“I’m a Scientist was a good training lesson in spotting the jargon and technical language in your communication, and recalibrating yourself to remember that type of language isn’t useful.” — Euan Allen, PhD student at The University of Bristol
Euan Allen took part in I’m a Scientist during the second year of his PhD at the Quantum Engineering Centre for Doctoral Training. Answering questions through the text-based format allowed him to ‘recalibrate’ his language to suit his audience.
Now when you go to do face to face outreach, you feel more equipped.
Euan had done some in-person engagement previously but does not think of it as the best way to develop communication skills.
“When you are face to face, you don’t hear what you have said afterwards, there isn’t that self assessment,” he says.
The text-only format of I’m a Scientist was a more useful environment to test his skills.
“When answering a student’s question, you are trying not to use jargon and technical language. It is much easier to spot that when you’re writing it down. It was a good training lesson in recalibrating yourself to remember that type of language isn’t useful… That was one of the biggest things I got out of the experience.”
Euan says he now has more confidence talking about his work to public audiences. “The students were really comfortable online, you received lots more probing questions… Now when you go to do face to face outreach, you feel more equipped.”