In Violet magazine, writer Sasha Sagan, author of the must-read For Small Creatures Such As We, is interviewing a series of inspiring and diverse female scientists. First up is evolutionary biologist Dr. Michelle Trautwein, "curator of flies" at the California Academy of Sciences. followed by South African chemist/nanotechnologist Dr. Tebello Nyokong of Rhodes University, and others to come. Sasha is the daughter of Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan; endless curiosity and the ability to ask the right big questions run in the family. From Violet:
S [Sasha Sagan]—How does strict adherence to the scientific method at work colour other aspects of your life, for example, your views on spirituality and politics?
DMT [Michelle Trautwein]—I hope that my practice of the scientific method makes me more non-partial, open to possibility and change, and yet reliant on evidence. And though it is quite different from the practice of science, it has been my experience that spirituality and science have an interconnectedness. The scientific method allows me to ask questions and understand intricate aspects of nature, in all its magnificence, and how it came to be. Uncovering these small truths about the natural world increasingly inspires a sense of wonder in me.
S—How would society be different if the population was more scientifically literate?
DMT—Learning about science cultivates critical thinking skills and discernment. The benefits of critical thinking extend well beyond scientific literacy and could probably prevent many of the political crises we find ourselves in these days.
"The Scientists – Dr. Michelle Trautwein" by Sasha Sagan (Violet)
image: via California Academy of Sciences