Centre for Inflammation Research

MRC's zone for "I'm a Scientist: Get me out of here!" is a success

June 2018: Prof Damian Mole and PhD student Eoghan Forde tackled an array of questions during this year's "I'm a Scientist: Get me out of here!" online event.

"I'm a Scientist: Get me out of here!" is an online event where school students meet and interact with scientists. It’s an X Factor-style competition between scientists, where students are the judges.

Students challenge the scientists over fast-paced online text-based live chats, and ask the scientists anything they want. At the end of the event, they vote for their favourite scientist to win a prize of £500 to further their public engagement or science communication work with the public.

Developed as part of the annual MRC Festival of Medical Research, the MRC Festival Zone for 2018 saw 1400 school students from across the UK log in to connect with 25 MRC scientists and support staff during the four week competition held in June 2018.

Each MRC participant had a profile page to share information about their job and any hobbies with students, along with details of any other MRC Festival activities they were part of.

From CIR, Prof Damian Mole and PhD student Eoghan Forde took part and were presented with an array of questions, such as:

  • Is science related to drama?
  • How does an organ transplant work?
  • How do you use maths to help doctors find out about things in the body?
  • Why do we yawn?
Pie chat of different question types from I'm a Scientist 2018

More than 740 questions were put forward in the "Ask Forum", where the floor was open for pupils to present questions (over 50% of which were directly related to science and medical research topics) to any or all of the MRC participants:

Top key words

There were also 76 "Live Chats" consisting of 26,651 messages exchanged between school classes and MRC researchers. Three of these were evening chats, which the pupils could access from home and involve their families/guardians with the engagement:

A word cloud of top key words used in I'm a Scientist 2018

Well done to both Prof Mole and Eoghan for the part they played in this extensive piece of engagement!



I'm a Scientist: Get me out of here (external website)

IAS - MRC Festival Zone (external website)

IAS – MRC Festival Zone report (external website)

IAS - Damian Mole's profile (external website)

IAS - Eoghan Forde's profile (external website)