thebrainscoop

theraggedycritic asked:

So it seems like you've been getting a lot of press recently. How are you handling the attention? (Both wanted and unwanted)

thebrainscoop answered:

I recently celebrated my 1-year anniversary in Chicago and at The Field Museum. In that time I’ve accomplished a lot in the media on topics ranging from women in STE(A)M fields to the interdisciplinary potential of studying the natural sciences. I’ve participated in a number of collaborative videos, joined in podcasts, spun stories, made public appearances, and granted many interviews. I’ve won awards, gained accolades, and accepted humbling praise. In a word, it has been unreal. 

To be completely honest, I feel as though it must be coming to an end. I am driven to think the novelty will soon wear off for the media where I am concerned. I’d hope not, especially in the sense that I don’t think we’ve accomplished everything as necessary in promoting more science role-models in the public eye, and improving the lack of diversity we see representing these fields.

But it’s difficult for me to conceive that the same outlets will keep talking about my work with the earnest they have in the last year. That’s not to say my work is going to begin lacking - on the contrary, we’re pushing harder than ever to fulfill a mission of covering every conceivable topic possible at the Museum, and use this wonderfully devoted audience to increase public awareness of our work. But I do think in the hazy future I’ll fall more into a role of consistency and less of newness and novelty, which wouldn’t be at all a bad thing. 

It used to be that I’d get recognized once a week or so at the Museum, then a few times a week. Then it was a few times a week in public. Now, it’s every single day. I can’t go to the grocery store without someone knowing who I am. And that, for the most part, is wonderful. I love nothing more than to share this joy with enthusiastic folks who appreciate my work - there is no better feeling.

But with all of that you do occasionally gain the attention of someone who feels entitled to your life and activities, who will shrug and say You Signed Up For This, as if that’s an excuse for privacy invasion, and that’s something I can’t get used to. Thankfully, those people are few and far between, and I’m surrounded by far more people who are respectful and supportive. That vast majority of new volunteers, interns, biologists and naturalists and engineers completely encourage me to keep going with this in all earnest, regardless of how much new and novel coverage we receive - and that solid commitment towards positive change is invaluable. 

The awesome Emily Graslie!