Tonight at 6pm I will be a panelist in a discussion on science role models and inspiring the next generation of scientists. In true-to-science form, the event, hosted by the UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), will feature an evidence-based approach: introspection about how we ourselves got interested in science will be our platform for exploring how to inspire others.
The event takes place at the British Science Festival in Guildford, Surrey, but the other panelists and I will be participating via Second Life from a BIS office in Westminster (and you can too--sign up here).
I've dabbled in Second Life before: I gave a presentation on Darwin and the Voyage of the Beagle for the launch of Nature's Second Life exhibit Notes from the Voyage (screen capture at right shows a virtual HMS Beagle and my avatar, K2 Snowpaw), and I used Second Life to attend Science Online London 2009 when I was stuck at home with the 'flu. So I'm looking forward to having another go.
I'm also looking forward to seeing my co-panelist and fellow UK Science Tweetup regular the great Dr. Andrew Maynard of Twitter, Mashable and 2020Science fame.
Andrew is way ahead of me in terms of online preparation and build-up; he's written a fantastic blog post in advance of the event called "Hooked on science: ten things that inspired me to become a scientist" ...so fantastic in fact that I've nominated it for inclusison in Open Laboratory 2009.
Though I haven't written down my own thoughts (yet!), I have at least marshalled them and am looking forward to sharing them with the audiences in Guildford and Second Life and exploring how we can better enthuse people about science!