What a wonderful surprise! I am absolutely delighted to have won the competition and would like to say a huge thank you to all those who were involved. It is clear from the smooth running and welcoming feel of the chats that the organisers, moderators and teachers put a lot of time and effort into the event. It has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience and I am so pleased to have been given the chance to spread the word about air pollution toxicity.
Students, what can I say? You have been fantastic! I am so impressed with the way you approach science, wondering how things work, why we do things in certain ways and most importantly, how we use our results. You have made me see questions and opportunity in the most commonplace of concepts and encouraged me to explore areas of science that I don’t usually think about. I will take these lessons with me as I continue my path as a scientist and hopefully pass them on to my own students one day.
To my fellow MRC scientists and support staff, thank you for teaching me about your work and for sharing your experiences of research. It is really comforting to know that we are not alone in the challenges that we face and that there are so many people out there who do what they do for love of their subject. It has been great getting to know you and I wish you the best of luck with your projects and outreach activities.
Finally, I would like to say thank you to my colleagues at the MRC Toxicology Unit. You have been incredibly supportive, cheering me on from the word go and putting up with me yelling ‘can’t talk, got to chat!’ three times a day! I hope that I can repay the kindness when you take on your own challenges.
I will really miss the MRC Festival Zone chats but can’t wait to get stuck in with planning my Air Quality Treasure Hunt. I hope everyone has enjoyed the event as much as I have and that some of you youngsters feel inspired to don the white coat and goggles. Speaking of which, I should probably get back to the lab now… those lungs don’t pollute themselves!