I'm really enjoying this whole science communication stuff. It's great fun! Writing this blog is pretty entertaining and keeps me getting involved in developments in the field of microbiology, and now I've got a taste for sci-comm I want to get more involved. There is one problem with that though... me.
That sounds a bit glass-half-empty but it's kind of true. I am a very nervous speaker, even in day to day conversations, so when it comes to actually speaking about my work in front of people I really struggle. It doesn't matter how clear my slides are, or how nice people say my poster is, when I'm on the spot and it's time to actually do the physical communicating of the science I tend to falter. I'm a quiet person in general, and am unnecessarily self conscious (combined with super low confidence) so actually talking about my work, or about anything, is terrifying and I just freeze up (which makes things worse). Then afterwards I get this negative association with how it went and that just makes me even more self conscious the next time around.
I would love to tell the world about all the awesome things in science. I would love to contribute positively to general understanding of science, microbiology, all of it. But 'I would love to' doesn't make me magically able to. It doesn't mean it will never happen, either. When I was little I always loved the idea of fencing, but I couldn't exactly just pick up a sword and be good at it. It took years of training, both practicing on-piste and physical fitness training before I was even able to keep my head above water at competitions. But after all that time I got into the national ranking list, and was pretty good at it (he said, blowing his own trumpet)! So I'm going to look at science communication as my new hobby, my new sport. So it's time to start training!
I'm going to make, edit and upload to YouTube little five minute videos on different sciencey topics that I find interesting and/or cool. I will do my best to be clear, precise and understandable (as well as interesting, I hope!) but above all I will, each month, try and improve upon the previous month's video. It's going to be hard, I'm pretty nervous about it already and I've only just decided to do it... but it's going to happen. And it's going to be good for me.
I've actually wanted to do this for a while, I have a chalk board and everything, but since last week I've given a presentation to academics and presented a poster to the public and in both cases the thing that has held me back the most has been myself, the human component, and it's been a wake up call that I need to start being more aggressive and proactive in order to achieve the changes I want in myself. It's time for me to get up and sort things out. It's time to do some science videos! (Rather than just flooding YouTube with my pretty sunset time lapses)
So in preparation for that, here's my YouTube channel! Why not look at pretty timelapses while you wait for me to make the first video?