Big Shoes to Fill

03 Jun 2019

When I joined the ECS committee three years ago, I never envisaged that I would be leading it. I always admired the previous chairs; they are fun, fair and friendly people who want the best for the ECS community and the larger SfAM community.

I’m a little different from previous ECS chairs. Unlike many of the ECS community, the furthest I got in microbiology was a degree, after which, I jumped ship to a science communication MSc. I’m not a scientist in the traditional sense of the word, but in my job I champion science every day and push my understanding of different topics as far as possible so I can communicate them effectively. I want to try and bring some of my science communication knowledge to the ECS to help our members engage with the community, share their ideas and be proud of what they achieve.

Of course, I won’t be doing everything on my own; I‘m lucky that the ECS committee is a formidable team. Jobs are shared around and everyone is credited for the work they do. I’ve always felt very at home with the staff and committee members at SfAM and even at the beginning as an ordinary student member I was struck by how friendly everyone is and how much everyone enjoys themselves!

SfAM is an organisation that has helped me improve; I’ve always shied away from putting myself out there and going for leadership in the past, but over the past three years I’ve felt myself grow in confidence. Without them, I know that I wouldn’t have had the same belief in myself and my knowledge.

I know that science can be tough; academia is such that you are constantly fighting for recognition of your achievements on a topic that you are really passionate about. Even in industry, the focus can just be solely on the science, what you produce and not you as a person. What I love about ECS symposiums are how supportive they are; speakers are given a chance to put a face to their achievements and the audience appreciates the hours that you put into your work to produce a result. I want to extend that support so that it is available all the time and not just at SfAM events and create a community that talks to one another and provides support for issues other than experiments going wrong.

I hope I can lead the committee to implement these new ideas, but of course there would be no ECS without members like you to shape our events.