Friday, March 2, 2007

another good part

Another good part about being a Useless Scientist: catching specials on National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, PBS, etc. that focus on your discipline. It's very fun to see the coolest parts of your science boiled down into good concise little summaries for the general public, and it's heartening to see how...well, COOL and EXCITING they make everything sound. Kinda reminds you how neat this stuff is. It is also very cool to see a scientist or team featured whose name you recognize. And it's rare but EXTRA-cool to see someone you've met in person, studied with, or know (true, it's usually an old white guy, but some of my favorite scientists are old white guys! Let's not hold it against them.)

This has nothing to do with fame (well, okay. ALMOST nothing to do with fame - because how famous do you really get on the National Geographic Channel's Thursday night special?), but I'd love to be on one of those shows someday. As a little kid I got into science in part by watching Nova, Nature, Discovery Channel, etc., and seeing these scientists that appeared to have big exciting glamorous lives, and it'd be very rewarding to be on the flip side of that at some point, hopefully showing a curious kid somewhere how exciting science can be.

Of course, this would mean I was propagating the belief that scientists HAVE those big, exciting, glamorous lives. For this I can only apologize to any successfully seduced kids one day in the distant future when they are grad students.

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