What is your favorite part about being a scientist?
What motivates / inspires you?
In life – the fact that goodness exists, and the more of it we put into the world, the more of it we will find. In research – this comic.
Do you have any hobbies or play any sports?
I love to read (but who doesn’t?). I also enjoy hiking, and along the way, taking nature photos, both of stunning landscapes and of that little leaf that no one notices but that looks absolutely divine from just the right angle. I also write poems, many of which end up being about the little things that I photograph. Like most people, I have a very powerful sweet tooth, and attempt to satisfy this by trying interesting new recipes (layered raspberry-chocolate mousse anyone?). I also really enjoy music, and am quite likely to be found singing while walking down the hallways.
What is your secret talent?
I enjoy writing poetry, and making terrible puns happens to be a guilty pleasure. Putting these together, I have a lot of fun writing parodies of well-known songs/poems. Some of these end up being about physics, such as several DES-ified versions of songs from “The Sound of Music,” and a quantum version of “Jabberwocky.” Others, of course, end up as complete and utter nonsense…. ^__^
Any advice for aspiring scientists?
When picking a field of study, find something about the universe – be it the universe itself or the organisms that inhabit it or the particles that make up those organisms – that fascinates you, that you would be excited to explore, that you can fall in love with. Know that being a scientist isn’t always the romantic discovery or the beautiful view, but more often months and months of trying to figure out why your data doesn’t make sense. Expect it to be frustrating. But whenever it starts getting just a bit *too* stressful, think back to that thing you love about the universe, and remind yourself that understanding that is what you are working towards. It always helps.