• Question: On a scale of 1 to dry ice, how cool is your job and why do you think that? What do you enjoy the most about it?

    Asked by Oprah to Natalie, Abbey, Aaron on 17 Nov 2015. This question was also asked by gabii, jammy doger, ha.
    • Photo: Natalie Garrett

      Natalie Garrett answered on 17 Nov 2015:

      I’d say it even goes beyond dry ice – it goes to liquid nitrogen in terms of cool! I get to use really amazing pieces of expensive, cutting-edge equipment, using chemicals that could be deadly if I didn’t handle them right (which makes things a bit more exciting, I’d say) and I get to do it all in order to help people. The project I’m working on will hopefully one day result in improved medicines for people with diseases like brain cancer and Alzheimer’s!

      The thing I enjoy most is getting to find out things that nobody’s ever seen before. It makes me feel like I’m some kind of explorer 🙂

    • Photo: Aaron Boardley

      Aaron Boardley answered on 20 Nov 2015:

      I salute you for the exquisite phrasing of this question. 10 points to Oprah!

      [I’ll avoid temptation to say at this point ‘it depends on your definition of ‘cool”. So much of science is about clear language and definitions that I always seek to clarify what the questions mean first…which might seem a bit dull!]

      I’d say it’s “dry ice gently bubbling away”. Pretty darn cool! I don’t get to walk around movie sets in a leather jacket and aviator shades (yet), but I get to:
      – Play with new inventions – like virtual reality headsets and robots!
      – Visit some amazing places, from German mountains to multi-storey laboratories full of bubbling beakers
      – See my name in print, in magazines available in supermarkets and online!
      – Work in a fun office around people who are just great to be around.

      Of course, for all the glamour, there’s a lot of day-to-day admin that has to go on – emails to write, phone calls to make, forms to fill in, things to read, so I think I’d be exaggerating if I said it was 100% dry ice.

      My favourite part is when I’ve written or produced something I’m really proud of though. When I see my name in print or see a video I’ve made that I think really works – and I see other people read or watch it and suddenly understand something better. Makes me feel like I’ve actually produced something worthwhile and made a difference.