dreamed of being when I was little: A witch who saves the world! ... the first way there was then to study biochemistry