For today’s Scientist in the Spotlight we are jumping back to the theme of space – but in a slightly different way. It’s a feature I am SUPER excited to share because since starting this scicomm adventure I have discovered this amazing gal and realised I basically want to be her – except I know nothing about space so I would have to be the stem cell version! She is a TV host, a TV producer, a science writer, a public speaker, an author, a role model and The Space Gal! So, I am incredibly excited to introduce you to Emily C.
Emily’s background is in engineering and policy. Receiving her Bachelors from West Virginia University in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and then her Masters from MIT in Aeronautics and Astronautics, it is obvious that she is wildly passionate about space exploration. Her goal is to explain science-related topics in an easily digestible and entertaining way as she believes that everyone, no matter what their educational background, can understand scientific topics. So, Emily want to prove that the space industry is more exciting than ever whilst increasing the level of scientific literacy among the general public.
So, let’s take an exclusive look behind the scenes at the life of The Space Gal.
Anyone that follows you on social media can see how busy you are – so what is a typical week like for you?
Emily: What’s fun about my career is that no day is the same. Every other week I’m flying to a NASA centre, private space company, or research institution to film for my show. When I’m not doing that, I’m working on writing and promoting my new children’s book series, the Ada Laca Adventures. Sometimes I’m writing a speech for an upcoming science event. Other times I’m writing TV show ideas for current or new projects.
Tell us some more about being a science TV host.
Emily: I was contacted by an Emmy-award winning production studio – Steve Rotfeld Productions – when I graduated from MIT. They asked me if I wanted to be the host of a TV show about outer space – pretty lucky huh?. I’ve been a producer and the host of Xploration Outer Space for 4 years now and it’s been the greatest adventure. I get to meet some of the smartest, most accomplished people in the industry and ask them any question I want. I’ve flown in aerobatic planes with famous pilots, ridden high-G roller coasters with astronauts, flown in microgravity on the Vomit Comet twice and I’ve even gone to space camp! I’ve been extremely lucky.
But you were also a correspondent on ‘Bill Nye Saves The World’ – what was that like?
Emily: Being on Bill Nye Dave The World was such a privilege. Watching Bill Nye in his element was a wonderful learning experience. He’s a master at his craft and it’s been such a great experience to be even a little bit involved in his latest project. Its also been an opportunity to meet some of the best sci-commers in the industry. The other correspondents and the panelists they get to be on the show are immensely impressive and I’ve been lucky enough to know them because of this show.
Ada Lace: On the Case is the first children’s book in your series. What made you want to write a children’s book?
Emily: I wanted to create a science children’s book series that had a girl as the main character. There simply aren’t enough of those out there and it’s important for girls and boys to be introduced to female characters who like science. This affects how we see ourselves and others, and I’m hoping Ada can become a new STEM role model for the next generation.
Besides from all of this that you do, you’re also a TED speaker. How was that experience?
Emily: I was invited to give a TEDx speech. It was an intense experience but a great learning opportunity for anyone hoping to become a science communicator. It’s a challenge in story-telling and speaking in front of large audiences. It was a bit terrifying to be honest, but one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had to date.
With your super busy schedule, what does Emily like to do to relax?
Emily: I love traveling and hiking. Exploring new National Parks has been a recent challenge I’ve given myself. Our country’s National Park system is so impressive and everyone should be taking advantage of it. I also love traveling internationally. Finding time to explore our own planet has been a passion of mine since college.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
Emily: I hope to find new and interesting ways to communicate science because everyone learns things a little differently. Hopefully I’ll be involved in a bit of everything, TV shows for kids and for adults, children’s books, public speaking, science toys etc.
And the last question, where in the world should be my next travel destination?
Emily: My favourite place in the world is the Amalfi Coast because it has the best views, the best food and the best wine!
I want to say a massive thank you to Emily for taking the time out of your hectic schedule to answer some questions for me and my little science blog, and I also want to say congratulations again for getting married recently. As I said at the start, Emily’s career is probably my absolute dream goal – to be a writer, a science TV host, an author, a STEM role model all whilst getting to meet some of the most incredible scientists and sci-commers AND travel the world! Someone sign me up right now! If I can achieve just one of those things that would be simply amazing! Emily is a perfect example that shows you that you can love science but you don’t have to be cooped up in a lab everyday – you can share science in so many fun, different and exciting ways! I wish you all the success with your future plans Emily and please keep sharing what you do! I and so many others love it!
Season 4 of Xploration Outer Space is premiering this month in September 2017 so watch out for that. You can also get your Ada Lace books here. But if you’re not already you can stay up to date on all the projects Emily is working on across her website and social media – whether you prefer Facebook, Twitter or Instagram you can keep up to date.
We have reached the half way point of S P O T L I G H T S E P T E M B E R 2017! Make sure to check back in every Monday and Friday this month for a new scientist’s story. PLUS I will be sprinkling these blog posts with a few #waybackwednesday and #throwbackthursday posts on my social media pages (see links below) to show you what my previous Scientist in the Spotlight scientists are getting up to now! AND at the end of the month I have another announcement to make! So there is LOTS going on across Soph talks science in September. Make sure you don’t miss out and subscribe to my mailing list at the top right of this page or follow me over on social media! Thank you all for your continued support. I am absolutely loving my science communication side hustle at the moment – especially as the last month has been the most successful EVER on my blog and I have so many new exciting collaborations and projects coming up! Not sure I’ve got time for this PhD malarky 😛