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26 Responses to Comments

  1. Andre says:

    Nice video, Stephen. Unfortunatly, people see us (I am Ph.D. in Chemistry and a teacher) like Doc Brown or Doctor Frankenstein (I prefer to use a DeLorean than play with corpses and electricity). Some of my students still think that Chemistry is only to make explosions.

    I liked very much your video. I’m waiting someone puts subtitles in Portuguese, in order to show it on my site.

    Best regards,

    • scurry says:

      Thanks for the comment Andre. I do have a transcript of the video. It needs a bit of work to ensure that it precisely matches the final version of the film. But would it help someone to produce Portuguese sub-titles if I made it available?

  2. Excellent film, Stephen! Congratulations to you and a big thank you to Jenny Rohn, Bernadette Byrne, Laurence Pearl, Amar Joshi, Marcia Philbin and Tim Hunt for their great contributions!

  3. Carl says:

    really enjoyed it Stephen! start preparing your Oscar speech! :O)

  4. Well done Stephen – that is fabulous.

  5. scurry says:

    Many thanks Paula, Carl and Richard — much appreciated!

  6. Gareth Jones says:

    Many good things and overall a success. Possibly a bit long and repetitive – I think editing 3-4 of your interviewees would have covered it all. Maybe too much biology – surely plenty of exciting chemistry and physics available!
    May well reinforce or refine existing leanings toward science but less certain that it will persuade sceptics.

    • scurry says:

      You’re a demanding viewer Gareth! 😉

      I hold my hands up to the biological bias – it is mainly due to the fact that I work in the life sciences and know more people in that area (though Marcia is a chemist). Since I wasn’t intending to dwell on the scientific details I hope that wasn’t too much of a problem.

      Perhaps there is too much repetition but a certain amount of reinforcement is useful. Still finding my way on getting the content right.

    • scurry says:

      One more thing: I never really imagined for a moment the film would persuade sceptics or kids who are disenchanted with school or science. For that you need great teachers in the classroom. My goal was more modest, and hopefully more realistic: to show school-children that scientists are not some sort of genius that they could never be.

  7. Eileen says:

    Absolutely inspiring! Here in the US, students normally fall into two categories: science track or humanities track, and they follow that road into college. Our daughter, however, started UC Berkeley as a nationally ranked debater ultimately headed for law school. A year and a half in she did a 360 turn and switched to molecular biology with an eye to medical school. Raised in a family of writers and musicians, who would have imagined there was a science brain just waiting to blossom! We are happy to share and promote the link over here on this side of the pond.

  8. Jan says:

    Hi Stephen,

    just a short comment for the moment: Great film! Worth the wait 😉

  9. Tom Phillips says:

    Great stuff! I enjoyed watching it 🙂

  10. scurry says:

    OK, for anyone who is interested (or who may want to translate to generate foreign-language sub-titles) I have prepared a full transcript of the film which can be downloaded from the Film Background page.

  11. Hollywood and, of course, the Big Bang Theory, do science a disservice by stereotyping scientists. The wild eyed unkempt bedraggled prof talking in obscure language does not represent usual scientists. I like the movie because it shows the scientists as down to Earth individuals who have cogent reasons for their choices and act like normal people.


  12. Shoaib says:

    Brilliant! Nice job Stephen. Quite enjoyed it and realized that we (scientists) are all pretty much the same 🙂

  13. Aatkin says:

    I thought the film was really well done and the scientists all gave a great idea of what they are like outside of ‘the lab’.

    My only criticism is that I think you could have chosen at least one scientist to interview who really stands outside the box of what people think of when they think of scientists – for example: I know lots of scientists who really liked school and worked hard to get to where they are, but they also like playing sports, watching movies and television, hanging out with their friends, and doing lots of other things that LOTS of other people like to do in their spare time.

    I don’t feel the film truly exemplified that not all scientists are like the stereotypical idea of what a scientist is… and yes, I know sometimes they are exactly like the stereotypical scientist, but a lot of the time they’re not and I did not get that feeling from this film.

    • scurry says:

      Many thanks for your comment Aatkin. I’m not quite sure that I follow your criticism since the scientists in the film did talk about pretty regular outside activities, and some — like belly-dancing — that were not so regular! What did you mean by ‘outside the box’?

      With a cast of six I was never going to be able to sample all possible personality types who become scientists — it was hard enough work for me to shoe-horn the interviews from these six into the final edit. Maybe for my next project, I’ll interview a hundred! 😉

  14. Aatkin says:

    Hi Stephen,

    I think what I meant to say (but perhaps in trying to be too polite I possibly didn’t get my point across) is that many of the scientists interviewed may reinforce some of the stereotypes that a lot of young people have of scientists. A few of the things that stuck out in my mind were that many of the hobbies/activities they mentioned were things like reading, writing books, photography, juggling, etc… not often activities that young people identify with (sure, some of them will… but it will probably – and here is me stereotyping young people – be those young people that are already keen learners, whether in science or other subjects). And, you had scientists mention that they were nerds, geeks, unpopular in school… they were inspired by Star Trek (a show notoriously known for having a geek fan-base). It isn’t exactly beating back the stereotype that we’re not all nerdy-boffins.

    I guess I am coming at this from the perspective of a relatively young scientist (I’m 25). I have worked with groups of young people in the past and they were always surprised by the things that I had in common with them: I waste time on the internet (yay for Facebook), watch non-educational television (Grey’s Anatomy, True Blood, Inbetweeners, etc), enjoy playing sports, go out at the weekend with friends, etc. Once I got to know them better and they felt they had something in common with me, they were more willing to accept the things I was into that they initially would have classed as ‘nerdy things only scientists or boring (read: geeky) people are interested in’: reading for fun, watching documentaries, being a total fan of shows like Star Trek, photography, etc.

    I am not sure how much young people will identify with the scientists in your film. But maybe I am wrong. Maybe it’s just me who doesn’t see 16 year-old-me thinking of the individuals you interviewed as something I didn’t already know (or think I know) about scientists.

    And just so I’m not misinterpreted, I think the people you interviewed are fabulous people – they are really inspiring. But I’m older and wiser than I was as a teenager and I already know that scientists are cool, even the ones who do fit the stereotype.

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