LabOratory Podcast is a radio program focused on interviewing scientists of the previous generation with the goal to educate listeners about their stories, histories of scientific discoveries in their field, challenges faced while conducting research, and finally, the changes that the scientific community has gone through over the years.
Philosopher George Santayana once said that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” In today’s world we’ve noticed that increasingly, student scientists are solely focusing on cutting edge technology and are encouraged to apply the most up-to-date methods to their work over learning about prior technologies and methods that are “outdated”. Famous scientific advances are presented to students as “textbook fact”, and often not given a second thought as these theories and practices, once discovered, are so widely accepted. Today's students read from well-polished, curated papers, which can also make the research seem cold, sterile, and as if it was carried out perfectly and faced no pitfalls in the course of the project. Due to this, we feel that scientists seem to be often portrayed as cold and unapproachable to students as well as the general public, and we believe there is more to this story.
Our goal with this podcast is to shed light onto the human stories and journeys of scientists, foster a connection between scientists and the general public, and provide an oral reminder to all, that scientific research is just as human as we are and has faced numerous unpolished moments that are worth remembering.
Every scientist has stories that aren’t generally shared with the world and can be learned from. Stories of why and how you got into your field of study, stories of the methods you used that are becoming forgotten nowadays due to technological advances (or that haven’t evolved over the years!), stories of other colleagues you have worked alongside, and stories of how the scientific community as well as the public have both resisted and welcomed changes to the accepted norms through the years. We know that hearing these stories can remind us all that we are truly part of a community, one that relies on each person’s input and contribution, no matter how large, small, or publicly known it may be.