Meet our Scientists

Name: Jeremy LeLean

Place of work: Soil Security Programme

Location: University of Reading

Job role: Communications Officer

Did you know that there are more living things in a teaspoon of soil than there are human beings on the planet?

  • What do you do in your Job?

    My job on the Soil Security Programme is to help make sure that the excellent research being done gets heard about. Essentially this means making complex scientific ideas accessible whether this is by means of writing, telling a story in pictures or making a video, then sharing this in the best possible way.

  • What is your favourite top fact about your field of expertise. e.g. Did you know…..?

    Did you know that there are more living things in a teaspoon of soil than there are human beings on the planet?

  • If you had to summarise the impact your job has on everyday life – what would you say in two sentences?

    There’s nothing like seeing an ‘I get it moment’ on someone’s face and it’s my job to make sure that the right people ’get it’. These can be government officials, agricultural companies or individual farmers to promote best practice or effect a change in policy.

  • What’s the best thing about your job?

    Working with people who are passionate about their work, which has a real world effect and helping to enable this.

    I especially enjoy mentoring early career researchers allowing them to develop their understanding of how best to communicate their research.

  • What do you wish you had known before starting in this career?

    Not all careers in science look alike, there’s varied roles within the sector: communications, knowledge exchange and translation, compliance and regulation. Just because you work in science doesn’t mean you have to be a scientist!

  • What did you study at school?

    It was pretty much science all the way for me, all three as options at GCSE (along with French, geography and, oddly, Latin) with biology, chemistry and maths at A-level.

    But don’t let what you study at school limit your career choices as lot of skills are transferrable. Statistics are statistics, whether they are from a website or a field trial!

  • What inspired you into a career in science /engineering?

    Curiosity and a love of learning – I always wanted to know a little bit more than I was taught in lessons! I was aided and abetted in this by two teachers in particular – chemistry and biology so that’s the route I went down.

  • What five top tips would you have for people wanting a job like yours?

    1. Be more than just a… scientists need a broad skill set to be successful.

    2. Be aware of emerging trends in science and technology generally and how they’ll effect your field.

    3. Be creative and inventive about how you talk/write about science.

    4. Be open to new learning – keep your skill set fresh and up to date.

    5. Be yourself!