Keynote speakers

We are happy to announce our two keynote speakers for ECHC2021:

  • dr. Wyke Stommel – Associate Professor Language and Communication at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands
  • Koen Wauters – Science journalist at VRT, the national public-service broadcaster for the Flemish Community of Belgium

Please find their abstracts and short bio below (subject to updates)


Abstract Wyke Stommel
“The digitalisation of medical consultation and the case of wound assessment”

The rise of videomediated communication is one result of the current turbulent times, also in the health domain. Research on the use of video-mediated technology for medical consultations is increasing rapidly, but most of it is based on questionnaires and interviews. Conversation Analysis may be used to gain insights in the moment-to-moment organization of video-consultations compared to traditional consultations. In this presentation I examine the activity of wound assessment in post-surgery consultations as a case in point comparing the face-to-face and video setting. We found that while the face-to-face setting involved wound showing, the video-mediated assessment was mainly based on talk. I will show that the impact of video technology on postoperative consultations is that a conclusive wound assessment is arrived at in a different way when compared to face-to-face consultations. This implies that in video consultations, patients (and physicians) have a fundamentally different role.

Wyke Stommel is an Associate Professor of Language and Communication at Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Wyke’s research concerns spoken and mediated communication (video, instant messaging, chat) and institutional interaction (physician-patient, counselling, decision making, polite interrogations, etc.) on the basis of conversation analysis. This frequently involves direct collaboration with professionals from the various settings (Trimbos Institute, RadboudUMC, Korrelatie) and training of professionals.



Abstract Koen Wauters
“Looking back at the coronacrisis from the inside”

The corona crisis brought science journalism from a modest place in news coverage to the forefront. That sudden turnaround was a challenge, to say the least. In this presentation I want to look back at it from the inside.

Science journalists, for example,  are used to explaining difficult topics in an accessible way, they want to inform the public. That went well during the crisis. Although it remained difficult to explain that science does not offer certainties, more so, that doubt is inherent in scientific research.

In addition, the messaging also had a big impact on the public. But journalism and politics also allowed themselves to be led too much by the feelings of the public. In retrospect, we did not keep enough distance from the general sentiment.

At the same time, much of the communication came in the hands of scientists themselves, in part because politicians (especially during the first wave) did not want to communicate. Scientists were forced into the role of decision maker. Were we critical enough for that?

Koen Wauters is a science journalist at the Flemish public broadcaster VRT. He works mainly for the television news, but also for the website and the various radios of VRT. He has been following scientific research in the broad sense of the word for ten years, but for the past year and a half has been exclusively concerned with corona.