ARMI’s Master’s student Rishika Turaga is the newest recruit of the Institute’s Social Media Ambassador Program. As an Ambassador, Rishika will be mentored in using social media professionally and in science communications.
“I think connectivity and sharing knowledge in science and social media’s role are critical,” commented Rishika. “If you want to talk to researchers, realistically…how many people can you talk to physically? The number of people you can approach through social media is, on any day, higher than that through physical contact. Social media expands the field for connection and communication.”
Even as a digital native and capable social media user herself, Rishika has only started to understand how impactful social media in the field can be. “It’s only after I’ve seen people talk on Twitter…somebody saying that ‘I need this mice line’ and then another scientist from another continent replying online ’Yes, I do. And I can help you with it.’” As a social media ambassador, Rishika is keen to explore this side of social media further.
Rishika is also inspired by the feelings of solidarity social media can conjure amongst the student cohort. She explains, “People are doing their PhDs or Master’s who just post about ‘day in their life.’ And whenever they honestly talk about experiments not working or just having a bad day with their studies, I feel like there are people who I can relate to. It happens to everyone. We’re all in this together.”
This is particularly helpful for Rishika, having moved from India to Australia to pursue a Master’s at ARMI with the McGlinn Group. “There are days where I’m like…Nothing is working. How will I figure it out? But that’s just one experiment…and then my supervisor walks up to me and tells me that I did a good job. That changes the whole thing.”
However, it’ll take more than just one failed experiment to dim Rishika’s passion for science. Throughout high school and her undergraduate studies, Rishika knew science excited her. She says, “This is what I like, this is what I can imagine myself doing in the future, and I’m somebody who likes variety and exploration. In the field I am in now, every day is different.”