Working with scientists for over a decade has taught me one thing: they are an interesting and varied bunch. Fiercely dedicated to their chosen career, love what they do, very enthusiastic when given half a chance to talk about their research, and very inquisitive. They perk up when somewhere a scientist says “huh, that’s funny.” After all, this often means there’s something new and exciting that they can dig into.
But what led to them becoming as scientist? Of course I expected the answer that they love science and had an interest in it from a young age. But it’s the journey that led to them being a scientist that’s often filled with interesting choices and anecdotes. It’s this last part that really made it fun to hear their answers and stories.
What motivates someone to read the scientific literature and pick the brains of scientists so that they can inform the public? Why spend so much time on doing that? There is a story behind every single science communicator that answers these questions.
This motivated me to ask science communicators these questions. Of course I expected the answer that they love science, even if they might not be a scientists. And that they love communicating this to the public. But they also shared stories on how and why they became a science communicator. It’s these stories that had interesting, and sometimes funny, anecdotes. Some stories surprised me with what lead to someone becoming a science communicator.
The first scientist who's sharing his story with us is climatologist and geophysicist Michael Mann.
Interviews filmed in collaboration with University of Queensland and Skeptical Science. Full interviews available April 2015 in ‘Making Sense of Climate Science Denial‘.
Camera B interview footage provided by Peter Sinclair of Climate Denial Crock of the Week and Yale Climate Connections.