Considering how difficult it can be to get the general public interested in science during their free time, I feel as though the event was a great success. Students, parents, emeritus professors, and other members of the general public came out to Folsom Lake College with open ears and open minds. Unlike most scientific presentations, there was no professional glory or payment of any kind for my fellow grad student presenters and me, but rather, the event was fueled by our desire to communicate science to a broad audience.
For example, my childhood love for science was partially sculpted by watching Bill Nye the Science Guy on PBS. Harvard University biologist, E.O. Wilson has won not one, but two Pulitzer Prizes for his non-technical science writing. Over the past three decades, Jane Goodall has written over twenty popular and children's science books about the great apes, our species’ closest living relatives. From BBC series such as The Life of Birds and Planet Earth, David Attenborough has become a household name. And fellow New York City native Neil DeGrasse Tyson continues to blow my mind every week with his re-working of Carl Sagan’s classic popular science TV series, Cosmos (watch every full episode here for free).
And so, I feel it is fitting on National Teacher’s Day to make a charge to all my friends and colleagues working in science to embrace the teacher in you and display your science to the world. What’s the worst that can happen? You may even inspire a great future scientist in doing so.