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 Sophie Arthur, an award-winning science & education blogger. She currently works for the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences as their scicomm officer.
Her job is to share the world leading medical research her colleagues do! She does this through social media by creating content for their website, filming videos, hosting events for schools and the general public and so much more!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself, what was your career path like and why did you decide to do science communication?
Hi. My name is Sophie and I am from a small village in South West Wales. I studied Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Bath for my undergrad before moving on to do my PhD in embryonic stem cell metabolism. 👩🔬
Half way through my PhD though I discovered the world of science communication after competing in the 3 Minute Thesis competition.
This moment inspired me to reignite my blog Soph talks science which is now in its 4th year and still growing somehow!
"I also had a passion for social media and discovered other scientists sharing their PhD journey and educating about science using Instagram and I wanted to combine my two passions together and embark on that journey too."
I loved doing research but when I finished my PhD I was curious to explore a career in science communication mainly because I had no ambitions to want my own lab group, and it would give me a whole heap of other transferable skills that I could apply to so many other careers.
I get to be creative making videos, writing, making posts for social media and so much more!✍️
2. What is your favourite thing about having a social media presence as 'Soph Talks Science', what has it allowed you to do?
My favourite thing is the community I have discovered, the friends I’ve made and the complete and utter inspirational women in STEM that I admire so much. 💪
Without my social media presence I would never have found that.
It also gives me the chance to help others who may have been struggling with the same things I was and give back to the PhD student community. But I also get to educate and learn so many incredible things from all the people I follow.
3. Going forward, what would you like to see more of in the scientific community?
Having worked in research and science communication now, and completely understand how professionals in both fields need the support of each other to reach their full potential. 👩🔬
"I would love to see more undergraduate and PhD courses incorporating mandatory training for science communication and public engagement..."
...even if someone only wants to be an academic. Because the sooner the entire scientific community views communication and engagement as a part of a research career, rather than seeing it as an additional to their research career, I truly believe we will advance even more quickly and have so much more impact.📣
4. If you were to give advice to a scientist who wants to get into communicating their science to the public, what would it be?
Do it and give it a go! There are so many ways in which you can communicate your science with the public though so first I would say experiment with your medium. Maybe you want to write, or make videos, maybe you want to do public talks, or maybe you want to use artwork to express your research.
"Experiment with what you love to do because it also needs to be something you enjoy." 👏
The world would be a better place with more opportunities to learn and chances to educate.
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Completely a night owl, which is really annoying now that I have to get up early for my 2 hour commute to work.
Cats or dogs?
I would have normally said dogs, but we are actually thinking about getting cats soon. 😸
Tell us a fun fact about you!
I used to work in a pub kitchen and have cooked for Russell Crowe and Professor Stephen Hawking - not at the same time though. They weren't dining together but it is my claim to fame. 😱
Thank you Sophie for being an inspiration to the #SciComm community!