The rules say that it has to go to a science communication project and my current plan is to use it to make videos about what doing science is really like and what scientists are really like. I would hope that those films would help to de-mystify science for many young people.
That’s one of the things that I hope this event will achieve as well. I just a fairly ordinary person, you know (despite what my kids say…).
The prize is £500 which seems like a lot of money but doing science is very expensive. These days, if I get a grant or an award to hire a scientist to work on one of my projects for 3 years, that costs more than half a million quid…!
Hi blondie, if I won the prize money, my plan is to use it to show school students more directly how brain imaging works, by developing a simple experiment and then scanning their teacher in the MRI scanner at the University of York (if they’re willing, of course). You can read more about the idea on my profile. I haven’t quite thought this through yet, so I’d be interested in your ideas.
Basically, we get people (i.e., the teacher) to perform different tasks (it might be looking at pictures of different things, for example) while they are in the scanner. We “take a picture” of the brain every three seconds, which shows which parts of the brain are active when they are doing the task. By comparing the patterns of activity we see for different tasks, we can find out which parts of the brain are involved in each task.