Press announcement: IAS2010 winners

I’m a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here! has found its very own kings (and queens) of the laboratory, as chosen by 5,000 school students from across the UK.

For two weeks 100 scientists, in 20 different zones, have been answering questions from school students and having online live chats with them. The students have now voted for who they think should win and the final votes have now been counted.

It really does give us the most enormous pleasure to announce that the winners are…

Zone Winner
Beryllium Ian Sillett
Boron Hywel Vaughan
Nitrogen Joanna Buckley
Oxygen Tom Hardy
Fluorine Mark Roberts
Neon Jon Copley
Sodium Ben Still
Magnesium Dean Whittaker
Aluminium Katy Mee
Silicon Andrew Maynard
Clean Panos Soultanas
Brain Joanna Brooks
Cancer Joanna Watson
Chemicals Joe Cook
Drugs Deuan Jones
Evolution Ceri Thomas
Genes Steven Kiddle
Imaging Stephen Curry
IVF Vicki Onions
Sports Sally Fenton

This has been the largest I’m a Scientist event ever staged – four times the size of earlier pilot events. All thanks to a generous grant from the Wellcome Trust.

The event puts young people in the driving seat and gets them truly engaging with real science and real scientists. It gives them an insight into issues like ‘how do we decide what science to fund?’  shows them that scientists are real people they can relate to and inspires them with a taste of what it’s like to study cutting edge science.

For the scientists it’s a rollercoaster masterclass in communicating what they do. It’s a chance to connect with young people and find out how they view science. And it’s an inspiring and energising experience.

The event has involved people in a way science engagement activities rarely do. Students have been forming fanclubs in school and cheerleading for their favourite scientists. Scientists have been staying up all night making videos for the event. They’ve been so dedicated to making the live chats that one requisitioned a stranger’s computer at a conference, another got up at 4.30am to take part from the States while another was typing away in the toilet queue at Glastonbury!

Scientists have also been meeting scientists from other research areas and getting support from other scientists both on twitter and in their departments. It’s got students and scientists making new connections and excited about talking about science.


“If any scientist is feeling jaded, run down, disillusioned with their lot, I thoroughly recommend IAS therapy. The energy, the intensity, the free uninhibited approach to asking science questions displayed by a class of energised and interested teenagers, is far better for the scientific psyche than any shrink could manage, it got me pumped again.”

Dr Mark Fogg, York University, in a moving blogpost about the event


“thankyu for this whole experiance ive learnt loads in this experience and we ar deffinatly voting for you good look with ur phd and hope u will b called the doctor soon and become very succesful!”

“Science really is truly mind baffling and you have all just made it even more fascinating, therefore tres bien! Good luck with the eviction Joanna you are my favourite.”

“This has been the best chemistry lesson ever”


“The I’m a Scientist event is one of the most exciting, interactive, cutting edge activities that my pupils and I have taken part it.  My pupils love being in contact with real Scientists and finding out about their research.”

“They worked so hard during this event, but they didn’t seem to think of it as work”

Notes for Editors

Interview opportunity
Participant pupils and scientists from this, or previous pilot events are available for interview on request.

Scale of event
This largest event ever has run from 14th – 25th June with:-

  • 20 zones
  • 100 scientists (five scientists in each zone)
  • 5,100 students
  • in 152 schools and colleges
  • 7,500 questions asked
  • 68,000 visits to the site
  • 493,075 Pageviews

About ‘I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here!’
‘I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here!’ is a science dialogue event where school students talk to real scientists online for two weeks. It’s in the form of an X Factor-style competition between scientists, who compete for a prize of £500.
For two weeks students read about the scientists’ work, ask them questions and engage in live text chats with them. The students vote for the scientist they want to get the money. The scientists with the fewest votes are evicted until only one is left to be crowned the winner in each zone. The event is supported by carefully developed and tested teaching resources that develop students’ skills and deepen their understanding.
The event is funded by a Society Award from the Wellcome Trust, with additional support from the National Science Learning Centres and the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement.

Information about the scientists taking part in the June event.

The names of all the schools taking part in June

The hashtag to follow the event on twitter is #ias2010

About the Wellcome Trust
The Wellcome Trust is a global charity dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust’s breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests.

Posted on June 25, 2010 by in IAS Event. 1 comment

One Response to Press announcement: IAS2010 winners

  1. Duncan Hull says:

    Thanks for organising a great event, it was a real eye opener – and I’ll be recommending it to colleagues in the future. Congrats to all those winners too.

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