We asked Paul to tell us about winning I’m a Scientist, and here is what he said…
When I signed up for this I evidently had no idea what I was getting myself in for. The last two weeks have been absolutely mental, and I have all of you students to thank for that! The sheer number and diverse range of questions that was asked is mind boggling, and I am glad to have had a part in engaging with your curiosity. Never before have I checked my work emails so frequently, waiting for the ‘New questions to answer!’ email to appear and watching the seconds count down until the live chats begin. Some say that I secretly live in hope that this is all a cruel joke and the event isn’t actually over…
Uhh, anyway. Massive thanks to all of you who voted for me, and crowned me as the King of Science (that’s the official title now, right?). I have actually sat at my keyboard for far too long trying to put in to words how I feel right now and what it means to win this competition, but suffice to say that it I am just incredibly dumbstruck at the moment, and my only hope is that this event has had some kind of impact on you, and to have been a part of that is truly amazing.
I particularly enjoyed all of your sci-fi related questions, talking about time travel, aliens, Death Stars and superpowers is always good fun and I love to look at the science behind it. Questions like that are one of the main reasons I got interested in science, so it’s great to see school kids asking similar kinds of questions I was at that age! I also liked some of the more obscure questions as well, like ‘Why do tapeworms show on 100 year old x-rays but not new ones?’ which had us all baffled until the student unearthed a 100 year old paper on the subject, and also I am most grateful for the question ‘Are there any unusual ways of treatments used to cure people?’ which gave me the perfect opportunity to explain poo transplants (my new favourite thing to talk about).
Thanks to the other scientists in the zone too, I learned a lot from reading all of your answers to the questions, and I also learned that I am a tad more competitive than I thought I was (looking at you, Greg :P). And to all the mods too, for keeping the event running and especially for the quality banter in the staffroom (you know who you are!).
And that’s it! Thanks again to everyone involved who made this happen, the students, the teachers, the other scientists, the mod team, IPEM – it’s been fun!
P.S Big shout out to Somervale School, who despite all their technical difficulties were in the chat with me right at the end when I was crowned King of Science! (I really could get used to this title). Good luck with your Sport Relief – you guys rock!