Learning to talk for a living

Science is getting harder, more complex, and has more influence on society. Even though I'd like to busy myself and bury myself in experiments, I'd be letting down the generations of scientists who came before me if I didn't explain to the public why we're banging our heads on desks.

Recently, I've found that I have to give the "elevator pitch" to a lot of people I meet for the first time, to introduce myself and what I do every day. Usually it's just the same listless, blanket statements, but I try my best to make baker's yeast relatable to people. I don't expect everyone to love molecular biology, nor should I expect to. However, in the wake of Brexit and the Trump administration's short-sighted, or even draconian, policies that are hurting science, I think scientists do have a duty to explain that our work saves lives, improves health, prevents diseases, and makes knowledge. Frankly, it's selfish to let obtuse, impetuous politicians and inconsiderate, bigoted, angry people take that away from future generations.

For me, it's about sacrificing and being part of something bigger than myself to make people's lives better. That's it. And that's what it'll always be about.