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Lauren Laing

University of Exeter postgraduate research student wins “I’m a scientist, Get me out of here” contest

A University of Exeter scientist has been voted by children as the winner of a challenging “X Factor” style event.

Lauren Laing, a postgraduate research student, has taken part in ‘I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here’, a free event where pupils interact with real scientists through fast-paced, online livechats and by sending them questions through a website.

More than 4,100 pupils took part in the two week event, held to get more young people enthusiastic about science by giving them the opportunity to learn more about research. They had the opportunity to learn more about what academic work involves.

They selected their five favourite scientists and the others were “evicted” over the two week period.

Lauren, from the department of Biosciences, was crowned the winner of the toxicology category after impressing students with her answers on tough questions about her research. In two weeks she received more than 170 questions submitted by students on a broad range of topics including black holes, dreaming, autism in fish and climate change.

For the scientists involved, it was a unique opportunity to develop communication skills with a non-scientific audience, gain a fresh perspective on their research and remember why they find science so fascinating.

Lauren, who has won £500 to organize further outreach and public engagement events, said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to all those who supported me and voted. It was fantastic chatting to the students and answering some very thought-provoking but exciting questions.

“I have learnt a lot from these great young scientists. It is really remarkable to see so many young people getting enthusiastic about science, and I am really looking forward to organizing further outreach events of my own in the next few months.”

Researchers can apply now to be part of the June I'm a Scientist event by Monday 2nd of May at:

Date: 11 April 2016

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