Our postgraduate internship brings together researchers from a huge range of subjects, be it stem cells, ice sheets, nano-sized materials or renewable energy. We chatted to one of the postgrad teams as they prepare to bring their hands-on activity to the Science Sunday Big Birthday Bash on 19th June.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
Crystal: Hi, my name is Crystal Smiley and I am in my final year of my PhD within the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences. My research focuses on detecting oxygen and hydrogen isotopes within water from different terrestrial sources, such as the Greenland Ice Sheet and the annual snow cover, within the marine environment in retrospect to marine palaeo-runoff proxies.
Mark: I’m Mark and I am currently doing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. My research involves understanding how cells change their behaviour based on what kind of surface that they are growing on, which could be used to make stem cells turn into bone.
Eddy: I’m Eddy and I’m in my first year of a Chemistry PhD at Glasgow University. I’m investigating nano-sized metal oxide clusters that could be used as molecular magnets.
Roberta: I am Roberta, a first year PhD at the Chemistry department. I have always been fascinated by the use of renewable sources to produce clean energy. My research is focused on this field by looking at an alternative way to store energy using hydrogen.
2. Have you done public engagement before? What made you want to get involved?
Crystal: Yes, I have done two public engagement activities before. I participated in the Glasgow Science Festival in 2013 presenting Ocean Acidification affects on corals. In 2014, I travelled to the US to give a seminar on “Opportunities in Earth Science” within the Aberdeen, Washington and McCleary, Washington School Districts. I started public engagement because I wanted to share the world of science and its many fascinating discoveries. I also wanted to strengthen my presenting skills to a non-science based community.
Mark: I’ve not done any public engagement before. I wanted to get involved because I wanted to take advantage of as many opportunities that a PhD provides as possible. A PhD gives you a chance to take part in so many things that you’d never thought about before and this is one of those things that you don’t know what it’s all about or whether you’ll like until you’ve tried it.
Eddy: This is my first time doing public engagement. I wanted share my enthusiasm for science and how science has changed our world for the better.
Roberta: This is the first time I’ve done public engagement but I really like the idea of sharing my passion with others. I think that doing public engagement is a beautiful way to inspire young minds to pursue a career in science and I really like the idea of being a part of this.
3. Describe your activity to us. Why should we come along?
Come visit us and discover some of the Scottish Innovation technologies that make Glasgow a greener, cleaner, safer and smarter city. Join in on the fun by playing a giant innovation version of your family friendly board game, MONOPOLY! As you move around the board you will have the opportunity to learn and collect some of the new innovations that are happening around Glasgow. Collecting four innovations of the same colour or one of each colour wins a special prize and bragging rights for the year!
4. 2016 is Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. What innovation could you not live without?
Crystal: It’s hard to narrow down one innovation to live without but I couldn’t live without my camera.
Mark: Too many things that, I think, we wouldn’t even realise we needed until they weren’t there. I would say a microwave; it makes it really easy to heat up all my leftover meals.
Eddy: The kettle.
Roberta: I think I could never live without a smartphone. This is very funny because actually I was one of the last among my group of friends to get one and now I use it for almost everything.
4. Finally… impress us with your favourite science fact or joke!
Crystal: Why wasn’t the Geologist hungry? Because they lost their APATITE.
How often do you like jokes about elements? PERIODICALLY
Eddy: Atoms, with a callous disregard for etymology, can in fact be split.
Never trust an atom. They make up everything
Roberta: If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate!
Meet Crystal, Mark, Eddy and Robert and have fun with giant Monopoly at the Science Sunday Big Birthday Bash on 19 June, 10:00-16:00 in the Hunter Hall, University of Glasgow. More information on the website.