Reflecting on 365 days of science

Screenshot 2019-01-13 21.30.33.png

If you didn’t already know, in 2018 I posted a picture a day of something sciencey or science related! This came after in 2016 I read a paper a day (366papers) and got a really good response from the scientists I interacted with about it. The thing that was missing in the 366 papers was engagement from other people outside of science, which is something I think is really important. I am completing my PhD in Australia and my scholarship is funded by the government. The money put into science largely comes from people paying taxes or donating their money and I believe that the public therefore has an interest in what we actually do with this.

The aim of my 365 days of science wasn’t exactly to explain what we do with every dollar so much as just engage people and show them how cool science can be. Remind people that science isn’t done in dark dungeons by old white men, but in cool buildings by a diverse group of people. So a shared a picture every day, with varying levels of information in the captions. Here are just a few examples!

Extracting DNA and explaining what we use DNA for in the lab and how we make it in bacteria.

photo jan 13, 9 13 29 pm

Cell lines, why we use them, what they are and where they come from.

photo jan 13, 9 13 43 pm

Protein structures! This is what I work on the most and I think a lot of people don’t quite understand how we solve structures, so I try to explain this.

photo jan 13, 9 13 50 pm

Various assays. How we can look at how proteins behave etc.

photo jan 13, 9 14 37 pm

And just pictures of something I thought was cool that day like my cell lines!

photo jan 13, 9 14 43 pm

At the beginning of 2018 I was excited to start this and see where it went. I enjoyed interacting with people who worked on similar things as well as people who had questions about what I was doing just because they were interested and curious. I never thought that after 365 days I would have 1000 followers let alone over 17000. Obviously the response was overwhelmingly positive and more than I ever could have imaged. I won’t lie, sometimes there were days where I wasn’t at work and I didn’t want to think about the lab and so I didn’t want to post anything. On these days I did flashbacks to undergrad or shared other people’s work and that in itself was also really nice. I loved this experience and I have learned so much from the community of science communicators on Instagram.

This year in 2019 I’m not posting a picture a day (hence the name change to sci.with.rhi) but I will still be posting regularly when I can. After a year of amazing support I am excited to bring in the knowledge and expertise of others and share some more stories about science. I want to really try and explain complex topics in a way that is digestible for everybody no matter what your background. This includes talking about lab techniques, scientific breakthroughs, topics that are misunderstood often and everything in between.

All in all I am so glad to have started on this journey and I am looking forward to where things will go from here. Thank you all so much for your support!

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