I spend a lot of time worrying about the image of chemistry. I want people to know that you don’t have to be a ‘geek’ to be great at science. I also think this image can dissuade great young minds from following their instincts and passion for science (particularly chemistry of course) because they do not ‘fit’ in to what they perceive is the image of a scientist.
I am hoping that this new ‘reality show’ out of MIT will give people a bit of an idea about what chemistry at university is about, and will show a broad spectrum of people and personalities. I know MIT is probably not that representative of science education as a whole, but we can can hope a little that the result of this is positive for the perception of chemistry and chemists.
Though a deeply buried and cynical part of my being, despite my audible protestations, thinks probably not!