Scientists not the Science

Award-winning podcast exploring the culture of being a scientist

Photograph of podcast interview in the field
Interviewing the Institute of Physics outreach team at The Cally Festival in 2015.

I am fascinated by the way science operates. The nature, topics and goals of research are intrinsically linked to the scientists carrying out the work. Since 2015, I have been investigating these connections through my podcast Scientists not the Science.

What does it mean to be a scientist? Scientists not the Science is a podcast which interviews the people responsible for defining science as we know it: the students, staff, technicians, journal editors, journalists, engagement professionals and science comedians.1

The show features a mixture of biographical interviews and episodes around pertinent themes, such as imposter syndrome, mental health, and understanding the attitudes of young people to studying science. The goal: unpacking how science in inextricably linked to those conducting it and how research culture impacts scientists (and indirectly the science).

Visit the podcast website

British podcast awards logo and screenshot of a journal article
Scientists not the Science was awarded Best Interview Podcast at the British Podcast Awards 2017, and was the basis for an invited essay in Nature Materials.

Now featuring over 70 episodes, the podcast won the Best Interview Podcast at the British Podcast Awards 2017, as selected by a panel of media industry experts. Since then, I have delivered multiple invited workshops, talks and engagement activities on podcasting.

The podcast allows me to explore not just the individual stories of scientists, but also reach those working to improve how science is done. This includes talking to the researchers and journalists who tackle long-standing systemic issues within science.

Insight from the podcast is incorporated into my everyday practice. For example, I deliver seminars to early career researchers exploring the challenges of imposter syndrome, I explore how new working methods can be tuned to improve the lab experience, and I ensure my outreach work with young people is designed to be inclusive and adopts best practices according to the latest research eduational research.

Read more about what I have learnt from the podcast

  1. Higgins SG, Understanding Scientists is Key for Science, 2019, Nature Materials, DOI: 10.1038/s41563-019-0432-2 ↩︎