A Week of Firsts: Lecture in Malta and TEDx Bath

Posted in: Events, Public engagement, Seminars & Conferences

It's been a busy week for 2nd year CSCT student Matthew Camilleri! Matt was invited to give a lecture about his work on "Photo Flow Organo Catalysis for Sustainable Redox Chemistry" at the University of Malta, where he did his undergraduate degree. After a flying visit to Malta he was back in Bath to take part in a TEDx Open Mic night. Here's Matt's thoughts after a busy week and two very different events! 

MattCThere are times where everything seems to fall into place, where your career path in front of youopens up and welcomes you in. This was one of those, and I am pretty much convinced that my future does not lie in a research lab but rather in public speaking, in speaking about science, a subject I have grown to love and adore.

My first talk this week was an hour long seminar/lecture about my research at my old university in Malta. It was a familiar atmosphere, but it posed a completely new challenge: no-one knew what I was working on, so I had no-one to fall back on if things went wrong.

After 45 minutes of me talking it was question time, and silence. Nobody wanted to ask anything and I got worried; was I really that bad that nobody understood a thing?

But after a few seconds, that felt like an eternity, the first hand was raised, and then another, and another, and questions started flowing through, asking me about the small details, engaging with me about my research, and I was loving it!

Not just that, when question time was over, three of my old lecturers stayed behind to talk about what I was doing in further detail, pitching in their ideas, and in one instance even discussing a project he was working on. These were the people I was petrified of talking to only a few years ago, when I was sitting on a university bench reading for my degree.

On Thursday, I had a totally different task; for the first time ever I gave a talk to people who had no science background, and because of that I had no idea what topic I should discuss. This was also my first ever TEDx talk, and even if this was a simple Bath event, I wanted to give a good impression of myself, and who knows, maybe I could get the chance to go to bigger TEDx events.

The talk was fun, and I was over the moon that changing from my usual style (using props), to simply standing there and talking, did not  make me look like a complete fool. I actually believe that it went down rather well with the audience, even when considering that the first mention of the word science normally tends to put people to sleep.

All in all, this was a brilliant week, trying things that I never thought I would be doing, even up to a few months ago, and with every talk I give, my confidence increases, and soon, I hope that I will be calling the stage my home, rather than the lab, and who knows, maybe I can even inspire people to choose science 🙂

Posted in: Events, Public engagement, Seminars & Conferences


  • (we won't publish this)

Write a response