Am I a Scientist? - Fiona Travers, Public Engagement Officer, STFC



When I was asked to be part of ‘I’m A Scientist- Get me Out of Here!’ a familiar little voice inside my head shouted, “you’re not a real scientist, why would they want to speak to you?”.

I’m a Scientist is a well-known programme which has been running for many years, providing a student-led STEM enrichment activity. It connects you with school students through a live chat portal where they are welcomed to ask you anything they like (which can make the moderators job interesting!)


I stumbled across my career, which I didn’t even know existed as a job when I studied my science degree. I never had a grand plan to be a Science Communicator or work at an Observatory as a Public Engagement Officer. It all just kind of fell into place along the way.

As I typed furiously to keep up with all the interesting and excitable questions from the students, I realised that I can be a role model for them.


We need to celebrate the ‘non-scientists of science’. These roles provide so many amazing opportunities for young people. The smiling receptionist who welcomes you every day, the cleaner who has been and gone before you arrive at your desk, the admin assistant who makes sure everything runs like clockwork. They are all part of science, and it couldn’t happen without them. As STEM Ambassadors we have an important role in sharing this message.


Being part of the live chats has been a really rewarding experience, easy to take part in whenever you have a spare bit of time in your day and it needed very little preparation beforehand. I would recommend it to everyone, as you might also learn something about yourself along the way!


Check out ‘I’m A Scientist’ for resources and to get involved or watch a short video of me talk about my role as part of the UKRI 101 Jobs campaign which highlights the huge variety of STEM roles.

Links:


I'm a Scientist, Get me out of here! – A science outreach education & engagement activity (imascientist.org.uk)

https://youtu.be/xidw8qhtJPg

101 jobs that change the world – UKRI