Today is the eve of the 2011/12 intro meeting, it’s that time again to recruit fresh and enthusiastic new members to the ranks of Science Brainwaves, to continue to grow the organisation and reach out to new audiences. It’s also a good time to reflect on past successes and to contemplate why Science Brainwaves is such an amazing group to be part of. This is especially pertinent to me because I am the last founding member to leave, and like the other founders, Jenna Stevens-Smith, Beki Hill and Michaela Livingstone, I am heading for an exciting new career which would not be open to me if it were not for my involvement in Science Brainwaves.
Science Brainwaves isn’t even two years old yet. And yet we’ve gained international recognition for our activities. We’ve been approached by the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy and the Royal Statistical Society for help with outreach, we’ve been sent pre-release books by American pop-science publishers to review for our website and members of our committee have been asked to give a presentation on how we operate to the British Science Festival. Just this weekend I was at a party where I met last year’s “science communicator of the year” and she had heard of Science Brainwaves, and was very impressed. The sky is the limit for Science Brainwaves, or perhaps not!
It is then, an excellent thing to have on your CV. And well worth the time for the benefit it brings to the public and the student body. We founded Science Brainwaves with the aim of bringing “science to the masses”, and I think every month we have achieved that in one way or another.
If you’re interested in any form of science communication, perhaps being a journalist, a museum curator, an events executive or a policy advisor, then believe me, you’ll need much more than a degree or even a PhD. Science Brainwaves will give you the experience, the recognition and the contacts to get into these highly competitive fields. And even if you intend to stay in academia, all research grants nowadays require you to show how you are communicating your research to the wider public. Scientists are no longer allowed to hide away in their labs and not talk to anyone. Indeed the most successful scientists know how to explain their research – that’s how they get the multi-million pound grants.
So tomorrow go to the meeting and talk to the team. You may only be able to help out at the odd event or you may be willing to commit to the managing committee. Either way you’ll be welcomed and appreciated.
I’ll miss Science Brainwaves, it’s been a huge honour to be part of it and I’d like to thank members of the past and of the future for all their help and support and wish the new committee the best of luck with their future plans.