One of this year's Life Sciences graduates, Caitlin MacInnes, has won the 2019 Royal Society for Biology in Scotland Outreach Champion competition. Caitlin undertook a Science Communication Honours project under the supervision of Dr. Ros Langston at the School of Medicine.
Her project, ‘Awareness of epilepsy and the effects of cannabinoids as a therapy’ contributed towards her Biomedical Sciences with neuroscience degree. For the public engagement element of her project, Caitlin devised an activity around how messages are sent around the body, what happens when this goes wrong and how medicines can help with this.
Caitlin’s work on her honours project has been also been recognised through her avenues. She was awarded the Best Competitive Oral Talk Prize for the Biomedical stream at the Honours Project symposium in December 2018 and presented her project with a poster at the British Neuroscience Association Festival of Neuroscience Conference in Dublin in April.
Her Outreach Champion award is also in recognition of her role in the University of Dundee Life Sciences Society where Caitlin was Academic Events organizer during the academic year 2018/19. In this role she maintained the relationship between the society and the School and organized events for members such as a career talks lecture series, a careers fayre and trips around the local area to places with a biology connection.
Caitlin said, "I’m so thrilled to have won this award. I’ve been inspired by the fantastic outreach and engagement work taking place at the University of Dundee and had many great opportunities to be involved. I’ve learned valuable skills that helped me to succeed in my degree and that I’ll be able to take forward in my career. I hope in future to continue sharing science with the public and advocating the importance in doing so within the field."
Dr Langston said, "Caitlin has really found her niche in communicating science in an engaging and understandable way. It has been a privilege and pleasure to see her develop her skills over the last year and she is thoroughly deserving of this award. I will be following her career with great interest and will certainly be asking for her help with my own science education and communication projects in the future!"
Her Outreach Champion 2019 award will be presented on 20th November at Dynamic Earth as part of the Royal Society of Chemistry Science and the Parliament event.
Caitlin will be continuing in outreach with her recent appointment to Glasgow Science Centre as a Science Communicator which she started in August.