The image of a scientist is viewed differently in different cultures, where in some, a scientist is considered someone who only conducts rigorous research and is not distracted by creative ideas or extracurricular activities. This does sound pretty intimidating and scary, especially for anyone who is thinking about going to grad school and joining the academic community. Well I am here to say that you do not need to be afraid. There are students and professionals out in the academic community across the world who want to change the image of a scientist and add creative thinking as a major component in research. To talk about this topic, I invited an incredible guest onto the show.

In this episode, I speak with Debarati Das, who is graduate student at McGill University in Canada and a member of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory team. Her current research focuses on determining geochemistry and past water activity in Gale Crater using data from the laser instrument onboard the Curiosity rover. Debarati also uses terrestrial analogs from Death Valley to understand more about the possible geologic history of Mars and was granted an early-career National Geographic grant to fund her fieldwork in Death Valley. Debarati did her first master's project on Himalayan geology at the Indian Institute of Technology in India and her second master's project on meteorites at Okayama University in Japan. She is passionate about science education and outreach and volunteers for Let's Talk Science.

If you would like to learn more about Debarati’s work, you can follow her on Twitter @SpaceWicca.

Host and creator: Gavin Tolometti
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