Science

If you’ve tuned into the news at all in the past year, you’ll know that there’s a heck of a lot of controversy around science. Whether we are talking about climate change, masks, or vaccines you’ve probably come across disputes and wars of words on scientific topics.

I think back to a generation ago, where we had to break open an encyclopedia or visit a library to look deeper into a scientific topic of interest. With the ever-growing amount of knowledge that we have available at our fingertips, there is a growing interest and awareness around scientific topics of all types. Science is no longer limited to science class at school, the broader knowledge base is impacting our children from the very beginning of their lives more than ever before. And overall, I think that’s pretty great.

Today I’m chatting with Emily Calandrelli, better known in our house as Emily from the Netflix series Emily’s Wonder Lab. Emily is a science communicator, and she playing a part in making science approachable for both kids and adults alike. 

If you've tuned into the news at all in the past year, which I know you have, you'll probably know that there is a heck of a lot of controversy around science, whether we're talking about climate change, masks, vaccines, you've probably come across disputes and Wars of words on scientific topics . I think back to a generation ago, when I was growing up and we had to break open an encyclopedia or visit a library to look deeper into scientific topics, but with the ever-growing amount of knowledge that we have at our fingertips, there's a growing interest and awareness around scientific topics. For all ages. Science is no longer limited to science class at school. The broader knowledge base is impacting our children from the very beginning of their lives, more than ever before. And overall, I think that's pretty cool today. I'm chatting with Emily Calandrelli. She's better known in our house as Emily from the Netflix series. Emily's Wonder Lab. Emily is a science communicator. She's also a new mom with it, advanced degrees from MIT, and she's playing a part in making science approachable for both kids and adults alike.

Hi, this is Denaye. I'm the founder of Simple Families. Simple Families is an online community for parents who are seeking a simpler more intentional life. In this show, we focus on minimalism with kids, positive parenting, family wellness, and decreasing the mental load. My perspectives are based in my firsthand experience, raising kids, but also rooted in my PhD in child development. So you're going to hear conversations that are based in research, but more importantly, real life. Thanks for joining us. Thanks so much for tuning in. I think you're going to love my guest today. Emily Calandrelli, whether you think science is fascinating or boring, Emily makes it approachable and enjoyable. Emily is otherwise known as the space gal online. She's also the host of Emily's Wonder Lab on Netflix, as well as the host of exploration, outer space, Emily and many other women like her have helped to break down the gender barrier in the sciences.

In fact, in large part, thanks to her. My daughter is dying to be a scientist when she grows up. Emily is an inspiration for the kids and the adults alike. And I think you're going to enjoy hearing from her today. We talk about science, but we also talk about being a new mom and knowing when to rely on the research versus intuition without further ado here's today's episode. Hi Emily, thanks for joining me today. Thanks for having me. So you've been an inspiration in our house. My daughter wants to be a scientist and she had a science birthday this year, birthday party. Um, and it's just, it's been such a transformation since she watched your show and was so inspired by it. So I would love to hear from you a little bit more, first of all, I guess, just about your career and what do you do and how did you get to where you are?

Emily: Yeah. Well, first off, I love hearing that your daughter had a science birthday. I've heard of these science themed birthdays more and more often now. And I don't know about you, but like I did not see that growing up. I didn't have any interest in having a science themed birthday and now it just seems like so many kids are having those. So I love seeing that. Um, but yeah, so for me, um, my background is mostly in science and engineering. I studied mechanical and aerospace engineering, um, for undergrad at WVU West Virginia university. And then I went to MIT for, um, a couple of different masters, one in aeronautics and astronautics engineering, and then another one in something called science and technology policy. So essentially I just, I studied engineering stuff, um, for eight years. And then when I graduated, I started doing TV work and science communication work, which was definitely kind of a pivot, um, and what I had been studying to do, but I got this opportunity to be the host of the show called exploration outer space, which is a nationwide TV show about space exploration. And I have been doing that for the last eight years now, um, and kind of, uh, expanded this space, um, for myself and I do public speaking. I do, um, children's books and I have other TV shows now that I do as well. So it's definitely just been a wild ride for the last eight years of my career.

Denaye: So did you always know when you were a little girl that you wanted to be scientist?

