• Question: how do you find time for this and work???

    Asked by beano to David, Thiloka, Shonna, Shobhana, Ryan, Ross, Rebecca, Rachel, Patrick, Nina, MattyB, Matthew, Marianne, Vilarino, Kate, Kaitlin, James, Ettie, Emmanuelle, Deepak, Anabel, Ambre, Alex, AlexAgrotis, Aina on 18 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Kaitlin Wade

      Kaitlin Wade answered on 18 Jun 2019:


      Time management is key! I do a lot of different things as part of my job – research, public engagement (like this!), teaching and travelling. Making the most of my time at work is really important but most of the time I end up having to work late or do a bit of work at home.

    • Photo: Nina Rzechorzek

      Nina Rzechorzek answered on 18 Jun 2019:


      It’s an essential part of my role to engage the wider public with the research that I am doing and so I make time for it – even if it means my working hours have been a bit stretched this month! I am funded by the Medical Research Council (now part of UK Research and Innovation) which is signed up to the Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research (you can read about it here: https://www.ukri.org/files/legacy/scisoc/concordatforengagingthepublicwithresearch-pdf/). As an MRC Fellow it is my responsibility to communicate my research to the public at both local and national level, and to raise awareness of the role of science and research in any related issues of public interest.

      In a nutshell – the reason why we do this is because by engaging with you all, we find out what questions are important to you which can then help tailor our research, so that public funds are being spent on things that matter to the public! It also provides transparency to our work – so you can all learn about what we are doing, understand why it’s valuable to society, support it and have the opportunity to influence it. Engagement is a two-way process and involves a transfer of knowledge in both directions – so it’s ‘win-win’.

      I really hope that by engaging with you lot, we are inspiring the next generation of scientists who can then ‘take the baton’ and drive research in the future. It’s very difficult to imagine yourself as a scientist, or to access opportunities to learn about the vast array of science careers out there if you never talk to actual scientists. So here’s your chance! 🙂

    • Photo: Rebecca Moon

      Rebecca Moon answered on 18 Jun 2019:


      Do you mean how to I find time to participate in “I’m a scientist?”. If so…I work part time as a junior doctor, which is typically Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday but I also do cover weekends and nights and then get some days off in the week in return for that. When I’m in the hospital I cant participate in the live chats as I might be called away at any time to see an unwell child, or usually just because I am too busy sorting out different things for patients (today I had a 10 minute lunch break). I dont work on a Thursday and Friday as I am at home with my kids then so I try to do some live chats then, usually whilst my baby is asleep and my toddler will watch some TV for a bit! The ask questions, like this one, I do in the evenings once my kids are asleep. Its enjoyable to participate and really interesting to see what young people are interested in and what questions you have so I dont mind spending some of my own time on it 🙂

    • Photo: Shobhana Nagraj

      Shobhana Nagraj answered on 18 Jun 2019:


      I really enjoy answering your questions! I usually find time to do this in the evenings after I finish work for the day!

    • Photo: Marianne King

      Marianne King answered on 19 Jun 2019:


      I tend to try and answer questions either as soon as I get in, around 7.30am, or at little spare moments I have during the day. The live chats I just schedule my day around. 🙂 The busier I am the more productive I am, because it forces me to finish something in a specified amount of time. If I have all day to do something I’ll take all day to do it. 🙂 It’s also fun doing this which makes it much easier to find time for it!

    • Photo: Rachel Hardy

      Rachel Hardy answered on 19 Jun 2019:


      I answer these questions first thing when I get to work, in the evenings, or when I have any spare time in the day. I also try to plan my experiments around the live chats as best I can 🙂

    • Photo: Ambre Chapuis

      Ambre Chapuis answered on 19 Jun 2019:


      It is all a question of management, I like planning and I have always my calendar with me. I try to organise my day as much as I can, most of my experiments take many days or have hours gap, so while this waiting times, I reply to mails, do some public engagement ( this is more a recreation as it is so fun), do a bit of scientific writing or reading….

    • Photo: Ettie Unwin

      Ettie Unwin answered on 19 Jun 2019:


      It just takes careful planning. I answer the ask questions when I get a bit of free time or when my code is running. The live chats I schedule my meetings around. I really enjoy chatting to you all! I think its an important of science to encourage others to thing about it.

    • Photo: Alex Blenkinsop

      Alex Blenkinsop answered on 19 Jun 2019:


      My work is really flexible – I basically choose my own hours, so I can fit this in really easily depending on when I have meetings or other work commitments.

    • Photo: Matthew Bareford

      Matthew Bareford answered on 19 Jun 2019:


      It’s a daily struggle… but its what makes it quite fun!!

      WE do generally try and be organised, but obviously with science there is a huge amount of predictability. I wont lie, I have run off from a conversation mid-sentence to make it to the next live chat!

    • Photo: Ross Hill

      Ross Hill answered on 19 Jun 2019:


      balancing projects and jobs is all part of being a scientist!

    • Photo: Kate Timms

      Kate Timms answered on 19 Jun 2019:


      With a lot of planning! I have to makes sure that my experiments and my teaching all fit around this. I won’t lie though, it has been difficult. Especially as I rely on placentas from c-sections and surgical lists never happen on time. There’s always some emergency putting them back!

    • Photo: David Wilson

      David Wilson answered on 19 Jun 2019:


      I think I’ve got three parts to my answer.
      Firstly, as most other people have said time management is key. There are only so many hours in the day so prioritising tasks and being productive with the time i have a available is essential. It’s taken me a few years but I’ve got a pretty good system of ToDo lists and calender’s that help me organise my days.
      Secondly, this is kind of like work. Talking about science and telling others about the research I do and how I do it is part of my job.
      Finally, i’m actually leaving my current job in August. A lot of my experiments and projects that I’ve done are all wrapped up so at the moment i’m tying up some loose ends, cataloguing and backing up a lot of my results and data. This means I’ve got a bit more time to devote to these questions.

    • Photo: Matthew Burgess

      Matthew Burgess answered on 19 Jun 2019:


      As might have been evident from my absense last week it is difficult if you have a heavy experimental week.
      Otherwise, I’ve bee trying to set aside time at the start or end of the day to look through some questions when I’d usually be onto desk based work anyway. And for the live chats putting them in my calendar a week in advance and trying to plan my work around that.

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