Young People's

There are no adults: My journey to realising that no one has a plan!

Dr Kirstie Whitaker
Monday, 30 March 2020 - 7:00pm

UPDATE 30/03/20 - We are hoping to broadcast an online event with Dr Kirstie Whitaker in the next couple of weeks.  Please check back for further news...


“From the outside I'm an accomplished scientist: I build websites, write code, and study how brain networks change over time. But it doesn't feel that way to me. It feels like I'm still ‘making it up as I go along’”. In this talk, Kirstie Whitaker will bring you behind the curtain: a masters’ degree focused mainly on skiing rather than learning how MRI machines work, a PhD with a lot of cycling in the California sunshine. And she’ll reassure you that your uncertainty is both common and beneficial. “It is through exploring the world, and the many options that the future holds, that we can achieve our wildest dreams.”


About the speaker

Kirstie Whitaker is a research fellow at The Alan Turing Institute (London, UK) and a senior research associate in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge. After leaving Withington Girls' School in 2001 she was awarded a BSc with first class honours in Physics from the University of Bristol and then an MSc in Medical Physics from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She completed her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley in 2012 and her postdoctoral work was conducted in the Brain Mapping Unit at the University of Cambridge from 2012 to 2017. Her work covers a broad range of interests and methods, but the driving principle is to improve the lives of people with mental health disorders. Kirstie is a passionate advocate for making science "open for all" by promoting equity and inclusion for people from diverse backgrounds, and by changing the academic incentive structure to reward collaborative working. She is a Fulbright scholarship alumna and 2016/17 Mozilla Fellow for Science. Kirstie was named, with her collaborator Petra Vertes, as a 2016 Global Thinker by Foreign Policy magazine. You can find more information at her lab website: