About CSci

  • Dr Christos Nikopoulos
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Dr Christos Nikopoulos
Featured Profile: 
At A Glance
Licensed Body: 
Scientist Type: 
First Degree: 
BSs (Hons) in Occupational Therapy
Harefield, Uxbridge
Works For: 
Brunel University
BSs (Hons) in Occupational Therapy, DPhil in Psychology
Big Picture
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
An artist or a musician.
Who or what inspired you to become a scientist? 
Whilst on high school, I was inspired by one of my teachers to become a healthcare professional. During my early professional career, I realised that something was missing from my knowledge (or how to explain better a certain type of behaviours emitted by my clients) and it was not until I started working with my DPhil supervisor that it became obvious to me that ‘science’ or a scientific approach to understanding human behaviours was exactly what it was missing
What do you love about your job and being a “scientist”? 
What I love about being a ‘scientist’ is the fact that “science” provides an ""objective"" and ""empirical"" explanation of the phenomena around us because the validity of a scientific statement does not depend on who said it. This is exactly what I love about my job: teaching students about the primary characteristics of the scientific method which can be basically summarised as: (a) reliance on systematic observations made under well-specified conditions and (b) using special techniques for organising and summarising the descriptions of those observations. As B. F. Skinner once said ""Science is ... an attempt to discover order, to show that certain events stand in lawful relations to other events.
What would you change? 
The general perception that ‘science’ is a ‘dry’ matter which does not take any serious consideration each aspect of the personality of a human being
What qualifications did you take at school? 
I completed the high school in Athens, Greece with a direction at welfare studies
Why did you choose your first degree subject? 
My first degree was in Occupational Therapy and the main reason for selecting this subject was my sincere dedication to help people with a variety of different disabilities/difficulties. It still remains the main reason for becoming an academic in essence that I try to equip a number of students with the necessary skills in order that they can help improve the lives of people (children in particular) with a variety of different difficulties/disorders
Do you have a Masters or PhD? If not, was it difficult to demonstrate Masters-level equivalence in order to achieve CSci? 
I do hold a DPhil (PhD) in Psychology
How do you describe your job when you meet people at a party? 
At a party, there is a tendency not to ‘discuss’ any issue from a ‘serious’ perspective. I usually try to keep things as much simple as possible and I may typically say that I am just an academic with an interest in the treatment of children with autism
What is ‘cutting-edge’ about your work? 
To change the way that students think about what constitutes scientific evidence
What are the biggest implications your work will/could have in the future? 
As a researcher in the field of autism, I would like to see a brighter future for both the children with this condition and their families irrespectively of whether my work has manages to successfully contribute to this
How well is your job compensated? What is the starting salary for your field, and how much can this be expected to rise? 
It is difficult to say whether my job - at least the way that I view it - is well compensated or not. This is because as a (behavioural) scientist I am so dedicated to my role in the society and I could not estimate how much this passion would worth!
What’s the biggest achievement of your career so far? 
Whenever I am approached by either a parent of children with autism or a student who express their gratitude to me because I managed to shape some aspects of their lives, I regard such an occasion each time as my biggest achievement
Would you say you have a good standard of living/ work-life balance? 
It does not happen to have a good work-life balance. Probably because ‘being a scientist’ is not just a job but the way that you see life in general
What do your friends and family think about your job? 
They seem to be proud of me, although, it is not certain that they can understand all aspects of my job, probably because it can be multi-dimensional!
What kind of hobbies or extracurricular activities do you do to relax? 
Listening to nice music and behaving as a kid when I play with my own kids!
Why did you choose to apply for CSci and what do you value most about being a Chartered Scientist? 
Being a behavioural scientist, to apply for CSci was the only way for getting some recognition from my colleagues and peers who do not necessarily know about my scientific work in much detail.
What is the value of professional bodies? 
In just one sentence, professional bodies can be viewed as the ‘family’ for any professional
How important is CPD? What do you think of the revalidation process in ensuring that CSci is a mark of current competence? 
I guess that it is necessary but there must be a careful consideration regarding the individual difficulties or complications that someone has had in his/her career as things do not always “go as expected”!
Advice & Reflection
What words of wisdom would you give someone interested in getting into your field? 
Be patient and if you really love your job, then, success will be waiting for you, sooner or later...
How important is the mentoring process in your field and to you personally? 
Very important; it gives you the reassurance that you are not alone in any given situation no matter how difficult it may be.
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