Experts take part

The CHRISTMAS LECTURES will be aired over the festive period and throughout January 2018, viewers and schools will use to put their questions to experts. The online CHRISTMAS LECTURES Zone will be promoted to the public and school students through I’m a Scientist, and the Royal Institution.

Apply now ❯

A researcher answers a question in the 2016 CHRISTMAS LECTURES Zone on Energy

Why take part as an expert?

The online forum allows a deeper discussion around the CHRISTMAS LECTURES and its theme, The language of life.

Experts (that’s you) see what questions and concerns the public have, and the public have the opportunity to explore the topics raised in much greater depth. Students in school classes also get to connect with the experts in live chats, see them as real, relatable people, and maybe picture themselves doing the same thing when they grow up.

For the people answering questions, it’s also a great way to practice communication skills. The format helps you hone your messages and work out the best ways to explain your work to a wide audience, but in a flexible format designed to work around your availability.

And if that’s not enough, then whisper it, but we hear taking part is actually pretty enjoyable:

“Love, love, loving taking part in @imascientist, so much fun, very engaging” – Scientist, November 2017

How does it work?

Each week there’ll be a different mix of experts live on the site to answer questions on the theme of the Lectures, communication, and the issue in the schools debate kit: privacy.

The experts taking part in one week of last year’s Zone, including host Saiful Islam

Experts log in to interact online in two ways;

Experts can answer the ASK questions whenever and wherever suits them. This will be using a simple web interface, much like sending an email. The live chat will be moderated, and works in a similar way to instant messaging. Each chat runs for 30 minutes and is scheduled during school hours.

NOTE: Before their chat, school classes will be doing debate lessons on the subject of privacy in smartphones. You should expect some questions on this subject, and it’s fine to answer these from a personal viewpoint if it’s not your area of expertise or research- hearing what you think on this topic as a ‘normal’ person is very valuable for the students.


If you take part you’ll be ‘live’ on the site for one week (or two weeks if you’ve got the time). You’ll answer questions and take part in live chats with the schools. We expect the time commitment will be around 45 minutes to an hour a day, and won’t take up more than two hours a day. Remember, it all happens online so you can answer questions whenever and wherever you happen to be.

How can I take part?

Fill in the short application form here:

Apply now ❯

or email Antony at with the following info:

  • where you work
  • which weeks you are available to answer questions between 8th January to 2nd February, and any notes about your availability (e.g. ‘I can do one week of these three possible weeks’)
  • a couple of sentences summarising your work and how it relates to the CHRISTMAS LECTURES Zone themes of communication or privacy

We’ll start confirming the people taking part in December. and if you’re taking part, you will be given at least one of the weeks you’re available for. Every expert will have an online profile (with picture and short bio) to fill in before the New Year.

If you want to know more, please give us a call on 01225 326 892.