Caroline Faulder spoke to Canberra Skeptics on March 22 about her thesis topic, ‘The Importance of Role Models for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM) at ANU’
Is this what you wanted to do when you were a kid? What first got you interested in your field?
Not really. When I started uni, I really had no idea what I wanted to do. I did the first year Science Communication unit at ANU, and became interested in it from there.
What was your first ‘A-ha!’ or ‘Woah’ moment?
When I was at school, I used to be involved in a science club. Probably when our teacher let us replicate the mentos and coke experiments from the Mythbusters, that was pretty cool!
What is the one thing from your field do you wish people just ‘got’?
Probably that how you communicate is as important (or sometimes even more important) than what you communicate.
Who’s the most interesting person you’ve learnt about in the course of your work?
Too many! When I was researching role models, I found it so interesting to see the different journeys and issues women in STEM had to face. Some of the most inspirational anecdotes I heard were from women I had never heard of before.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing people in your field?
Trying to get (real) scientists to take our field seriously. For many ‘pure’ scientists, the idea that they have to change or adapt what they say to fit their audience is a bit alien. Science communicators are always trying to qualify why their work is important and how it can help ‘pure’ scientists.
What books/journals etc. do you suggest people read to learn more?
The Conversation is pretty good!