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Nachgefragt – bei Vanessa Hill

04. Juli 2018

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Vanessa Hill is Australian Science Communicator and Producer of BrainCraft. Photo: Vanessa Hill Array

Vanessa Hill is Australian Science Communicator and Producer of BrainCraft. Photo: Vanessa Hill

In the series „Nachgefragt“, we introduce, in no particular order, people working in science communication. With 17 questions - and 17 answers, sometimes serious, sometimes humorous.

In our thirty-first episode we are speaking with Vanessa Hill, Australian science communicator, video producer and host of the popular Youtube series BrainCraft.

A good communicator needs…?

To have a solid understanding of their audience.

What motivated you to work in the field of science communication?

The very first internship I did was in the education centre of a zoo. I loved interacting with animals, keepers and students alike. The ability to share cool experiences and information with others was a BFF initial motivation.

Describe your daily work in three words.

Watching, reading, editing.

What is the best experience you have had as a communicator?

Travelling to different parts of the world to reach different people or experience unique research. Earlier in my career I ran some outreach workshops for students in Papua New Guinea. A few years back I filmed a documentary in Korea and Sweden. Both were amazing!

What was your biggest communication disaster?

I can’t think of a big one, so that’s reassuring, I suppose?! Lots of little things though, probably tweeting from the wrong accounts, publishing videos with factual errors and issuing corrections.

Which of your traits bothers you the most in your daily work?

I fall victim to the planning fallacy a lot — the tendency to not allow enough time to complete tasks. Keeping to a schedule (and I have a lot of deadlines!) is my most challenging task.

Which (historical) person would you like to have dinner with?

Ada Lovelace

What is your favourite research discipline?


Which research topic would you least like to communicate?

Plant biology

If time and money were no object: Which science communication project would you like to do?

Maybe I’d vlog from Mars.

If you didn’t work in science communication, what field would you like to be in?

It’s difficult to imagine! Perhaps I would be an actual scientist working in research. Perhaps I’d work in an art museum.

Science communication in 2030 will be…

similar in the problems we face in capturing people’s attention, engaging young adults and dealing with new platforms. I hope there’s a lot of citizen science in 2030.

What do you consider the greatest achievement in the history of science?

That’s tough — it’s hard to look past walking on the Moon, but I’m going to go with penicillin.

How did you imagine the future as a child?

I can’t remember thinking about it that much. I probably just wished there were more Land Before Time movies, and now there are 14, so who would have seen that coming?

How do you keep your head clear when you are stressed?

I exercise or walk my dog. She’s never stressed.

I like to help colleagues with ...

Anything they need photoshopped.

Who would you like to send this questionnaire to and what question would you like to ask them?

I would send it to Sally Le Page and ask her to explain her PhD research in 8 words.

Vanessa Hill

She wants to spark curiosity in others and show how science is human, relevant and amazing: Vanessa Hill is Australian science communicator, video host and producer who created and produces the Youtube series BrainCraft, a PBS series exploring psychology, neuroscience and human behaviour. She also hosts Sciencey for ABC Australia, produced the documentary „Mutant Menu“ and has made expert appearances on several shows and channels. She holds a Masters in Science Communication from the Australian National University.  

In order to read all the posts of this series please follow this link. 

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