Monday, March 21, 2011

I'm a Scientist: The story so far

Day Seven in the Big Brother house....So, things are going well over on I'm a Scientist, Get me out of here. We've all been receiving large volumes of questions to our inbox over the past seven days. Some of these are more scientific in nature than others.

For example, I've had "How are diamonds formed?" and "Is there other life in the universe?"; both very valid questions, but I'm stretching it a bit as a plant scientist trying to come up with a half decent answer. On the other hand, I've also been asked "What makes types of flowers different?" and "is it true that with some plants, the colour of their petals depends on the ph of the soil? and if so why?", which are right up my street!

Broadly speaking, the type of questions seem to be falling into a number of categories:
  • Questions about my research area (plants, soils, etc.)
  • Questions about life as a scientist: Are you married to a scientist? Do you have any social life, etc.
  • Questions about the sun/earth/universe ending (we all blame Prof. Brian Cox for these questions).
  • Questions about fantastic biological fights/races: Who will win in a fight -  a 30ft Grizzly or a Giant Squid?
  • Questions about our preferences for xbox, playstation, Call of Duty, etc.
  • General questions about all kinds of science topics.
In reality , there are lots more interesting and well thought out questions than strange ones - as we tell the kids: there is no such thing as a silly question; and I imagine the moderators do a very good job of weeding out some of the more obvious ones!

We've also been doing daily live chats with some of the classes taking part in I'm a Scientist. These feature many of the same types of questions, but it is fast-paced and edge-of-the seat-stuff as you get quizzed on a range of topics almost simultaneously by a classroom full of eager students. These chats are actually great fun, but you do feel a little 'shaken' afterwards!

All in all, I'm thoroughly enjoying my time as a member of the team. This coming week is when things get a little more interesting, with daily evictions voted for by the students. I'm happy to stay for as long as I can - but that's up to the students - the power is in their hands.


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