• Question: Say I was looking for a job involving science. Tell me why your job is important, any important details, why should I work alongside you and not any of the others?

    Asked by Oprah to Aaron, Abbey, Natalie on 19 Nov 2015.
    • Photo: Natalie Garrett

      Natalie Garrett answered on 19 Nov 2015:

      This is probably a very personal question. There isn’t one job that will be best for everyone, you know? I’d say working alongside me would be great for you if you:

      *Have an undying curiosity about the world around you.
      *Enjoy dissections and potentially messy experiments.
      *Are a patient person and can spend hours doing the same thing without getting frustrated.
      *Have a good sense of humour (we all get along well in my lab!)
      *Can think on your feet to solve unexpected problems as and when they happen.

      If you meet those criteria, I’d say this job would suit you. I think that my job is important because I’m providing answers that will help the development of intelligently engineered nanoparticles. These nanoparticles will deliver medicines to the places they need to get to in the body, for people with brain cancer and Alzheimer’s. Without my research, we wouldn’t understand how the nanoparticles interact with the body.

    • Photo: Aaron Boardley

      Aaron Boardley answered on 19 Nov 2015:

      I can’t say for sure you should work alongside me and not the others – each person is different and we’re not all suited to the same thing! So, I’ll tell you the key things about my job – but I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether it’s right for you.

      – I work in science communication. This means that I don’t do experiments myself anymore, but I used the knowledge I gained from studying science to help other scientists share their work.

      – My work is based at a computer/desk rather than a lab.

      – It’s important to share science for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons I’m concentrating on at the moment is that there’s a massive shortage of people in the UK with science and engineering skills, so we need more people to train as scientists and engineers to keep our country running! I’m (hopefully) helping to encourage more people to study science as they find out more about it.

      – I also help scientists and engineers explain their work to the government. Very few politicians have studied science, but they have big decisions to make about things like hospitals and medicine, or how much science research to fund, or what kind of energy we should use to power our electricity networks. Since they’re not the experts about these technical questions, it’s important that they get the best scientific knowledge for these things – so my job is important to make sure scientific knowledge gets to the people who need it!

      I don’t think it would be right if scientists spent all their time to themselves and didn’t share their work with the world. Some scientists are really good at talking about their work (all the scientists in this zone, for example!) – but scientists are busy people and there are only so many hours in the day, so I think my job is important to make sure this sharing happens.

      The other thing I love about my job is how creative it is. When I was at school, I thought I had to choose between a creative career (like art, writing, music) or a technical career (like science, maths, engineering). The good news is this is not the case! Science has a lot of creativity to it anyway, and engineers are designers as well as scientists. But my job lets me do lots of writing, and filming, and recording, and animating, and drawing, and designing – all to do with science. So it combines things I really love!