• Question: what would you do with the prize money? why would you like to win?

    Asked by clezza to Meeks, Pete, Stephen, Steve, Tom on 15 Jun 2010 in Categories: . This question was also asked by liam123, paaigefirmy, jeessiicaa, wlea, elizabethjanee, ndubz, ndubzxx, salvatore, gibbo12, giuola, callumreynoldss.
    • Photo: Stephen Curry

      Stephen Curry answered on 13 Jun 2010:

      My plan at the moment would be to use the money to make some more films to show what really goes on inside science and what science is really like. I suspect many people have the wrong idea about science (e.g. you have to be a genius or an egg-head etc.) and I would like to set the record straight. The only qualification you need is to be endlessly inquisitive. Your curiosity will do the rest!

      In truth, I hadn’t realised there was any prize money when I signed up for this, and although it’s a competition (and I can’t help being a little bit competitive), winning isn’t really the important bit for me. I would certainly prefer *not* to be the first to be evicted from the group but the main attraction is to be able to talk to you guys and hopefully give some interesting answers to your questions.

      My guess it that the others in this zone would say the same.

    • Photo: Marieke Navin

      Marieke Navin answered on 14 Jun 2010:

      Well I’m really competitive! Always have been. Don’t want all these boys to beat me! I plan on making a device to help explain what cosmic rays are and how we detect them – the detector is actually a jacket that you wear and will light up when you get hit by a cosmic ray. I reckon you’d be so surprised to see how many times you were getting hit by cosmic rays from outer space!

    • Photo: Tom Hartley

      Tom Hartley answered on 14 Jun 2010:

      You can find the answer to this question on my profile page. I’ll copy it here, because I thought quite carefully about it, and I think I’ve come up with a cracking idea. Bear in mind that we have to spend the money on communication or engagement – activities like I’m A Scientist, that help other people understand what we’re doing and why it might be useful, interesting and important. This is great because it’s a very important part of being a scientist. Here’s what I wrote on my profile page – let me know what you think.

      “This would be an opportunity for a school science club or class (maybe even your class) to spend the day at the University of York, learning about neuroimaging and planning an experiment. It would culminate in a chance to scan the teacher as she or he does the task they’ve designed. In order to make this happen we’d have to get ethical approval, which is needed for all experiments involving human participants to ensure no-one is harmed or upset. Normally this is only given once the experiment is finalized so it might not be possible to design and run the experiment on the same day, but maybe some of the planning could be done in advance. And of course, we couldn’t force the teacher to be scanned, so I would volunteer to be a substitute if they were unwilling or unable to be scanned. In any event, we’d analyze the data, and send pictures back to the school. I am not sure how far £500 would go, but perhaps we could afford to video the day, interviewing the students (they will probably be able to explain things in a more down to earth way than us) and then put the result on YouTube. I this would be a great way to help young people from around the world learn about fMRI.”

    • Photo: Steve Roser

      Steve Roser answered on 15 Jun 2010:

      Since 2000 I’ve been involved in helping to run general science lectures here at the University where we invite people well known in their field to talk to schools and the general public. We’ve had loads of different things, from brains to formula 1, from BBC nature films to Lord Winston, and Nobel prize winners. What i have always found most inspiring is listening to – and meeting great enthusiasts – its probably why i became a scientist. This all needs cash – to pay for schools with less money to come in, to publicise and pay (small) expenses to the speakers. This is what i hope to lavish the dosh on.