Dane Lyddiard - Parting Words

Posted by on 14 June 2015 | Comments

Well, today is my last day at the helm of the ASM’s blog and Twitter (@AUSSOCMIC) accounts. It has been a great learning experience for me, and at times quite entertaining. I hope that I managed to entertain and inform you along the way, while growing our social media presence (assuming they aren’t ALL spambots that ‘followed’ the Twitter account!). On reflection there were a few key points I wanted to share:

Passion: The two women I interviewed for our blog showed the importance of being passionate about your field. If you have a passion, you will work hard and are more likely to succeed. If not, maybe look elsewhere for where you have that passion.

Diverse: Microbiology is an amazingly broad field: human/animal/plant pathology, research, food sciences, soils, organism interactions, bioinformatics, biochemistry, genetics, drug development....the list goes on. There really is a niche for everyone interested!

Regional Careers: Living regionally is not necessarily an impediment to a career in microbiology. Both women I interviewed for the blog work in regional areas (Wollongong/Nowra and Armidale) and have rewarding careers (also, I am doing my PhD in a regional area). The networks may be harder to come by, but I’ve learned, that’s what societies like the ASM are about. Also, Twitter is a great place to meet researchers with similar interests. I have made a number of fantastic and functional connections thanks to Twitter.

Listen: I was truly inspired by sitting down with two established microbiologists. You don’t have to have a formal interview arranged to organise a time and chat with someone in microbiology. If you are a student, seek someone out and find out about what ‘makes them tick’. I have a new found energy for my research thanks to chatting with Anda and Lily (see previous blog posts).

#Distractinglysexy: Despite the speech given by Tim Hunt (the Nobel Prize Laureate who recently made some rather unfortunate comments about women in the lab), neither of the women I spoke with for our blog fell in love with me during the interviews, nor did they burst into tears. I think his comments reiterate the importance of the issues facing Women in STEM (and are a reminder to think before you speak or tweet!). (If you are on Twitter, check out #distractinglysexy for some fantastic reactions from women working in labs).

So I’ll bid farewell and place you in the most capable hands of Sam Manna, our next Communication Ambassador.

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