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Myth of the Isolated Scientist | World Science Festival 1:33min

This is an excerpt from a lecture called “Science and Story: The Instinct for Curiosity”, hosted by the World Science Festival (great youtube channel!) where a physicist and author is talking about how science should be considered part of culture rather than being categorized as ‘education’ or something. She also says that scientists, like artists, may sometimes feel a need to share their discoveries with the public.

NB. I don’t own the rights to this video.

Here is the transcript for The Myth of Isolated Scientist


I feel more and more convinced that science is a natural part of culture
And yet, we haven’t fully accepted that yet
It’s as though we haven’t culturally realized that that’s true quite yet
so we still think of science is falling under ‘education’ and you know
when I write books my colleagues will say, “You’re doing outreach”
you know
It is really strange
like, there’s, there’s a sense that science is still other, and
and I think that that places like Pioneer Works are showing that it’s not other
that it’s, it’s no stranger for scientists to want to be in the world, and share the remarkable discoveries that they’ve made than it is for an artist to want to present their work in a gallery
you don’t ask an artist, like “Why do you want to put your work in a gallery?? Why aren’t you alone in your studio?!?”
You know and we are often quite isolated as scientists and some scientists don’t ever want to come out of the lab and that’s perfectly fine
I don’t think it’s something that should be required of every scientist at all it’s perfectly fine for someone to be totally single-mindedly in the lab, 20 hours a day and
but many people reach some moment their lives where they want to share what they just saw
You know, it’s like the people who climbed to the top of Mount Everest
and, and (not everyone is going to make that climb)
and they can come back and tell the rest of us with the view is like and and that’s just the natural thing human beings want to do

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