Emily: No. You know, I didn't. I, so, like I said, for me, um, science, just, it wasn't a big thing when I was a kid. And I think part of that was because I didn't personally know any scientists or engineers. Um, I'm the first person in my family to pursue a degree in STEM. And so for me, I found it later in life. I got into it because I knew that engineers made good money and that was my priority at the time. But once I was there, I learned about all of the other wonderful things that science and engineering have going for it. And so I kind of reluctantly joined this world of STEM and then enthusiastically stayed

Denaye: Great. You know, I do feel like now that you mention it, there aren't a lot of scientists that many of us have in our life that we see day in and day out because of a lot of it happens behind closed doors.

Denaye: I mean, I'm thinking

Denaye: About when I was a kid, I knew my science teacher, but that's probably the only science oriented profession that I was really intimately acquainted with. Yeah. And think that's a very common

Emily: Experience. I do know that, um, for me, I felt a bit like an outsider in my, um, STEM career because so many of the people that I went to school with had parents who had PhDs in science and engineering. And when you have someone who's really close to you, that has that experience, it makes it much, maybe it makes more sense for you to fall into it for you to naturally be inclined to be introduced to all of the stuff at a young age. But that just, that wasn't my experience. Um, and I, I just feel very lucky that I came across it when I did.

Denaye: Yeah. And I think that the work that you're doing in science communication is so important because you are bringing that role model to life, not just for kids, but for adults too, to feel more connected to something that seems kind of intimidating.

Emily: Yes. Oh my gosh. Exactly. So for me, growing up, the main science show that I had was Bill Nye, which is amazing. I love Bill Nye. Um, but you know, I, as a girl and as a woman, I would like to have seen someone who looked more like me talking about all the same stuff. Because when you see someone that you relate to a little bit more in that way, everything they say, it just feels a little bit easier to digest. And it feels more like, Oh, maybe I could do that too. And with the show, Emily's Wonder Lab, for example, that I would not have expected the impact that something like that would have, because I forget now that I'm no longer a kid, um, how powerful that can be, especially at a young age. And so after Emily's wonder lab came out, it came out in August.

Emily: Um, this past year, the following October for Halloween, there were dozens and dozens of girls who dressed up as me for Halloween because they want to be a scientist.I mean, it felt like a life achievement was unlocked. It was like the most beautiful thing to see. It felt really, really cool. And I think it just shines a light on how important representation can be. Um, because a lot of these girls even put a pillow in their stomach, um, to be pregnant because that's what they imagined as a scientist. Because of course we haven't seen the show. I was, um, eight, nine months pregnant filming the show. So I was very visibly pregnant filming the show. And that's what they thought a scientist look like.

Denaye: Daughter has picked up somewhere and it wasn't from me and it wasn't for my husband, but she is really good about being gender neutral. And, um, just kind of speaking about people and animals. I find, you know, growing up in the 80's and 90's, that I tend to revert to the male pronoun a lot, just to assume that certain occupations are men. Um, but my daughter does not. And it can, it, it wows me every time I hear something from her like the other day. And I was, there was someone on a, an electrical pole at the top doing work at the electric on the electrical pole. And my daughter said, I hope she's being careful up there. Um, Oh wow. What, because I looked at that person up there who I couldn't see, who was far away from me and thought it was a man, but she just thought it was a woman, a woman, because women can do anything.

Emily: I love that. And I catch myself doing that too. Cause I think we all have this, um, internalized in misogyny. And he really, that was kind of just a result of the society that we grew up in and we have to do this rewiring of our brain, um, which I think may come surprising to a lot of people, especially guys to know that women have this internalized misogyny too, because I, I have it too. It's not really a reflection of your character. It's more of a reflection of, um, the society that wired your brain in the first place that coded that, um, those assumptions in the first place. And we all have to kind of be a little bit introspective, uh, when we have those assumptions and be like, Oh yeah, I, why did I think that I need to make sure that, um, I am always considering all options there. So yeah, I think that's really, really cool that, um, your daughter doesn't seem to have that issue.

