Women of Science: Emma Nichols

Materials scientist and science communicator, Rhys Archer founded Women of Science “to create a new way that we talk about science, and the lives of scientists – in particular female scientists. Rather than hearing about the skills needed, the work hours, and the qualifications – I wanted to share the interests, the ups, the downs of people in the scientific community. I wanted to start sharing stories about real people in science, not just fact files.”

This week, the Women of Science campaign (made possible by funds won by Rhys in I’m an Engineer Get Me Out of Here) features Dr Emma Nichols, Ogden Science Officer for the School of Physics and Astronomy at The University of Manchester. Emma shares her experiences of board games, science outreach, and diversity in science, and gives us an insight into who inspired her…

“My job is about working with local schools and linking researchers with the public and young people,” explains Emma.  “Sometimes I’m delivering workshops myself and go out into schools, or schools bring a class in to us and do something here because then they get to see the University as well. Sometimes I arrange for our staff and students to go and deliver workshops…

“I’m proud when I can see something that I’ve worked on having a tangible effect on someone’s life, I’ve had some really nice emails from teachers or parents or kids that have been on workshops – I mean, it seems like such a minor thing to run a workshop, but to actually influence someone’s life, in a way, is really great and really positive. I’m only here because I had a really good physics teacher in secondary school who really encouraged me a lot,” says Emma. “I probably wouldn’t have considered applying for physics at university, even though it was my best subject, just because I had no concept of what it was like as a job or what it could lead to…”

Visit Women in Science to read the full profile on Emma and to learn more about the campaign and the lives of other female scientists.