Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour


Actual Living Technician

31 May 2017

Here at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre we are celebrating the exciting and integral roles of technicians with #ActualLivingTechnician!

Back in February, an academic took to Twitter to exclaim how most Americans could not name a living scientist, so it was no wonder why many people don’t fully appreciate what scientists do. From this the #ActualLivingScientist hashtag was born. The hashtag immediately went viral, being used by thousands of scientists tweeting pictures explaining what they get up to in their science job. This opened up the exploration of countless scientific endeavours to anyone and everyone. 

Today, the hashtag is still going strong, and, with one simple search, the internet now knows what thousands of actual living scientists really do. The Technicians Make It Happen campaign, funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, believes it is now time for everyone to understand all the amazing things technicians make happen. So today, they are officially launching the #ActualLivingTechnician hashtag to coincide with the Higher Education Technicians Summit 2017

Technician roles are varied and interesting, and, whilst they don’t always have technician in their job title, they play an integral role in almost every business in the country – we have so much to thank them for! 


Here at the SWC, our technicians work to support neuroscience research. Meet Karolina Farrell: 

“Hi, I’m Karolina, and I’m a Research Technician in Dr Yoh Isogai's lab at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour (@SWC_Neuro). In my role as a technician, I’ve had the opportunity to learn many new skills and drive a variety of lab projects forward. As one of three lab members, my work has required me to learn quickly and jump onto different projects, from assisting in building a custom microscope, behavioural analysis of mouse social interaction and coding for image analysis, to taking the lead on generating commercial-grade enzymes for molecular biology protocols such as in situ hybridisation. Working as an #ActualLivingTechnician at the SWC has been an invaluable step in my career, adding to my lab experience and giving me insight into how academic, multidisciplinary neuroscience research is carried out.” 

With the #ActualLivingTechnician hashtag we’re aiming to raise the profile, and celebrate the importance of, the technicians in our society that do so much invaluable work every day. Find out more about the Technicians Make it Happen campaign at www.technicians.org.uk, or follow them on Twitter at @technicians_mih.