8 Women Scientists Answer Questions from Children: How Useful Would You Be in a Zombie Apocalypse?
Promotional video for Mission Unstoppable, Saturday mornings on CBS Network
Talking to children about your career in science can be totally unpredictable. Even when you prepare a nice presentation and in-depth discussion about the pros and cons of a career in science, children will always surprise you with their reactions and questions.
In my TED Talk, I mention a presentation I did about the results of an environmental health assessment to a group of girls who had participated in the study. I was surprised to be asked about my high-heel shoes and my curly hair!
On another occasion, I did a cow eye dissection at my daughter's school. While the girls' eyes got super big and they covered their mouths in gasps, the boys ran away from the dissection tray. One of them nearly fainted and had to sit down. Another boy said he "barfed a little bit". But slowly, once the children got engaged in the activity, they did not want to stop. They marveled at the gooey vitreous, looked through the lens, and drew pictures of the colorful tapetum lucidum. Years later, I'm known in the school as the "mom-scientist". The father of one of my daughter's classmates said: "she curiously dissects even the fish she eats for dinner".
So I should have been prepared when I was interviewed for a new TV Show called Mission Unstoppable to air Saturday Mornings on CBS starting October 12. After the show, the producers asked women scientists to read questions submitted by children. In this episode, we were asked: How Useful Would You Be In a Zombie Apocalypse? According to my 12-year-old daughter, that's a thing...
In my response, I had more questions than answers because I don't know much about zombies. Still, I'm a scientist and a mom, so I know I would be really useful if one day the zombies do come. ;)
Watch the show on TV (Saturday mornings on the CBS Network) or subscribe to their Youtube channel here: Mission Unstoppable
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Dr. Luz Claudio is an environmental health scientist, mother and consultant, originally from Puerto Rico. She is a tenured professor of environmental medicine and public health. Luz recently published her first book: How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper: The Step-by-Step Guide. Dr. Claudio has internship programs and resources for young scientists. Opinions expressed in this blog are solely her own and may not reflect her employer's views.