Could I actually be a full time science communicator?

‘What do you want to do after your PhD?’

Those words that fill a final year PhD student with dread, panic and worry!

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When I’ve been asked this question I have always said that I will probably stay in research. Why? Because I love it! I love being able to make world first discoveries no matter how niche my research is or how frustrating the science world can get.

But is this a safe option?

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I also love this new world that I’ve jumped into – the science communication world. I started this blog and now trying out social media more and other methods like Youtube or zines to share my research, the life of a scientist and science generally.

I’ve always thought about this as a hobby, or something that might help me grow in my research career. But this weekend I’ve actually thought could this be a full time career for me?

I never considered that it could be a career for me because a) I didn’t know what life as a science communicator involved and b) I didn’t know if I had the skills or ability to do it. But this weekend I got a huge confidence boost. One of my new scicomm friends Heidi included me in her latest blog post – 6 science communicators that I’m learning from – alongisde some other sci-commers who are absolutely slaying what they do! I was so overwhelmed to be included amongst these other names. This coupled with me passing the 3000 follower mark on Instagram – (yes! 3000! How crazy!? Thanks to each and every one of you who wants to share my science adventures) – yesterday had me feeling the happiest I had in a long while!

But it got me thinking. Am I actually a good science communicator? Is what I’m sharing in blogs and social media posts actually being well received? I love sharing science and really don’t want to give it up! So, could I actually do it full time? Do I even want to do it full time?

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I am heading into that final year of my PhD where I ultimately will have to make that decision: what am I going to do once I’ve finished and I actually have to leave education! Do I stay in research and continue communicating my research and lab life, or do I leave the bench and move into science communication? Do I take the safe option or more of a risk?

I guess only I can answer that question. At the moment, I still have no idea, but this weekend has given me the confidence to actually properly consider a career in science communication.

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I am still learning every day as a science communicator and a scientist. I’m getting more and more opportunities as a science communicator and a scientist. So, I guess I will have to see what I can learn and achieve in this next year before making my decision as there are still so many questions flying around in my head:

What would I actually do?

Is it even a possibility or me?

Will I miss research?

Will I regret not doing it?

Would that mean I have failed as a scientist?

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Has anyone else had this dilemma? Has anyone got any advice for switching from the lab bench to the scicomm stage? Or has anyone got some tips on how I can try and find out if a career in science communication is for me before I cross that bridge?

For now, I will continue to love the research that I’m doing and I will continue to share my research and life as a scientist with everyone – because I love doing both! But I’m inspired!

Science love.

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Keep up to date on my life as a scientist and  my science communication efforts with Soph talks Science on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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5 thoughts on “Could I actually be a full time science communicator?

  1. Hi! Congrats on your success!! 🙂 Since recently I consider Sci Comm carrier as well. I think it is a good option if for example lab work used to overwhelm you or you feel too much responsibility for lab work or just simply do not like non-fixed ours in laboratory carrier. Yeah but have the same dilemma as you. I am looking forward to seeing what’s going to be your final decision 🙂 Best luck! Agata

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  2. Ahh I feel the same! You will be an awesome science communicator though – you’re a great inspiration! Well done on your 3K followers, that’s awesome and well deserved 🙂

    Like

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