Each day this week we are publishing a pair of video interviews with early-career scientists based in the US, who share their thoughts on a range of issues. These 10 scientists were invited delegates at ComSciCon 2017, a national workshop for promising science communicators. In the interviews, researchers discuss their career ambitions and the challenges they face in achieving those dreams. They also discuss a range of issues relating to science communication, diversity in science and the role scientists can play in the current political climate in the US.
Today’s first interviewee is Anzar Abbas, who is studying for a PhD in neuroscience at Emory University. Interestingly, Anzar studied the history of science as an undergraduate, but that led him to want to follow in the footsteps of the great thinkers he was learning about. Now, he uses resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify patterns in the brain relating to human behaviour. In the interview, Anzar talks about his experiences working with people from different backgrounds and how he believes British academics have more of a culture of communicating science than their US counterparts.
Also featured today is Katie Wu, a PhD student in medical research at Harvard University, who also had an interesting route into science. Having spent two years of university as an English major, Wu realized she was missing learning about maths and science. Taking a sabbatical at the University of Oxford in the UK helped Katie to transition into biological science and she now researches tuberculosis within the department of immunology and infectious diseases. In the interview, Katie speaks about how her arts background helps her to ask questions that others wouldn’t, and how all scientists can benefit from talking about their research with the general public.
On Monday, we published interviews with materials scientist Grayson Doucette and molecular biologist Khady Sall. On Tuesday, we featured physics educationalist Reggie Bain and ecologist Shannon Bayliss. Yesterday, we profiled astrophysicist Chani Nava and quantitative ecologist Will Chen. Stay tuned on Friday for the final pair of interviews with delegates from ComSciCon17.
To hear more voices on the state of science in the US, take a look at the free-to-read Physics World special report on physics in the US. Share your thoughts on the current state of physics in the US by posting a comment below or joining the conversation on Twitter including our handle @PhysicsWorld.