In April 2018, Dr. Nicole Li undertook a self-funded speaking tour in China aiming to inspire future generations with her own story and cutting edge sciences. She travelled over 20,000 miles, visited 7 cities, including China’s first and second tier cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu as well as more rural areas which include places like Taiyuan, Nanchong and Urumqi, gave 11 talks over a period of 16 days, and presented to 2000+ people including school children and parents. All the talks where free for the public to participate.
Nicole grew up in rural China; by dreaming big and working hard she has managed to achieve the seemingly impossible. In her talks, she told the audience her story including being a female scientist and hoping to encourage more girls to choose STEM subjects. She also shared her passion in science with the audience by explaining her research project ADDRFSS as well as 5G, FAIR-SPACE and other scientific research activities that have been conducted at Surrey University.
Nicole was also invited to be interviewed by a popular mainstream radio programme for an hour in Urumqi, and took several live calls from children, including a girl, who wish to become scientists.
Orgaising and performing in such events in a short time scale requires lots of hard work. Nicole was pleased to see such positive feedback from the audience. Some later contacted her saying they had never had a chance to attend such an event before, and to be influenced in such positive ways. Nicole said “Some of my friends worried that the whole agenda would be too much for me, and suggested I stay with the top level cities. But I said children in cities like Beijing and Shanghai have many resources and felt the children in the rural areas needed the help the most.”