“Frank, funny, probing… truly energising!” – June 2019 Winners’ blog posts

After every event we ask the winning scientists to write a short post to be sent to all the students who took part in the zone. It’s the perfect way for the scientists to reflect on all the engagement of the previous weeks, thank all the students for voting for them, and talk about how they plan to use their £500 prize money.

If you’re a scientist, whether in the public, private or academic sector, and you’re keen to experience the ‘best crash course in scicomm’, apply now for the next event, 11th–22nd November 2019: imascientist.org.uk/scientists

Rob Ives, GlaxoSmithKline, Bohrium Zone

I knew I would receive many questions around ethics and the use of animals for medical experiments and was prepared for these. There were some really challenging and thought-provoking questions… . For me, it was really important to hear your views on animal work and to understand how much you already know, and I have already fed this back to my colleagues at work.

Dave Underhill, Mineral Products Qualifications Council, Hassium Zone

The questions posed of me were wide-ranging and often challenging, which is fantastic and gives me hope for a new generation coming forward with inquisitive and engaging minds… I already miss logging on and chatting with you all (and the super awesome Moderators), and will be encouraging everyone I know to apply and take part! A fantastic experience and massively rewarding

Alex Lloyd,Royal Holloway, University of London & Birkbeck, University of London, Influence Zone

I really enjoyed answering all of the questions from schools across the country, and many of them challenged what I thought I knew about my topic. It was great hearing your thoughts on the importance of why teenagers take risks. From our conversations I have had a lot of new ideas for my future research, so I have done a lot of learning from the students who took part as well!

Rob Dempsey, Staffordshire University, Mental Health Zone

I’m passionate about public engagement but it’s not always easy to find the time to talk about our research outside of academia, so I am very grateful for having the opportunity to take part in I’m a Scientist and to connect with so many students and teachers. I’ve learned lots about what others are doing in the field and lots about what is concerning future psychologists (i.e. the students!) in terms of mental health.

Savannah Clawson, University of Manchester, Particles Zone

To any other scientists reading this, I fully encourage you to get involved! You can have so much fun from the comfort of your office and spend all day talking about your research to people who actually want to listen

Anna Gardner, University of Birmingham, Plants Zone

For myself, I really enjoyed the variation of questions I received, from tree focus right through to the bigger, broader planetary questions. I feel that I have a better understanding of how to communicate to different audiences and really appreciate the importance of scientific communication events like this one. I have enjoyed observing people’s understanding of my research, in addition to seeing the plant biology topics students find most intriguing.

Bella Boulderstone, University of Southampton, Space Zone

A personal highlight (though complete bafflement) was to find that I was listed on someone’s profile page as their favorite scientist. The students who all logged on in the last 20 minutes of the final live chat and stayed after school (!) to find out the results really made my win feel super special. The moderators and organizers were incredibly helpful and everything was run so smoothly. I’d encourage everyone to give it a shot, it takes almost no time (you can do it from your desk!).

Deepak Chandrasekharan, MRC Harwell and UCL, MRC Festival Zone

It was a real privilege to have the chance to actually spend time discussing the work we do (as well as the fun and challenges of science) with students in real-time online chats and the ASK forum. Of course, this was hard work at times, but would I do it again? Absolutely! The enthusiasm of the students together with their mix of frank, funny, probing and intelligent questioning has been truly energising and a great reminder of why we do what we do.

If you’re up for the challenge, want to answer some downright weird questions, even learn things from students…




I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here runs every March, June, and November. It only takes 2 minutes and one sentence to apply!

Posted on July 3, 2019 by modantony in News. Comments Off on “Frank, funny, probing… truly energising!” – June 2019 Winners’ blog posts