No Lab Coat Required!

‘I love science but I really don’t like the lab’- this is a common reason why people who enjoy science at A-level don’t end up choosing it as a degree or career. Although you can’t escape the lab if you choose a science degree, there are plenty of jobs which science graduates can do that don’t involve lab work at all! Whether it’s speaking to up-and-coming researchers from around the world to write science articles or curating science exhibitions at top museums, there are plenty of areas open to science graduates. We spoke to a few people who have taken their science degree and used it to enter exciting career paths.

 

Zoe Cormier is head of communications at Guerrilla Science, who organise science engagement activities aimed at young adults, for example, they often set up interactive science events at festivals. She has a degree in Zoology and then went on to work as a science journalist before founding Guerrilla Science.
1. What do you do?
As head of communications I am in charge of the Guerrilla Science website, social media and helping with ideas for the YouTube channel. I also host events at music festivals such as Glastonbury. I often joke that my summer work is a bit like being a roadie
2. What are the pros and cons of your job?
It’s NEVER boring. We work with about 150 different artists, musicians, carpenters, actors, and of course scientists. The job can be very tiring however, especially during the festival season!
3. What has been your job highlight so far?
I guess one of the creations I am most proud of is our event at the 2013 Glastonbury festival where festival goers had to complete a maze to test if they were smarter than a lab rat.
4. What type of person would be good for the job?
A background in science, a passionate interest in arts and a curious nature!
Check out the Guerrilla Science website here
Peter Morris is the manager of research at the Science Museum and has worked as Senior Curator in Experimental and Industrial Chemistry there. He has a degree in Chemistry and a PhD in the history of chemistry
1. What do you do?
I look after our chemistry collections and find new things to add to it. I also write papers or books on the history of chemistry, and sometimes work on developing new exhibitions or galleries.
2. What are the pros and cons of your job?
The pros include presenting chemistry to a large audience (we have three million visitors a year) and I can do research and writing on the history of chemistry, which is my passion. The con for me is the paperwork!
3. What has been the highlight so far of your job?
I helped to produce a website on the history of science, technology and medicine called Ingenious, which was an exciting project with the ability to reach people all over the world!
4. What type of person would be good for the job?
You have to be able to look at science in new ways and tackle areas apart from your own scientific discipline. It helps if you are interested in history and enjoy writing. An ability to be able to present your subject to the general public is important as well

  
Martyn Colbeck started out as a biological science graduate and is now a BAFTA award winning BBC cameraman who has worked on documentaries such as Frozen Planet. He has been described by Sir David Attenborough as ‘a great cameraman’.
1. What do you do?
I am a wildlife film-maker and I have spent most of my career working for the BBC. I have filmed documentaries such as Planet Earth and The Life of Mammals. Recently I have also worked on wildlife movies for the cinema and I am currently filming the next Disney Nature movie in Sri Lanka.
2. What are the pros and cons of your job?
I get to travel a lot and see extraordinary places all over the world. Filming could be anywhere; the tropical rain forests of the Congo, the savannahs of East Africa or Antarctica. Time away from home is probably the most difficult thing to deal with. However, if you are happy to live with that, and enjoy travel and adventure then you would enjoy this job.
3. What has been your job highlight so far?
I think perhaps being lucky enough to document the lives of a family of African elephants in Amboseli National Park in Kenya. I made several films about the life of an elephant called Echo over the course of 19 years until she died. No-one had ever done this before and it was a great privilege to be able to do it.
4. What type of person would be good for the job?
Anyone doing this job needs to be passionate about travel, photography, the environment and animals. It helps if you have a biological qualification, I have a Biological Sciences degree, but this is not essential.

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