Let me into the lab

I’ve heard it be said to writers, “write the story you would like to read.” I think this is what I channelled when I thought of what would eventually become Let Me Into The Lab.

Let Me Into The Lab is a casual, science podcast recorded by me, Rose and Kirsty. Each week we bring in a topic or bit of science news and discuss it with each other. We wanted to highlight the fact that science is not a subject anyone should be expected to understand immediately.

I think we capture the confusion, understanding, laughs and epiphanies we all experience when trying to understand science, with our unscripted 30 minute show.

The story of how our podcast came together is about as interesting as the story of most collaborations – not very.

I was going into my fourth year of dual science and journalism degrees and while I had been a regular contributor on JacTV News (now merged with JACdigital), I really wanted to create something myself that would also allow for deeper discussions into my favourite subject matter of all – science.

Left to right: Rose Richani, Kirsty Slemint and Holly Richardson

I first shared this idea with Rose. We had collaborated on numerous projects before and as she is a phenomenal director and editor, I knew that if this project were to go ahead I wanted to have her on board.

As we sat by the Brisbane River at Southbank one afternoon, we both agreed that we really wanted to make a podcast like this, but it wasn’t until a few weeks later that I met Kirsty, the person who would become our third co-host.

In my years at UQ I had only met two other people doing dual science and journalism degrees and their majors were different to mine, so when I overheard a girl nearby discussing the differences between her journalism and zoology subjects the room blurred as my head spun around so fast. I refused to let this person go without first telling her my idea for a podcast. Thankfully Kirsty had not been too put off by my owl-like behaviour and she agreed to come on board.

The principles and concept for the project were simple. Every episode we would each bring in a topic that we had individually researched, which the three of us would discuss in an unscripted casual environment. So far we have discussed many topics, from serious matters like cancer treatment and artificial wombs, to the more quirky ideas of goblin sharks and the male-repelling stick insect, and the utterly mind-blowing: like Jupiter’s unconventional orbit, and self-cloning animals.

As we all still wanted to prioritise our university studies we thought this would allow for maximum output with minimum preparation and editing – so far this approach has worked for us.

Getting the podcast started was tricky, mostly because of our incredibly unfortunate timetables.

This meant the only times we could meet were 7.30am on Friday mornings, Sunday mornings and one terrible morning at 5am on a Tuesday. We only did that once (sunrises aren’t as fun to watch when you hadn’t planned on seeing them).

Nevertheless, now that these timetabling issues have been overcome and we worked out our teething problems in the pilot episodes, we appear to be on a roll.

We try and keep things light and each bring our own genuine reactions to each topic and above all keep with our aims; to inform and entertain.

Listen to the podcasts on Soundcloud or YouTube.