This is a guest post by Emily Rice, an assistant professor at College of Staten Island of the City University of New York (CUNY) and a Research Associate at the American Museum of Natural History. She studies both the observed and synthetic spectra of low-mass stars, brown dwarfs, and exoplanets as part the BDNYC collaboration.
Scientists are stereotypically considered smart but single-minded, socially inept, and frankly, boring (I’m looking at you, The Big Bang Theory), but every year at the AAS I am reminded how much fun science and scientists can be. This year, inspired by a Spitzer GO program that Trent Dupuy noticed and shared on Facebook, I decided to showcase the creativity and humor of scientists in the form of a lip-dub video. (NASA Johnson Style is one of my favorites to date. Also see Bad Project.)
Niall Deacon (of Sh*t Astronomers Say fame) and I wrote new lyrics to the ubiquitous pop song “Call me, maybe?” to explain the trials and tribulations of applying for grant funding. As part of the inaugural Hack Day at AAS I assembled a film crew and hit the exhibit hall looking for enthusiastic (or easily convinced) scientists to lip sync our new words, aided by vocals recorded the previous night by the very talented Duane Lee. The final version is sung by Jocelyn Ferrera.
By the end of an exhausting whirlwind day we filmed over 50 astronomers, from community college students to tenured faculty and NASA missions project scientists, showing us their science (or at least dancing for their funding). Even with very little filming experience and completely amateur equipment (a point and shoot camera, a mini tripod, an iPhone, a portable speaker, and an iPad for lyrics), what we ended up with is a testament to the awesomeness of scientists and how much we love our work.