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Brian Macken, Science Communicator
Brian Macken is working on the Science Bus. In secondary school he studied Physics, Applied Maths, Business, German, Geography, English, Irish and Maths. He then went on to study Theoretical Physics and Computer Science in NUI Maynooth. Following that he did a one-year Masters in Science Communication in Dublin City University. Beyond that, all the training for working on the science bus has been on the job training - you learn by doing.
In secondary school I studied physics, and I did applied maths after school hours as an extra subject. This was perfect for me, as I was good at math subjects, but rubbish at languages, so the applied maths compensated for the bad grades I got in Irish and German.
The best advice I can give about choosing subjects is to pick the ones that you find most interesting. If you do that, and then do likewise in college, you're far more likely to end up in a subject-area that you are actually interested in
In secondary school I studied Physics, Applied Maths, Business, German, Geography, English, Irish and Maths. I then went on to study Theoretical Physics and Computer Science in NUI Maynooth.
Then off I went to Dublin City University to do a one-year Masters in Science Communication. Beyond that, all the training for working on the science bus has been on the job training - you learn by doing!
Well, for my job all of the scientific training I did was useful, because in order to explain science you have to understand it to a reasonable level. The Masters in Science Communication was incredibly valuable, as it gave me a place where I could see and talk to people who really know what they're doing, and to make mistakes in a safe environment.
I have become one of the "Science Ambassadors" for Discover Science and Engineering. This just involves doing random pieces of media - interviews on the radio, television, for websites etc etc - whenever they need someone who is good at science and can communicate it well.
As part of that, I received training on how to do media interviews and be the one who actually leads the interviewer, not the other way round. It was a lot of fun, and quite valuable.