After a summer hiatus, the Tuesday Feature is back. After 19 episodes, I thought it was about time the readers got to know me a little better so that’s why I decided to take up the proverbial driver’s seat to talk about my role here in the faculty. Thank you to Nick Ogden for the interview.
What is your role here in the Faculty?
My title for my job is digital communications assistant. This essentially means that I have two major roles here in the faculty. The first role is to do web updates. So the faculty has over a 100 different web pages and these need updating with relevant information. Academic members will send me and my team – it’s a two man team, I work with a wonderful colleague called Helen, and we then update the web pages with the relevant information.
The second major role in the faculty is the social media presence. I do things like this on the blog and on Facebook, as well as sharing news about the Faculty. I also produce content with the Communication and Marketing Leadership Team (CMLT) – things like the Minute Lectures and the Tuesday Feature.
How does your role benefit the general public?
I firmly believe science is for everyone. It shouldn’t be too technical and it shouldn’t be too hard for people to understand. My job role therefore helps the general public to understand science, helps them see how it’s relevant to their daily lives and it helps them see how science can be for them and not just for people in lab coats working in the lab.
How did you first become interest in science?
I did my undergraduate degree here in Manchester. I did it as part of CHSTM which is the Centre for History of Science, Technology and Medicine and is part of the Faculty of Life Sciences. My degree was in Biology with Science and Society and it lasted three years. We looked at things like how science Is used today in the 21st Century, how it came to be that way and we looked at the history and ethical implications of science. This helped give me a really good education in science and gave me a passion for communicating science to the general public.
After University I looked for a job in science communication, but I found it quite hard to find one with little professional experience in the field. I took up an MGIP (Manchester Graduate Internship Programme) in the Faculty of Life Sciences to do their social media. About 7 or 8 months later I got offered a job here for the Digital Communications Assistant.
Originally I’ve always been interested in science ever since I was a young child. I was fascinated by nature around me, about how science is used to treat disease and how it’s used to better people’s lives. I’ve always enjoyed science and have always wanted to educate people and to teach them about science.
Do you have any science heroes? Who inspired you?
At the time, I really didn’t have any science heroes, but looking back I can see people who have been influential in my life. I had science teachers who were really fun and engaging and there were science personalities on TV, like David Attenborough, who really infused a passion in me to learn more about science. I guess those people who had a passion for science and wanted it to be shared, really inspired me to do the same.
How has working in Manchester helped you?
As I said previously, as a recent graduate I found it quite hard to find a job in science communication without relevant experience. The University here has given me great experience in working in the science communication field; without that, it’d have been much harder to find a job that I was passionate about and really wanted to do. The University helped me first with the MGIP which allowed me to learn relevant techniques and practices that I can use in the work place and well as giving me a full time job after that. I’m really grateful for that. I really love working here in Manchester and the faculty is a really great place to be.
What do you do outside of work?
I’m a really keen sports person. I really love playing and watching football, with the new season kicked off, I’m really excited about that. I also I do a Fact a Day, which is basically an email list. I send out a fact via email and via Facebook to people who are interested in learning stuff. That’s really fun and keeps me learning.