The final day of our British Academy International Partnership and Mobility Scheme-funded Hanoi workshop! This was very much a wrap-up day, hence the blog post will be a little shorter than usual. We started 9am to make the most of the day, and spent the first part of the morning finishing off the clustering and initial thematic analysis from yesterday (to know more about what we found out, you’ll need to wait for the paper to come out 😉 )
Before and after lunch, Chris and I led a session on writing for publication. Chris talked more generally about tips and tricks for publication based on his experience overseeing the British Sociological Association journals. Then I used my own policy-focused research papers to discuss how to write up environmental social science for publication. Much to our surprise, we were told that having two international publications (or at least one publication and one international conference paper) is now a requirement for getting a PhD in the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences. This seems a very high bar, but one that interested and impressed us in equal measure.
In the interim, over lunch we had a meeting with Mr Ha, the head of International Cooperation and his colleague Kevin from Scientific Cooperation. Mr Ha was a huge help to me when I was preparing the proposal, so we were delighted to have the chance to drop by his office and say thanks for all the support.
As a wrap-up we did a lengthy Q&A with the PhD students on how to write for academic journals, as well as bouncing round a few ideas on how to move our findings towards publication that I will keep under wraps for now. We then got taken on a tour of the Institute of Human Geography, complete with its lovely little library (will show the photos to our students next time they complain about books being spread out over several floors!)
Before we left, all the students and most of the staff emerged in traditional Vietnamese dress for a group photo. This also involved Natascha and I being (wo)man-handled into position forcefully by our colleagues to ensure good colour coordination among their outfits, for which we were ultimately grateful when we saw the photos.
As a final surprise, Dr Tung had arranged for us to have a tour of the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology – showing us her traffic negotiation skills in the process. There we found out about the different groups living in Vietnam, trying our best after a week of hard work to leave our critical social science heads at the door and enjoy the exhibits and information. Despite being rather tired by this point, we enjoyed very much and picked up plenty of food for thought from our guide.
On that point, we need plenty time to digest everything that’s happened this week. Dr Tung, Dr Dung and Dr Tram are going to join us in Aberdeen in September for the return visit. We’re hugely excited to welcome them and show them the work that’s going on with Aberdeen’s climate change planning and the climate and environmental protection issues being addressed in Aberdeenshire more widely. As coastal regions with big rivers, significant climate impacts and (relatively) marginalised sections of the population living within them, we’ve come to realise there might be more in common between Nam Dinh and north-east Scotland than we thought. At the same time, there’s lots we know we need to do before then – not least thinking through how we can reciprocate for all the amazing food we have been fed here in Vietnam. We return to Aberdeen tomorrow, but this very much feels like the start of something much longer-term.
This is a really good point to say thanks to Dr Nguyen Song Tung, Dr Nguyen Thi Kim Dung, Dr Pham Thi Tram, Dr Tran Ngoc Ngoan and everyone else in the Institute of Human Geography at the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences who has made us feel so welcome this week. We look forward to seeing you all again soon!