For a long time, there has been a common stereotype of scientists – you know the ones with a white male, in a white lab coat (probably a genius) mixing liquids in beakers?
The problem with stereotypes is that they tend to oversimplify and exclude: they function to reinforce misconceptions, and without being challenged, can further alienate already underrepresented populations.
What is a Scientist? is challenging those common misconceptions by resetting the lens on what a scientist’s career, journey, and background looks like.
Professor Emma Johnson, Dean of UNSW Science believes it’s an important discussion to have.
“By challenging Australians to look beyond the lab coat and explore interests in all scientific pursuits we are encouraging a fascination with the world, and we hope to inspire a generation of scientists who impact multiple and diverse industries for the better,” she says.
Below, hear from 8 different scientists, who speak about their diverse experiences, interests and journeys – and the passion for science that unites them.
“By exploring the misconceptions scientists hear about themselves and the work they do, we are hoping to build awareness – not only that everyone can do science, but that we need people from all walks of life to support a culture of innovation.”