"If you ask questions, make predictions, and search for answers, you are a scientist. 'Science' isn’t a person in a lab coat using fancy equipment and mixing chemicals, it’s a process that can be done in a lab, in a classroom, at home, out in the field."
For the past couple years, I have been a pen pal for Letters to a Pre-Scientist. This year, the supply of scientists overshot the demand for pen pals (which is awesome!) so unfortunately, I didn't get assigned a pre-scientist pen pal.
Even without a pen pal however, Letters to a Pre-Scientist gave me a chance to share my experience through their "Picture a Scientist" initiative. As I explain in my TEDxTufts talk, the popular idea of "scientist" was not something I could relate to when I was growing up. Now as a field biologist who works equipped with a butterfly net, in a prairie where the grass is as tall as me, I still don't fit the popular image of "scientist" but I am in fact, a scientist!
I am grateful for the opportunity to share my science and my story to help young students see themselves as scientists, and realize their potential to ask and answer questions about the world around them.
Read my open letter to a pre-scientist here.