How Helium Zone winner Dustin Welbourne spent his money

Dustin Welbourne was our Helium Zone winner in May 2012. A biogeographer, owner of the Canberra Reptile Sanctuary, and science communicator, Dustin planned to spend his $1,000 prize money on making a series of science-themed online videos.

Dustin: I am very interested in the use of video as a way to talk about science. So, when I began my time on I’m a Scientist I had a couple of ideas for what I would do with the money if I won, one of them being to make a series of short science videos. After the competition, I started to write scripts and stories.

As I have made a number of short videos in the past, one of them published by the Huffington Post (an American newspaper), I understood what I was getting myself in for.

Then I had the opportunity to make a longer video. By teaming up with a couple of friends from university, and using the prize money to hire much needed extra equipment, I decided to make a 25-minute documentary, “Controversy in Science” . The video looks at why there are controversies in science, and tells one persons story about her decision in getting the flu vaccination.

Doing this project was great fun and I have learnt a lot, for example, making a 25-minute video is far more work than making five 5-minute videos. But this doesn’t mean I have given up on the original idea. I still have scripts, and a better understanding of how to put videos together, so hopefully I will get to those in due time.

Overall, the whole I’m a Scientist competition was fantastic. It is certainly worth the time of any scientist/technologist to take part. As a scientist, there is great value in engaging with today’s students. It allows us, the scientist, a chance to see what science interests young people, what their concerns are, and how they are thinking and dealing with a technological future. Communicating with a student today, could make the difference in their attitude of science and scientists tomorrow.

Thanks again to Dustin for engaging even more people in science. Our next I’m a Scientist event will take place from 26th August – 6th September.

Posted on July 17, 2013 moddervise in News | Leave a comment

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