Kathleen Patrick

Scientist and Professional Scientists Australia Committee Member

Tell us about your work and why your science is important to you/the community/the world.

I currently have two jobs, one teaching community development at Murdoch Uni and the other being a data manager/technical writer for an electron microscopy business. I initially started my science adventure in chemical engineering, ending up in geology but then retrained later in science communication. The work I do now is somewhat eclectic. But whether I'm teaching the basics of urban farming, writing about microscopy specimen mounts or wrangling large data sets to be categorised and displayed, it is interesting just how compatible and valuable my science training and experience is. I aim to help people to better engage in and understand the world around them, I think these are vital skills.

What would you say to a woman or girl with a developing passion for science?

I come across many people, young and old, that have a passion for science. I always like to ask about them about their science, 'Tell me about your science, why is it important and what do you find most interesting about it?'. Engaging with passionate science people is a great way to learn something new, it helps them with communicating their science and normalises their interest in it. I also love to build networks and connect useful people in science so these conversations help me to do this and hopefully drive innovative science.

What would you say to a young scientist thinking about joining their union?

Collaboration makes for better science as it does for making safer, healthier and productive workplaces. Being an active Union member gives you the opportunity to be involved in fighting for the things that matter to you, your colleagues and your industry. Change for the better only happens when we work together to make it happen.

What are your dreams for your profession and how does being a union member help us get there?

I would love to see our society value science when times are good and not just in the middle of national catastrophes. By doing so, we might even be able to avoid the catastrophe by being proactive instead of reactive societies. For me, being an active member of the Union for scientists is an important step in uniting scientists and advocating for the things that can ultimately improve the health and well-being of our whole country.

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