Emily: Yeah. And even things like her stuffed animals, I always say, Oh, he like the tiger is a, he, the elephant is a hero, but she always has. It's a, she, and it's just an, I notice it every time because I think, wow, she did not get that from me. She must have gotten that from the exposure that she's getting in the greater society, which there so many changes being made, which I love so cool. And I'm so I'm so thankful for people like you, who do the work that you do so that it does benefit in the very small ways like this. Right. It's tiny, tiny little things that make a huge difference. Yeah. So tell me a little bit about your transition to motherhood because you were nine months pregnant, right. When you filmed Emily's Wonder Lab.

Emily: Yeah. So it was a very, I mean, probably one of the most magical feeling times in my life to dates, um, because I was about to have my first child and I was filming my own Netflix show, which in my world of science communication, um, and television like that, that's the pinnacle. Like that was the goal all along to have a show that had type of reach that Netflix has, um, and to be able to bring that representation on a larger scale. Um, and so that time in my life was just really, really cool and exciting and scary in a way, but just, it felt like a true adventure. And then we stopped filming, um, Emily's Wonder Lab. And then I got home and about maybe three to four weeks later had my daughter. And that is when, you know, everything changes a little bit, you embark on a new adventure.

And for me it was just, it really wonderful. Um, it was hard, of course, I think anybody who's ever had a kid knows that like bits, this mixture of just this new type of joy, you've never felt before. And also this new type of exhaustion you've never felt before. Um, but I was very lucky in that my partner played such a crucial role, especially in those early days, he had, um, a ton of parental leave because he worked at Google and they give 12 paid weeks of parental leave, um, which is choosing and unheard of. And just so key to me, being able to, um, kind of be in a good mental state in those early days. Cause I think it's really easy to not be in a good mental state in those early days because it is so, so hard. Um, but because I had that partner who was able to share all of the workload, um, it ended up just being like a very amazing adventure.

Denaye: Was there any discussion before filming that maybe you should wait until after you were pregnant? Or were they fully on board with having nine month pregnant? Emily filming?

Emily: Yeah, they put, they left it to me, um, which I thought was just so cool of them. Um, and also I was like, I don't really know how pregnancy works. Uh, I think maybe you're trusting the wrong person here. Um, but they said, you know, they asked me if I would rather, um, film before the baby comes or after the baby comes and I'm thinking, I don't know what it's like to have a baby. I hear it's kind of hard. And so, um, you know, when you're pregnant and everybody has a different experience with this personally, I was very lucky and I had, um, all things considered a very easy pregnancy. And um, so for me, I was like, well, in terms of my mental energy, my emotional energy, just like my energy in general to do things, my physical energy right now, it seems like the ideal time let's try to do this, um, before the baby comes.

Emily: And I hadn't really thought about what it would mean to be a pregnant woman doing science on a show like Emily's Wonder Lab. Um, because in my head really all I was thinking of was the logistics of it all. It's like, well, once the baby comes, it's going to be really hard for me to come back here and film cause I didn't live in LA. Um, so I would've had to leave my family for a few weeks and I was like, ah, that just sounds so hard. Let's just get it over with, um, before the baby comes. Um, and then, you know, I don't think I realized how unique it was going to be to see someone that pregnant, uh, doing science on TV.

Denaye: Yes. And I think everyone loved it. At least all the moms lip. Yeah.

Emily: I know it's funny. I think there were a few kids that noticed that in particular little girls who, um, just big grow up, wanting to be moms. And I think sometimes, uh, little kids are taught that, you know, if you're going to be a mom, that's the only thing you can be. And some of the feedback that I got from families was these little girls that were saying, I love seeing this because now I know that I can be a mom and a scientist. And I was like, you don't realize that these are the assumptions that kids are making when they're younger. And it's really cool to be able to break those assumptions early on.

Denaye: Right, yes. Again, small things have a big impact. Yeah. So my PhD is in child development and before I had my first baby, I read all the books and just kind of immersed myself in all the research. Did you do that being yourself?

Emily: I certainly did. And it was, it was very much like, um, some of the books were good and some of the books were very like pseudo sciencey, I would say. Um, and so I feel like when you're a parent, especially when you're a mom, you just, you want to have all of the information because this is this new job that you're taking on. You really want to be good at it. You're trying to do as much research as you can to make sure that you're good at it. But a lot of the books out there are not based in research. Um, they're sort of just based on anecdotal evidence and gut reactions. And so I only found a couple books, um, really helpful, but then even when I did it is funny how once you have a kid, you're like, Oh my kid, isn't a statistic. This is like an individual person who has their own needs. And I'm going to have to like, there's no rule book for this specific person. And so you kind of have to go, um, a little bit with just like what you're learning in the moment and how you can kind of apply the things that you've learned to that specific person. But yeah, there's, there's not a very good rule book for how, how to, um, raise a specific baby.

