Very humbled and extremely happy to have won I'm a Scientist 2016 for the Astatine Zone... I'm a scientist is a Wellcome Trust supported venture that gets school kids chatting with scientists.
This is not an actual winners speech... but I was asked to write a few words about the experience. The text is available on the website, but also below:
Hi everyone! I was extremely happy to be the winner of the Astatine Zone for I’m A Scientist, Get me out of here! It was a pretty manic few weeks but the spectrum and quality of the questions was really something special: I was so impressed that so many young scientists were asking questions from consciousness and AI… to robotics, the universe and beyond! I had to really dig deep to answer some of them, and I wish I had the opportunity to be involved with a platform like this when I was younger! Thank you again to all the students who asked questions, and also a big thank you to Andres, Sam, Ellie & Catherine for helping me to learn about stuff too!
Whilst I loved every single question that I had to deal with, I was seriously impressed by how contemporary the questions were. I was consistently asked about artificial intelligence, robotics and the challenge of getting a robot to become aware of itself! These are big questions that are super relevant right now! I was even more impressed that students thought about the ethical implications of creating sentient artificial life systems! So hopefully the future is in good hands…!
Now that my time answering questions is up (and I have no idea how I answered them all!) I will be thinking about how to spread the word of neuroscience, psychology, and statistics past this superb forum for interaction between scientists and students. I have the idea to start a video blog to provide resources to explain scientific concepts for anyone who wants to listen! I will probably have a monthly ‘Open Challenge’ for students (or anyone for that matter!) to ask me to explain something regarding neuroscience and psychology! I am passionate about talking to anyone who wants to listen about science. I really want to challenge the idea that a lot of science is ‘beyond’ people with no scientific training. I read a lot of scientific work that is filled with over-complications and jargon: I want to simplify the stuff I know and chat about it with you guys!
Finally, I want to say thank you again too all the staff, mods, students and teachers that were involved these past few weeks. It’s been an absolute pleasure and I hope to hear some more questions from students again in the future! It’s been such a cool experience, and I hope everyone took away as much from this as I did!
Keep asking questions!
So for quite a long time, I have been thinking that the time perception community really needs a conference to itself. Usually, 'time' gets lumped on at the end of other conferences and that's the end of that.
Now, the wonderful Argiro Vatakis and Sundeep Teki have put together a new society for promoting multidiscplinary research on timing and time perception: The Timing Research Forum. This is a massive step in the right direction, and follows on from the wonderful work Argie did with the 'TIMELY' initiative. TIMELY ran for a few years, and allowed researchers to come together and talk about time. I personally benefitted from some great workshops by some top guys in the field. So I am super happy this has been translated to a real society. Membership is free so register if interested!
So I thought it was probably a good idea to start a blog about what I do... and what others are doing. I intend to broadly comment on papers that have come out recently on the subject of time perception - but I will probably add in one or two things that are more disparate.
I encourage discussion of mine and others work in an environment that is open. I am a signatory of the open science initiative (https://opennessinitiative.org) and really want to have cool chats with people about what we do.
Hope you all have a great day - and look forward to chatting some more.