A year ago today I announced the start of “In a Science World” and published my very first blog post! Where has the last year gone?! It’s been an incredible journey and I didn’t quite expect it to take me places it has done!
I started my blog as a way to figure out whether science communication was a career route I’d like to pursue. Let’s just say I haven’t had the most seamless PhD journey and about half way through I came to the realisation that a life in academia is not for me. With plenty of thinking time and self-reflection, I realised I LOVE the science and I love teaching others about it, but I do not enjoy the process of making the science! Weird right?!
Writing my blog has opened up many opportunities that I never imagined a year ago. It’s led me to being publicist for Pint of Science, completing a science communication internship, jumping out of my comfort zone and performing my very first science comedy set and being very kindly awarded the Versatile Blogger Award…. How crazy?!
When I set out on this journey I didn’t know whether people would care about what I wrote or would be interested in what I have to say but I want to say a massive thank you to YOU!! Thank you for reading this post, for taking time out of your day to read the words I write and for following my blog (if you don’t you totally should!). Thank you for following my science journey through Instagram, expressing your support through ‘likes’ and comments and sending words of encouragement. Thank you for listening to what I have to say. I whole-heartedly appreciate all of your support.
Thank you to YOU!
The last year has taught me a lot. Here’s what I’ve learnt over the past year (yes you know I love a bit of self-reflection) and the other awesome blogs I value, which if you also don’t follow already you really should!….
What my first year of blogging has taught me:
- People do actually want to hear what I have to say and value it – that makes my heart feel warm and fuzzy.
- 1000+ word blog posts are not ideal. I’ve cut them down – minus a few!
- Posting once a week is the most I can commit to whilst doing a PhD. That’s a Thursday by the way.
- There is an amazing and very supportive online scientific community – especially on Instagram.
- Instagram is such a powerful tool – I can reach out to so many people.
- As an aspiring science communicator never shy away from ‘scary’ opportunities. They will only enhance you and lead to more awesomeness!
- Twitter is hard for me to stay on top of – I need to work on my Twitter presence!
- I learn so much from other scientists on social media.
- Social media analytics are interesting in order to see what posts generate more engagement BUT I cba to analyse them for hours. I want to carry on posting what comes naturally to me and what I genuinely want to say. A scientist ignoring stats?!
- For someone who wants to always improve, there is not enough scicomm training in the UK. But… 2018 is coming and I’m involved in some cool stuff to tackle this 😉
- You can (and should) do other ‘science-y’ things around your PhD. Maximise those opportunities! You’ll never know where they may take you.
- Many PhD students don’t have an easy ride. You are NEVER alone and there are always people who can relate. My PhD SOS is my most popular feature… didn’t actually expect that.
- It is SO hard for me to say no to exciting opportunities. Anything seems more fun than writing this thesis.
- Hmm… I seem to have learnt a lot!
I started this blog and my scicomm journey just as I was heading into my final year of PhD, so you could say it wasn’t an ideal time! The thesis will be handed in soon so let’s see where 2018 takes me and my blog. I love this science communication world I’ve discovered.
On a final note my most popular blog posts are “The PhD Slump” and “PhD self-care tips“. Remember: A PhD is tough and you are not alone. There is a wealth of support out there for you and seeking help is not a weakness. Do what is right by you, do the science, be awesome and thrive! Don’t just try to survive. ♥♥
Finally, time to share the science love! Here are some other blogs to go and nose at! Just click on the pictures!
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