James Borrell is a biodiversity scientist and science communicator researching how people and nature can adapt to environmental change.

The Rewards for Speaking in Schools

Maybe it’s a bit self indulgent; but against the constraints of time and the dreaded curriculum, it can be (rightly or wrongly!) difficult to get in to schools. So after taking some time out to visit some students last week, I was over the moon to get this thank-you note.

Dear Mr Borrell

On behalf of year 13, we would just like so say a huge thank you for coming to our school and giving us such an interesting lecture on all the possibilities that are out there for us. We get quite a few people coming to speak to us, but there are very few who manage to both interest and entertain us at the same time, much like you did. It’s opened our eyes to all the things that our out there for us and the differences we could make if we tried- like when you, inadvertently, caused 1 million trees to be planted (we really were listening!). We all really enjoyed your talk and I’m sure many of us will be applying to take part in the upcoming expeditions.

Thank you once again, we hope you can return in the future.

Yours sincerely,
The Head Girl Team

I think perhaps I get the easy job, because the topics I frequently talk about – expeditions, conservation, fieldwork, citizen science – are bound to seem more exciting than double math (but that’s definitely not to say that math is boring).

So I probably owe a quick apology to all the teachers that I’ve left with a classroom full of fidgety students, but thank you for inviting me to speak to them in the first place.

More information on speaking, here.