March’s SciCommChall is brought to us by Alice! She writes:

You know what I love about being a Science Communicator and presenting my work? It’s a time and place I know where I can be my own enthusiastic self and show all my love for my research. I love to talk about the reasons for what I do. People pick up my enthusiasm and they connect to my reasons and all of a sudden they understand why I do what I do. As Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. once said, “It‘s faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living.”

Thinking about what makes you so enthusiastic about your work is the first step towards personal branding.

Lots of people have prejudices against the concept of personal branding. We associate stars or companies with the concept and think that we, as scientists, employees or communicators, don’t need to think about our personal brand.

But really a personal brand is more a statement of who you are and what you bring to the table. Knowing your personal branding statement will help you stay committed and motivated. It’s something unique for yourself and therefore needs to be developed, maintained, and protected.

So the march SciCommChallenge is all about discovering your own personal brand. Try this exercise to find your personal branding statement:

  1. Write down three words you’d use to describe yourself. Take your time and be honest.
  2. Find someone you trust (your partner or a friend) and ask them to describe you in three words. Compare the lists and see what they have in common.
  3. List your core competencies. What are your unique skills and talents that are valuable to others? What accomplishments and experiences define you? Include awards, degrees, and promotions.
  4. List your goals. What do you want to accomplish this year, this decade?
  5. Write out your (core) values.
  6. Create your own personal branding statement. This is a two-sentence description of who you are and what you can contribute. Don’t rush it, composing this statement is not an easy thing to do. Once you’re satisfied, stick it somewhere you’ll see it every day. It’s good affirmation.

Kayla “A Wild Naturalist”‘s Bag of Science

Kayla, aka “a wild naturalist” (see her super cool Insta @the.wild.naturalist!) shares her Bag of Science:

“My way late entry for @scicommchall ‘s January #scicommchall “What’s in your #bagofscience ?” ⁣

In my interpretive hiking pack, I *try* to always carry: ⁣

– Water ⁣
– Interpretive materials ⁣
– Handbook of the Canadian Rockies ( ) ⁣
– Personal notebook ⁣
– Ski strap(s) ⛓⁣
– Snacks!! ⁣
– Compressed puffy ⁣
– Crystal screen and magnifying loupe ⁣
– Avaluator card ❄️ ⁣
– Sunscreen and SPF lip balm ⁣
– Rite in the Rain & pencil ⁣
– Headlamp ⁣
– Sunnies ⁣
– Hand and toe warmers ⁣
– Portable battery charger ⁣
– Multitool ⁣
– Suunto watch ⏰⁣
– First aid kit ⁣
– Mitts & liners ⁣
– A warm toque ⁣

My pack changes and evolves depending on the theme of the hike and the season. For example, in the summer I don’t need the Avaluator, but I’ll also throw a couple of mountain goat legs in there. ⁣

PS – It took me like, 45 minutes to arrange this to be aesthetic. #noragrets

Science and glitter, and her Bag of Science

Hannah, aka “Science and Glitter”, shows us her Bag of Science! What does a clinical scientist need every day? Check it out below or on her Instagram @Science_and_Glitter!

Hannah writes:


I traded in my lab bench for an open work space and my pipettes for a work phone. The contents of my bag has changed a lot recently. As a clinical scientist, I sit on the 6th floor of building 40 and we have an open work space. That means each morning we pick a different open desk in the workspace. So, I have to bring all my essentials with me wherever I sit. I’ve got headphones and chargers for on the go phone calls, lotion, chapstick, and cold medicine to survive winter, and a granola bar in case I get hangry. …
#clinicalscience #chronsandcolitis#chronsdisease #ulcerativecolitis#inflammatoryboweldisease #research#science

Now this is a super cool Bag of Science, Kim!

For our “Bag of Science” #SciCommChall, Kim shows us what is essential in life: Conductivity cells and pom-poms. Glad I challenged her to join us!

Kim writes:

“From @Meermini this month’s #SciCommChall THE BAG OF SCIENCE The contents indicate I am a doomsday prepper who will survive with my parenting and science supplies.

1. Small Backpack

2. Pom-pom my son made

3. Laptop with science stickers

4. Trusty coffee mug (1/4)

5. Combo battery pack/flashlight

6. Coin purse with pesos and euros

7. Sunscreen

8. Lip Butter

9. Business cards which always mysteriously disappear when someone asks me for one

10. Music devices 11. Feminine protection kit: Pads, tampons, cough drop and mini-flame thrower


12. Combination sunscreen/lip balm

13. Handy dandy Rope.

14. Health kit: Bandaids, Theraflu and one wetwipe

15. Ibuprofen and Dramamine

16. Mini headlamp


17. Bag o’ CTD sensors. Three conductivity cells, 2 thermistors, and a strain gauge pressure sensor

18. Contact info in case my beloved bag gets lost

19. Lint-free wipes because you never know when optics will have a smear

20. Pens and Sharpies of various sizes


Alice and her bag of science in January

Alice (check out her Insta at @scied_alice) and her #bagofscience

What‘s in your (science) bag? It’s the January #scicommchall
I must admit, my bag is not very science-y. I usually carry coffee and water around with me (stay hydrated friends!) as well as some tools for quick notes and feel-good goodies like hand cream.
Are there any science things in your bag that you carry around because they’re so handy?

One, two, three bags full of science with Sara – look at this:

Sara  (check out her Insta at @frauwissenschaft!) is telling us about her #bagofscience

Die @scicommchall für Januar lautet: “What’s in your science bag.” Puh, da wird einem erstmal klar, dass ich immer zwei Taschen mit mir herum trage und manchmal sogar eine dritte Tasche. Also los geht’s!

Tasche Nr. 1
Businessplaner 2020 für alle Termine, Aufgaben, Projektplanungen und den ganz normalen Wahnsinn gleich mit. Notizbuch, für alles unkoordinierte, was noch geplant werden muss.
Dokumentenmappe für alle Zettel, Textmarker, sowie 2 Bücher, die ich aktuell zum Paper Schreiben benötige.
KiSOC-Sammelmappe für andere Dokumente.
Kopfhörer fürs Arbeiten und auch um sich manchmal konzentriert im Großraumbüro zum Arbeiten zurück ziehen zu können.
Festplatte für die Backups (wichtig!), @drsamson , mein Datenschutzbeauftragter , erinnert mich regelmäßig daran!
Sowie die flic Buttons für meine Erhebung plus Ersatzbatterien, Stifte, Anspitzer und einen USB-Stick.

Tasche Nr. 2
Mein Arbeits-Laptop mit Stromkabel, Stiften und Post-its.

Tasche Nr. 3
Meine eigene VR-Brille mit meinem 360° Film für Wissenschaftskommunikation. Sowie Zubehör: Controller, USB Kabel zum Datenüberspielen und Aufladen, Brillenträgerzubehör, Batterien für den Controller, Reinigungstuch, Bedienungsanleitung.