Each of our ‘Inspiring Minds’ films tells the true, personal story of a researcher with an inspiring mind – who they are, their passion for what they do and their drive to change the world. If you haven’t seen them yet, all the films are available to view here.
We asked Dr. Mark Richards a few behind the scenes questions about his film.
Q. Could you tell us about your current research and career?
A. I have a BSc in Chemistry (Manchester), and a PhD in Atmospheric Physics (Imperial College) and have a track record of cutting across traditional academic boundaries to explore multidisciplinary research, education and outreach. I have also spent several years in industry across different sectors, including instrumentation, environmental science, ITC, and Finance. As a Post-Doctoral Researcher, I led a Technology Transfer program and subsequently co-founded Duvas Technologies - an Imperial College spin-out company, specializing in wireless environmental sensor networks, where I served as Business Development Director for over 2 years. I am currently a Senior Teaching Fellow and Head of Outreach in the Physics Department at Imperial College.
Q. What made you want to share your story with us?
A. I see sharing my story as an opportunity to dispel certain myths around preconceived ideas of who researchers are. People enter a scientific research career from all walks of life, and on a broader level, in an increasingly globalized world, the solutions to complex problems often require a team effort from a variety of diverse inputs in terms of background, discipline and approach. It is my hope that stories like these will ensure that the next generation of aspiring researchers are not constrained by such preconceptions.
Q. What’s one thing you’d like people to do after hearing your story?
A. To coin a musical phrase: ‘you don’t get harmony when everybody sings the same note’
Recognize that we’re all unique and often have something unique to bring to any situation. With this in mind, if you are considering a research career and maybe thinking it might not be for you [because no one who does it seems to be like you] – think again because often it is this difference that is needed to propel research forward.
Q. Could you tell us about your experience filming with us?
A. I really enjoyed the experience, although I probably underestimated the amount of time (and planning) it would take. All involved were very friendly and encouraging.
Q. What were your first impressions of the film?
A. It’s fantastic! Well done to all of the team, I think it really encapsulates my story extremely well.
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