08 Apr 2020



Inspired by Chris Parameter (RAL Space) winning "I'm an Engineer, get me out of here!" in November, Ed Banks (PPD, Boubly) signed up for the March 2020 "I'm a Scientist, get me out of here!" competition.​




We recently caught up with Ed to learn more about his experience:

"I’m a Scientist was a fantastic event to take part in; a whirlwind of chaotic and interesting questions", stated Ed, still buzzing from the experience.

"Over the course of the two weeks, I took part in around two dozen live chats - in each one there would be around 20 schoolkids asking questions all at once! Whilst the theme of the ‘zone’ I was participating in had the theme of Particles, the questions could be anything from particle physics to astrophysics to video games; and, unsurprisingly, coronavirus was dominating people’s thoughts this time around. It really was a great way to engage with students from all over the country and talk about the work that we’re all doing, and I genuinely had a lot of fun doing it. 

"During the second week, each day the students would be voting for which scientist would be ‘eliminated’; based on who had been the most engaging or informative." This was a nerve-wracking time but Ed maintained his cool and hoped he'd done enough to stay in the competition. One by one the scientists were expelled but Ed prevailed... ​ 

"Amazingly, I made the final day and ultimately won the whole competition!" he said, delighted to have survived elimination and won £500 prize money.

"I’d very ​​​​​​much recommend the experience to anyone considering it as this is a fantastic opportunity to engage, meet new people, and take part in some outreach while having fun doing it. I’d definitely encourage people to take part if they have the time!" 

Ed plans to use his winnings to "kickstart" the CORUS project (Cosmic Ray detectors in UK Schools) again. "This would involve getting some new Raspberry pis to use with some muon detectors that we have. With some new computers and adaptors, we could get this project up and running again; and set up some detectors in local schools. Through CORUS we can put particle physics in the hands of students, and make a ​​​​subject that can often feel very abstract a bit more accessible." 

What a fabulous idea! Well done Ed on winning the competition and good luck with re-launching CORUS.