We recognize science can seem difficult to young scientists, and we hope to raise awareness about people who make it fun and accessible to broader audiences through social media, #SciComm!
Meet Jen, also known as "A Bookish Scientist" on Instagram. She is a first year Cancer Biology PhD student and bookworm, who recommends good books and gives PhD tips to her follower base of almost 10K on Instagram!
Tell us a bit about yourself, where are you from, what is your career path and what are your scientific interests?
I'm Jen, I'm almost 23 and I'm from Manchester, UK. I studied an undergraduate degree in Medical Genetics, a Master's degree in Cancer Research, and I'm 3 months in to a PhD in Cancer Biology. I plan on staying in academia and doing cancer research for the rest of my career. 👩🔬
Why did you decide to share science through social media? How has this complemented your career/interests?
I started off as simply posting about my studies in general, not the specific details about the science. As time went on people would ask me more about exactly what I was studying so I started to post a bit more about the science side. I started to follow more dedicated science blogs/accounts and they inspired me to try and be more active in the SciComm community! I'm still working on this aspect of my account though!
What are some pros and cons about doing science communication online? Have you done anything similar in person?
I've never done anything related to SciComm in person – only on my blog! As I'm still trying to get started as more of a science communicator I've not really come across any major pros or cons yet, but
"I really enjoy talking about something I'm so passionate about and I love it when people message me asking more about what I do, or telling me that they aren't a scientist themselves but are really interested in my work! It's so lovely to hear." 😍
I see you love talking about women in STEM, why is that and how do you feel about being one yourself?
Women in STEM is something I'm so passionate about. It is so upsetting that only 13% of people in STEM careers are women, and only 19 women have ever won a Nobel prize in a scientific field.
"I find these women – and those that have gone unrecognised – so inspirational and I love hearing their stories." 👏
I feel proud to be a woman in STEM and always will be! 💪
What books would you recommend about science/women in STEM/ science communication? 🤓
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Rebecca Skloot)
Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA (Brenda Maddox)
Sapiens (Yuval Noah Harari)
Hidden Figures (Margot Lee Shetterly)
A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived (Adam Rutherford)
The world would be a better place with more ___
Books and cake!
The next place you want to travel to is___
Any city in Europe - I love city breaks!
When you are not reading or doing science you are ___
Drinking coffee and watching Gilmore Girls or Brooklyn 99!
Tell us a fun fact about you! (or anything else you want to add)
I'm the youngest of 4 sisters and I drink more coffee than is healthy! ☕
Thank you Jen for sharing your story and book recommendations with our community!