|My runner-up prize. I've named him gReg the R jester. He judges me on my R scripts. Look at that smug face, mocking me.|
The range of questions (in each of the formats) was inspiring, ranging from simple "how long have you been a researcher?" or "what's your thesis about?", to the more difficult "What part of your research can improve mental health to make people happier?" or "what do you hope to achieve with your research?". The latter questions took some time for me to consider, and I do feel like some required a much more in-depth response. Sadly, in a chat room, writing a long post to fully address all angles of a question is somewhat challenging.
The whole event was an eye-opening experience, and now that I have had some time to process what started as 'just' a public engagement exercise for me. Now, I am fully convinced in the importance of these events as an additional avenue to interact with the next generation of researchers. They deserve to know more about what research and being a researcher entails. Also, for those of them considering university and research more broadly, they should know what they might be getting themselves in for.
|"Umm, my name is Sam and I, er, try to do science..."|
An example; "what is the best thing about being a researcher?". The answers cover so many aspects that make working in research an awesome thing to have as a career. But, by the nature of the question itself, it completely misses what are the bad things about being a researcher.
So, are we giving potential future researchers an accurate picture of research life? I don't think so.
Watch this space for blog posts and maybe a podcast or two (if I can figure out recording one and don't hate my voice too much). Feel free to comment with questions you wish you had an answer to before heading into research or University. Also, post them to my twitter so we can discuss them more broadly!