Get me out of here

Ella Rhodes reports on a BPS-sponsored event.

This winter saw another round of I’m a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here, which brings together academics in themed zones to answer questions posed by schoolchildren. The British Psychological Society sponsored two zones on the themes of childhood and memory.

Across two weeks scientists were available for online chats and were voted out one by one by the students in Big Brother-style evictions – however, evicted academics can still take part in the discussion. Dr Abbie Jordan from the University of Bath was eventually crowned winner of the Childhood zone and Dr Alex Reid from the University of York won the Memory zone.

In a post about her experience Jordan said she was astounded at the range and quality of questions asked in the Childhood zone. ‘From our thoughts about the nature/nurture debate, the relationship between social media and wellbeing to whether mermaids are real. I was blown away by the detailed questions about my work and the impact that it will have on the lives of young people and their families.’

Reid gave some examples of the brilliant questions he was asked: ‘What would happen if we cured death? What is the meaning of life? What experiences or events have changed my life? What changes do I want to see in the world? In some instances I had to take a long walk before responding to mull things over.’

The two psychologists each won £500 to use on public engagement activities of their own. Jordan said she will use her prize to fund an exhibit on the stories children and families tell about pain at a science centre for children, and Reid said he plans to spend his winnings on equipment to help his work promoting science and psychology In local schools. 

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