Many BCMB students have taken the elective course, taught by Jeremy Nathans, called Great Experiments in Biology. Year after year, students enjoy the class and recommend it to their peers. Why do we like it so well? Other than an appreciation and understanding for the great scientists who came before us, I think that we enjoy the class because Dr. Nathans focuses on the personal stories of the scientists: how they got interested in science, why they studied what they studied, how they reacted and felt and progressed along their path to these fantastic discoveries. In my experience, I always remember the science better when I understand the motivation behind the discovery; I loved discussing science with visiting lecturers and BCMB faculty not just for the academic part of the conversation, but also finding out the background and circuitous path they followed to get where they are today.
If you are finding yourself nodding and agreeing and connecting with what I just described, you might be interested in a career in science writing and communication. Here, I’ve “interviewed” myself; I hope this can stimulate some questions and discussion about our roles as scientists in the world of media and communication.