Stephanie Yin studied Environmental Science and is not only a Science writer at Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont (USA), but also a Marine ecology research assistant in Bertness Laboratory at Brown University, Providence (USA) and a Science blogger.
Her way into Science
`I’ve been interested in science for as long as I can remember´, she states. When she was a child, she loved to collect rocks and insects. Her favourite places beeing science museums, especially the American Museum of Natural History and the Liberty Science Museum. In high school, she had an amazing biology teacher who convinced her to study biology and environmental science in college.
Are you where you first planned to be?
She had always thought that she would go into scientific research and therefore worked in various labs throughout college. `However, I eventually realized that my favourite part of science is communicating it to others´, she resumes. Now, she is working as a science writer at Argonne National Laboratory, in Chicago, Illinois, and will be applying to graduate programs in science writing.
Her biggest scientific achievement?
Her biggest scientific achievement was her undergraduate thesis, entitled `Ecosystem service loss caused by the die-off of Cape Cod salt marshes´.
To her- THE biggest scientific achievement/novelty?
`I think the biggest scientific achievement is to make a scientific discovery that improves the lives of others – whether it be through direct application, changes in infrastructure, or, simply inspiration´, Yin explains.
Who is the greatest Scientist?
`I really admire Stephen Jay Gould´, she says, `because he was not only a great evolutionary biologist, but also a wonderful science communicator´. According to Stephanie, Gould made science interesting, popular, relevant, and mainstream.
Which scientific question would you like to be answered?
`There are so many!´she says. In terms of the near future, she is really excited for scientists to finally find the Higgs Boson´.
She does not particularly like the genus name Hippocampus for the seahorse, because `campus´ comes from the Greek word `kampos´, which means sea monster. `Seahorses are not very monster-like!´, says Yin and would rather have named the genus Marequus, from the Latin words for `sea´ and `horse´.
What should be different in Science?
`In the United States, scientists are only measured by their publication record, which unfortunately means that they are not hugely rewarded for things like their collaborations, quality of teaching, science communication, and service to the public´, she explains. To her, evaluations of scientists (particularly in academia) could be more holistic, and include these other parameters.
How does the Science of the future look like?
Science is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary, and integrated with technology. `I think we will see a lot more collaboration among scientists from different fields´, Stephanie says, and that `Scientists will need to become more adaptive and creative, which is exciting´.
The biggest mistake/deficit in Science?
`I believe the biggest deficit in science is a lack of communication to the public – as a science writer, I hope to bridge this gap!´she resumes.
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