• Question: what are your intentions on being a scientist.

    Asked by broski to Avani, Jeff, Kenzi, Lindsay, Zoe on 9 May 2015. This question was also asked by 242hyda29.
    • Photo: K. Lindsay Hunter

      K. Lindsay Hunter answered on 9 May 2015:

      You mean apart from taking over the world? JUST KIDDING!

      Like a lot of scientists, I want to make a difference and to contribute to the expansion of human knowledge. Since I’m a biological anthropologist, my chances of curing cancer or something similar may be low, but that doesn’t mean I can’t help people.

      My work with old bones and fossils helps us understand where we came from and to predict where we might be going as a species. In the past, it appears that there were almost always more than one kind of human (and here I’m applying this term broadly across all upright-walking apes in our family tree, just for simplification purposes) on the landscape. All of these different species had different ways of living and interacting with the world around them. It’s my hope that by learning more about our similarities and differences with these archaic humans, we can find ways to live in better harmony with our own environment. Also, since all humans alive today are of the same species and subspecies (Homo sapiens sapiens), all of our imagined vast differences are really all very small. I think we all want to live a good and healthy life, though we may each define this differently.

      My current work with Sepela Field Programs has the aim of helping humans and wildlife, particularly non-human primates like baboons and vervet monkeys in South Africa, to become better neighbors. Around the world, human demands for more land and resources has put us in conflict with non-human animals that already live in these areas. One way of helping ease tensions is by studying patterns of land use and how these affect wildlife, and then trying to determine ways that we can use the land without the risk of confrontation (for example, shooting monkeys to keep them from eating human crops like corn).

      So, I guess, in the end, I hope to help people grow in empathy for one another and the world around them through knowledge about the natural world. That’s my primary intention in being a scientist.

    • Photo: Zoe GetmanPickering

      Zoe GetmanPickering answered on 10 May 2015:

      I am selfish. I love learning new things all the time. I like getting to answer interesting questions and discover new interactions. I am lucky and get paid money to do what I love. That being said, I can kill two birds with one stone. My research can be used to protect our food supply and reduce pesticide use. I got to choose what I wanted to research so I found one that was interesting to me but also had some real world use.

    • Photo: Kenzi Clark

      Kenzi Clark answered on 16 May 2015:

      To keep our food supply safe, nutritious, and varied. Check out this video on what life would be like without food science.


    • Photo: Jeff Shi

      Jeff Shi answered on 20 May 2015:

      My intentions are to learn more about the natural world around us and all the beautiful, bizarre, scary, or just plain cool diversity it has.