Hasti Hayati shares her experience of making science accessible for all
By Hasti Hayati, PhD Candidate and Postgraduate Student Engagement Officer
Soapbox Science is a novel public outreach platform for promoting women in STEMM. Soapbox Science events transform public areas into an arena for public learning and scientific debate. They follow the format of London Hyde Park’s Speaker’s Corner that is historically an arena for public debate. After shortlisting 72 applicants from all around Australia, 12 women researchers were selected to give a talk in the first Soapbox Science Sydney.
UTS had secured four spots in the Soapbox Science Sydney 2019. A/prof Arti Agrawal, Dr Sarah Bajan, Ms Hasti Hayati, and Dr Emma Camp. Based on the conducted survey, over 600 people attend the event, despite the freezing cold weather and strong winds, and the feedback from the speakers & attendees was so positive! The event happened on 10th of Aug at circular Quay in front of outside the Museum of Contemporary Art.
All the twelve speakers including our amazing volunteers and event organizers were so excited for the event which is clear from our smiley faces:
As a final semester PhD candidate, the Soapbox Science was an amazing experience for me. I have taken part in different science communication activities during my PhD journey. However, the challenge, and at the same time fun of the Soapbox Science was its audience. You know that you can't use too many jargon and technical words in your talk, yet you also shouldn’t make it sound so trivial. How we can engage the audience? Why not singing a song or simply pretending to be an electron spinning around some protons!
As a postgraduate student engagement officer at WiEIT, I am responsible for engaging our HDR and postgraduate students in our activities and helping them to be heard and acknowledged. Soapbox Science and any type of science communication events are an absolute necessity for amplifying women's voices.
Soapbox science to me is a win-win game. You show the world how amazing your career and your research is, and you inspire fresh minds to break the stereotypes of women’s role in the society to start “thinking” that they can pursue STEMM in future.
Because of Soapbox Science, I got to know eleven amazing, unique individuals whom we now refer to as the 'soapbox sisters'. The individuals, representing all women in STEMM, whom are sharing the same passion: empowering women.
I shared my own story (which started from my childhood and my love for animal movements), the reasons I chose mechanical engineering as my bachelor’s degree, and how I combined my childhood passion with the science of mechanics to do research in the field of “biomechanics”. I mentioned how I could’ve been affected by the trend of the time that engineering is not for women, that it’s very tough, hard and not the best choice for a girl. I mentioned the encouragement I got from my family as well as the way they raised me up to embrace the challenges which enabled me to come on board; and that’s a mindset we are looking for!
Finally, the feeling is so rewarding at the end and you get to be part of an amazing community which shares the same values as you do. Women who embrace the challenge, women who are strong and are ready to make a world a better place for everyone, simply by being on board and asking more women to join them! Please be alert for the next year nomination and apply. There is still a long… way to go