Scott is very interested in how we can learn about fundamental physics by studying the cosmos. DES has proved to be extremely fruitful in unexpected ways. Things we thought were simple were not, and things no one had thought of initially turned out to be very exciting. An example of the latter was our combination of the galaxy distribution in DES with the mass maps made by an overlapping survey, SPT. Together these weighed in on the question of whether the current epoch of cosmic acceleration is driven by dark energy or modified gravity.
We asked Scott a few more questions — here’s what he had to say:
If you weren’t a scientist, what would your dream job be?
A teacher; I used to give my younger brother math problems when we shared a room together growing up, and my greatest thrill is working with students and postdocs in the collaboration. I love teaching.
Do you have kids? Do they want to be scientists too?
My oldest son is a physicist and daughter an artist. I’ve come to understand that these professions are very similar in that both of them work very hard, try to be as creative as possible, and challenge us to look at the world in new ways. I’m proud of both of them [and my youngest 2 sons, who are still in school].
Any other fun facts you want to share?
I’ve been so fortunate as a scientist to meet people from all over the world. These experiences have confirmed a basic belief: no matter where we’re from or what we do, we share basic goals [nice short video of this].