After every event we ask the zone winners to write a short blog post to be sent to all the students in who took part in the zone. It’s a great way for the scientists to reflect on the previous two weeks and thank all the students for voting for them.
Let’s take a look at what they had to say…
I’m a Scientist is definitely the most fun I’ve had in my lab coat.
The questions were incredible, totally unpredictable and the scope was well beyond that going on academic circles; by the final I’d tried to prepare a few ‘go-to’ answers, “What is colour?”, “What happened during the big bang?”, “Will we ever cure cancer?..but I couldn’t predict a single one! After the 30 minute live chats my fingers were tingling so much I had to delay measuring polymers in the clean room.
I cannot express in words how much I’d recommend this to any PhD student, science technician or any academic with time on their hands.
It’s made me question every part of my research, assess how realistic I am and be more creative in my experimental design. It’s made me so proud to be a physicist, work at Imperial College and be able to help these curious kids.
Things got serious, silly, deep, dark, hilarious, and on occasions weird; all in a 30 minute burst of direct exchange between today’s researchers and tomorrow’s minds.
It was *energising* – I loved it. And I learned a tonne of stuff myself.
I really hope (and believe) more of you became enthused by science by the event, and can maybe envisage yourselves on the other side of the chat telling students in the future all about the great work you do.
It was exciting, loads of fun, I learnt loads of stuff I never expected to and it completely took over my whole life for two weeks! At midnight on the Saturday half way through the competition I was discussing “what is time?” with some friends at a wedding. It really made me think about things that I’d not considered before.
An event like this is a fantastic way of giving school pupils an idea of how many areas in science there are and to let them see that scientists really are quite normal people (mostly).
It was a manic two weeks but it was so much fun and VERY addictive! The Live Chats were crazy at times but always great fun and certainly kept me on my toes. Any chance I got, I was answering the question on ASK (all 214 of them!) – on my journey to work, breaks, lunch, journey home, on the way to meet friends – any chance I got!
Wow! What an amazing two weeks. Without a doubt, I’m A Scientist, Get me out of here has been one of the most enjoyable but exhausting experiences of my career.
The live chat sessions are insane! Questions ranged from everyday trivia like “Batman or Superman?” through philosophy and ethics “should doctors be allowed to assist in suicides” to hard-core pharmacology “how are drugs developed?” Now…. imagine trying to handle all three of those questions simultaneously, and fast enough so that your competitors don’t get in there first with a killer answer, and you’ll have some idea what it was like and why it was such fun.
[The students’ questions] got me thinking on all fronts – from how to describe my research, and why I actually carry it out, to appreciating why the sea is blue and coming up with a “hand-shaking and waving” analogy for pi and sigma bonding during a quiet evening – definitely a blast all in all.
I was continually impressed with the questions posed by the students in both the live chats and also via ASK. My very first question to answer was about black holes (a topic waaaay out of my comfort zone!), so I’ve been learning myself from day one!
… I have learnt so many diverse facts from this event, including how chameleons are able to change colour and learning that plants may, in fact, have feelings!
The two weeks of answering questions from you all was crazy. I’ve never gone out of my way so much to be on time for everything. I had alarms set so I could attend chats, I spent my evenings answering all the ASK questions which were left for me and others.
I had questions ranging from “how many stars exist” to “why do I do science” each question was fantastic and there were so many I actually had to stop, think about and wonder how it actually worked.
Normally I’m one quick fire answers back but there were so many questions where I had to stop and think to even form an idea of an answer.
The whole event was an experience and I recommend it to anyone to try it, you’ll learn so much not only about your own area of expertise but also about others.
Initially I didn’t know whether I should enter I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here. I’ve not really done much written science communication before and I didn’t know how I would come across without actually being present.
One thing I wasn’t prepared for was the breadth of the questions all of us scientists were asked. It made me realise how much I didn’t know.
The last two weeks have been an absolute blast. The range of questions you get on the board is insane! You guys ask better/harder/faster/stronger questions that I ever imagined coming into the contest.
If you think you can take the better/harder/faster/stronger questions… Want to discover new ways to communicate your work… Or want to learn new facts about chameleons…
Apply now to take part in the next event
I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here runs every March, June, and November. For more information on the zones running in November 2015, take a look at this post.