Centre for Inflammation Research

I'm a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here: MRC Festival Zone 2019

June 2019: Centre for Inflammation Research staff take part in Wellcome and MRC online student engagement program with schools across the UK

Matthew Burgess (Lung Infection and Injury Researcher) and Shonna Johnston (Flow Cytometry Facility Manager) took part in the MRC Festival Zone during June’s I’m a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here.

Over the four weeks, they were able to join online chats with, and answer submitted questions from, the 1,100 school students and their teachers who had registered for the event.

The pre-booked online chats were great fun, answering questions from "Why does cancer cause death?" to "What is your favourite fruit?".

At only 30 minutes each, some were frantic chats trying to keep pace with multiple threads, and some were slower-paced but more thought-provoking and covered a range of topics relating to research areas, lab working environments, careers advice to general life questions. 

There were even a few discussions between the researchers too.

We really would encourage all scientists, both academics and technicians, to give it a go as it was a fun experience and helps hone your public engagement skills within short sessions with limited word counts to convey your research interests.


“I enjoyed it so much, I’ve applied to enter the career zone, a longer-term commitment connecting students interested in STEM careers to Scientists.”


“The student-led approach of I'm A Scientist has led to some great discussions with enthusiastic pupils. The live chats really tested my ability to communicate in a clear and concise manner, and occasionally my memory of school biology.”

More information about I’m a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here and future events