69: YouTube’s #1 Astronomer Dr. Becky Smethurst: “Don’t Dumb It Down!"


400x400 Thumbnail Rebecca Smethurst

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Rebecca Smethurst is known as Dr. Becky on her popular YouTube channel. She is an astrophysicist and science communicator, answering questions about physics and astronomy in engaging videos. Dr. Becky is also the author of the new book “Space at the Speed of Light: The secrets of 14 billion years for people short on time.” She joins me on this episode of INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE to discuss her popularity and the importance of communicating science effectively. Subscribe to my mailing list to receive show notes for this episode: https://briankeating.com/mailing_list.php

  • 04:22 Science communication isn’t “dumbing down” science.
  • 10:07 The value of citizen science to discovery.
  • 16:44 Working towards gender equality in physics.
  • 24:24 Balancing the work of being a minority in academia.
  • 31:36 Dr. Becky explains galaxy quenching.
  • 37:00 The art and title of Dr. Becky’s physics book.
  • 42:22 What ethical will does Dr. Becky plan to leave?
  • 46:03 What knowledge would Dr. Becky put on her monolith?
  • 49:39 What did Dr. Becky think was impossible until she did it?

Dr. Becky Smethurst is a Junior Research Fellow at University of Oxford, where she also earned her PhD. She studies galaxy quenching and supermassive black holes. Her YouTube channel Dr. Becky has over 150,000 subscribers. Buy “Space at the Speed of Light” here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1984858696/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_XaxsFbSQ9HCAZ

Watch Dr. Becky’s “A day in the life of an astrophysicist in LOCKDOWN” video: https://youtu.be/qXkM0ItZ_X8

Find Dr. Becky on the web: https://rebeccasmethurst.co.uk and Twitter: https://twitter.com/drbecky_ Would you help with a citizen science project like the one Dr. Becky describes?

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