Erin Hardee
United States
Science Outreach Officer

I help scientists reach out to school children and share their research and love of science.

I was born in the United States and lived there for 26 years before falling in love with a Scottish woman. It was impossible for her to move to the States so I came to the UK instead, pursuing a Masters in Environmental Education at the University of Edinburgh in 2008. I worked in science outreach at a variety of places including Our Dynamic Earth, the Edinburgh International Science Festival and the Dundee Science Centre before finding my current job at the University of Dundee College of Life Sciences. I believe I have contributed to the education of hundreds, if not thousands, of school children in Scotland in the past 7 years, and helped hundreds of scientists and engineers to go into primary and secondary schools to share their work and inspire children to take STEM subjects.

Being in the UK as an immigrant has not always been easy; I have spent thousands of pounds on visa applications and lived in fear of not being able to stay in the country with my partner and the life we had built together. We got a civil partnership in 2012 and bought our first house together in 2013 and have every intention of remaining in Scotland for the rest of our lives. I have just received Indefinite Leave to Remain and it's a great burden off my shoulders, but there are many more hardworking, deserving people who may not be allowed to stay. I hope that in the future the UK will come to recognise all the great contributions immigrants make, both economically and culturally, and welcome them with open arms.