In April 2010, Kristin Alford of Bridge8 noticed the #IAS2010 hashtag appearing in her list of science communicators. Following the rabbit hole she found I’m a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here and contacted Gallmanor to see if anything similar was happening around the world. During the June 2010 event, she was intrigued to follow the excitement and competition amongst the scientists she was following on Twitter, and by July she had met with Shane McCracken and Sophia Collins from Gallomanor (plus some of the participating scientists!) to start to see how an Australian event might take place.
With assistance from the National Enabling Technologies Stratey (NETS-PACE) at the Deprtment of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, and the Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology in South Australia, a three-zone pilot took place with Australian scientists and schools in June 2011.
In 2012, we ran two events, one in May and one in August-September. These events received further support from The University of Queensland and The University of Adelaide who both sponsored scientists in the May event.
I’m a Scientist is based on I’m a Councillor, Get me out of Here! (www.bigvote.org.uk), a youth engagement event for local councils which Gallomanor run for Local Democracy Week. I’m a Councillor has been running for five years and in that time 15,000 young people have talked to hundreds of councillors around the UK and asked them tens of thousands of questions.
The first pilot for an I’m a Scientist event was run in 2008, funded by a People Award from the Wellcome Trust and proved to be very successful. The project was then awarded a Society Award in 2009 to run the event at a much bigger scale. I’m a Scientist now runs twice a year, with a smaller event in March leading up to the main June event, and is joined by other events including I”m an Engineer, Get me out of Here!, In the Zone and Decipher My Data!