I think we all doubt ourselves and our abilities fairly often.
- “I’m not good enough”
- “What if they don’t like me?”
- “What if I fail?”
Months ago, I spoke to a dozen or so senior high school students, all in the STEM track, if I remember correctly. I had been invited by my former colleagues at Unilab Foundation to talk about science communication to the students in their internship program. I called it “The Whos, Whys and Hows of Science Comms,” and I talked about science comms in the Philippines. I talked about efforts by the media, by the government, and by individual journalists. And I also talked about my own forays into the field, my own struggles, and my modest successes. The students seemed to enjoy my talk, and they had some questions afterwards. I didn’t think much of it.
A few weeks later, the comms officer, Kyllie, sent me an excerpt of the feedback from the kids’ evaluation of the session. One intern said:
My favorite session is the third session, regarding science communication. I knew quite a bit already about science communication, but I learned a lot of new things. Not just conceptually, but also plenty of insights. “Tell a story. Make it come alive. Make it fascinating and fun.” (Regina Rosero, 2020). This is my main takeaway and it really struck me because it made my conception of science communication sort of change. It helped me understand and enjoy communication even more. I realized that science communication is not limited to the formal presentation then the Q&A. Instead, it encompassed a whole larger portion, even including tweets.
This session also generated our first post-session output. Writing the output was a delight and challenge at the same time. A challenge because it has been so long since I last wrote an article so I was not confident in doing it. However, it was a nice change from writing formal papers all the time. I was able to mix in science facts into a fun and less formal writing. I was also able to channel my creativity out. And I really really loved the speaker! She was very engaging, fun, and energetic. She had my attention the whole time. Aside from this, she was able to incorporate many examples helping me visualize what she is saying better.
Listening to Ma’am Regina Layug-Rosero talk about Science Communication definitely sparked my interest more in Science. She inspired me to continue being an advocate of science and further share information with my audience even if it’s only a small scale. I hope to hear from her more in upcoming sessions and I will definitely stay tuned in for her works and articles.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t really make any assumptions about my impact on other people’s lives, so this is a lovely surprise, and a good reminder. It’s nice to know that I’m “engaging, fun and energetic.” I’m thrilled that something I did inspired someone. It’s rather flattering to know I’m quotable! I love the fact that, in my little way, I opened their minds and broadened their horizons.
Yes, I’m absolutely writing this because it makes me feel better about my skills and my work. But really, I think the more important realization is that you never know how you’re going to touch someone’s life, how you’re going to influence and affect them, how, simply by speaking your truth and sharing your experiences enthusiastically, you can encourage others to pursue their passions and creativity and try new things.