Being in front of a small audience and in the absolutely beautiful surroundings of Burlington House (the library made the bookworm in me very, very happy) gave the event a nice, intimate feel and added to the personal atmosphere. There was also tremendous support from public engagement executive Susan Vickers, who organised the event, and the other speakers, which helped me relax and enjoy the event so much more. Through the event I met some amazing people and I cannot recommend taking part enough, so much so that I will be speaking at another Chemistry Stories event in the Playfair Library at Old College, University of Edinburgh, later this year.
How did you come to be involved with The Story Collider?
The Story Collider team and the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute put out a call for speakers, which was forwarded on to me by Susan, and I was super excited at the prospect of telling another story. I felt like starting with the smaller Royal Society of Chemistry event prepared me for taking on the bigger Story Collider event and it took me no time at all to send an email with my proposed story. I knew this was an amazing opportunity to show a human behind the science and as I received the email from Susan on Time to Talk day I immediately knew what my story was going to be about.
What it was like telling a story for The Story Collider?
Before the event, I worked on my story with the hugely supportive Erin Barker from The Story Collider team, who is an amazing storyteller. She helped me craft the story, pick the poignant and effective moments and maximise the impact, especially as I had an important message to convey in my story. The story I told for The Story Collider was much more personal than the one I told for the Royal Society of Chemistry, which made it so much harder. Plus, it was in front of a bigger audience and was being recorded for possible use in The Story Collider podcast so I was incredibly nervous! I remember pacing back and forth backstage before I got up to speak but all the other speakers and presenters were again incredibly supportive and gave me the boost I needed.
Once I got behind that microphone and started talking, all those nerves seemed to melt away and I was more concerned with telling my story, as I know how important it was to tell it. I needed people to hear the message I was trying to get across. The adrenaline rush was incredible and the response was completely overwhelming – I had a huge smile on my face and tears in my eyes when I finished. I hope my story will make a difference, even if only to one person.
If you want to hear more people share their science stories with The Story Collider, check out the podcast on the website or on iTunes.
If you are interested in attending the Chemistry Stories event run by the RSC Edinburgh Local Section this September, please register your interest.