13 March 2018
Written by Luke Wilkinson, Cohort 4.
Between 9am of Tuesday 6th March and 9am Wednesday 7th March, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) ran its annual research poster Twitter competition. The idea behind the competition is for researchers to promote their own research area to not only the research community, but to a global audience through Twitter. Entrants had to post their academic research poster on Twitter, and use one of ten hashtags which best describes their area of research within chemistry along with #RSCPoster. Twitter users could then tweet entrants questions about their research. The RSC scientific committee kept an eye on posters which stimulated wide interest and featured innovative research; however prizes were given based on content & accessibility, design and interaction with other Twitter users.
I was one of six entrants from Loughborough University with my research poster; “Is My Circuit Board Wet?”. The competition was a global event, drawing interest from the research community in multiple countries. In the afternoon of the competition, a Twitter account @ErrantScience, well known for making light hearted cartoon abstracts of RSC Poster competition entrants reproduced my poster, putting a comedic spin on the content. This was one of only six posters in the whole competition to receive the Errant Science treatment, which significantly boosted interest in my research. On Friday 9th March, it was announced I had won 1st prize in the materials category, winning £100 prize money and a certificate.
The competition reached a global audience of over 1.9 million people, so to win was a massive achievement. As yet, I am undecided how I will spend the winnings.
Even after the competition had closed, all of Loughborough’s entrants were still answering questions and receiving support from the scientific community which shows that STEM research at Loughborough is thriving.