Meet our Tribe – Rebecca Dewey @rebecca_penguin @UoNresearch @UoNPressOffice @hearingnihr

We believe our Customers aka Our Tribe are the most awesome people out there changing the world through their passions of Science, Technology, Maths or Engineering.

This week’s #ChangeTheFace #FollowFriday shares a glimpse into the life of Rebecca Dewey.

Follow Rebecca at:

Twitter: @rebecca_penguin

Here is her story  in her own words and why she is proud to be a Scientist, rocking our Grey Scientist Jumper with Pink writing as her personal favourite design.


Degree: Masters in physics (MPhys) and PhD
What subjects did you need to do at school for that? 
At GCSE, IT and maths were the most useful, besides science.
Then I took AS levels in physics, chemistry, maths and further maths. For A level, I dropped chemistry as our school only let you do 3 subjects.


What do you currently do as a job?

I’m a research fellow in brain imaging.

I use MRI scanners to answer questions about how the brain works. Typically I take on a project that lasts 3 years.

The project I’m on at the moment is looking at the way noise exposure affects how our brains process sounds. This means that I first needed to design an experiment that I think will answer my question.

Having done that, I am now carrying out my study – I need to find 90 people, all with a very specific set of hearing abilities, and covering a wide range of noise exposures. I test their hearing and record their brain activity in response to some sounds.

When I’ve got all 90 people, I will need to analyse the data and try to draw some conclusions about whether it’s answered my question or not – whether noise exposure does affect how our brains work.

Who or what inspired you to become a Scientist?

I was really lucky that as a kid, I watched things like the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures on television and was inspired by people like Nancy Rothwell and Susan Greenfield.

I could relate to what they were telling me. I am super nosey and wanted to be the first person to find out new science – like scientific gossip!

These women made me realise that a girl could expect to achieve that, and how fun it could be travelling around the world being an action scientist!

What excites you about your passion right now?
I want to make everyone realise that science isn’t just for academics in universities.
Science is really useful and could help you improve your quality of life, beat your illness, climb a mountain, invent a cool gadget, see the world and live forever.
Science really is for everyone, honest! Nothing should stop you from finding your area of interest and immersing yourself in it.
What has been your greatest achievement to date scientifically?
An MRI scanner can take all different kinds of pictures depending on what you tell it to measure.
There are probably millions of different measurements you can use it to make. I love it when I manage to get the MRI scanner to take exactly the picture I want it to: sometimes I need a tool I can use to compare different people’s brains, or watch the effect of a drug on a person’s brain or whatever.
Getting that really perfect kind of picture with the right contrast and signal is so exciting.
Who are  you most inspired by today?

I’m so inspired by the new generation of scientists – they’ve got all their excitement to come.

They really are a blank slate and can be anything they want to be. I’m also really inspired by people who do science in the face of adversity.

People in the developing world, and women in countries where it’s a taboo to be an academic or a scientist as well as being female. I can’t imagine what that’s like and I’m so proud of you.

What do you see yourself doing in 10yrs time?

I don’t have a plan, I’m afraid. I hope that doesn’t sound disorganised, but in my experience the best career steps are often unplanned.

I want to be an opportunist and embrace whatever life throws at me.

I definitely see myself in science. I want to be inspired by and inspiring women and girls everywhere to do the things they find the most rewarding.

I want to unleash the inner scientist in everyone.

If you could could sum up being a Scientist in one sentence, what would it be?

I want to know all the things!


Thanks Rebecca for your answers!  We want to know all things too!

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