Denaye: Right. And finding that balance between trusting maternal instinct and trying to research the heck out of every move that you make that can be tricky. Right?

Yeah, exactly. And, um, one of the books that I loved before I had a kid was that Bringing Up Bebe, um, where I was like, yes, I love this philosophy of not, you know, changing your entire life to fit and to a babies, the baby can fit into your life and we'll have set mealtimes and snacks will be few and far between. And then I had a kid and I was like, well, if I'm thinking there are, there are snacks galore in this family because especially when you don't have a routine, um, where you do the same thing every single day. Um, cause we, we love to, we love to be active. We love to travel. Especially before the pandemic, my daughter was on like, um, 12 flights before she was, I don't know, five months old. Um, and so when you do things like that, this whole like having a set dinner time and set lunch time and never having snacks like that just didn't fly. Um, and so I was like, we're, we're sort of doing our own bringing up baby where they're fitting into our life, but, um, maybe in a different way. Yeah.

Denaye: Do you think that the pandemic has, in some ways sort of slowed things down for you and kept you closer to home during this early period of motherhood?

Emily: Oh, I mean that definitely because usually my, my schedule is flying every other week. Um, and being gone for about three days a week, um, every other week. And so it's been really, really nice in a way because I haven't been able to do that. And of course, part of me misses it a little bit, but it's the joy of traveling, um, is a little bit diminished now when I have, um, all this wonderful stuff happening at home, um, for me, some of my favorite parts of the day are just like getting my daughter up and sitting in the rocking chair and looking out the window and pointing it, things that we see or doing bedtime and singing those songs. And it's like, these are the moments that like, they bring me so much on adult or joy and I would do anything to not miss them. Um, and they're just, they're so simple, but it's like, Oh my gosh, my heart has not felt that type of joy ever. Um, and so I am very thankful that I've been able to spend these early days, um, at home, which has been really nice. How old is she now? She's a year and seven months.

Denaye: Okay. So that, I feel like it was right around the time for me that I felt like my first started to need a little bit more outside of me, a little more outside exposure. And I kind of have felt like this whole journey in motherhood has sort of, you know, it's kind of like this slow separation process and the more that my kids sort of need something outside of me and my partner and our home, the more I kind of need a little more something it's sort of a slow kind of moving, moving apart. I hate to say that because that's not what any mother wants to hear, but in many ways I feel like the older my kids get, the more that I want to take on personally. And the more that I want to see them grow in ways outside of the family too.

Emily: Yeah. I love that. I mean, I can totally see that too, because I think one, part of me, someone who, um, I was so focused on, um, my career and finding things that make me happy outside of family, um, which it's, it's such a balance, right? Because so many of those things that make me happy outside of family are only truly worthwhile when I have someone to share it with. And so it's like, you're always constantly striking that balance. But, um, for me, I just gained so much joy from her in the first year and a half. And I see the same stuff where like now she needs more outside, more outside attention. And um, I wanna to make sure that as she grows older and as I grow older, that I am finding kind of confidence validation outside of her because I just think that's so important to stay true to yourself and have that independence and find ways that, you know, you can like find your own identity outside of motherhood, because that is just going to change so much over the years that, um, you know, I'm trying to be happy for my entire life.

And so I want to, uh, you know, get my joy from my daughter, but also find joy and other things as well.

Denaye: All right, we're going to take a quick 60s word from today's sponsor and we'll talk about science. When we come back, today's sponsor is Sunday. Many of you know, that we recently moved and we downsized not only are we in a smaller house, but we have a much smaller yard. And part of that reasoning was that we were overwhelmed by taking care of our yard. Now, even though we're in a smaller house, we're still pretty clueless about the best ways to handle simple things like bare patches and pesky weeds. So when Sunday reached out and asked about sponsoring the podcast, I said, yes, absolutely. I would love to try one of your custom lawn care plans that requires absolutely zero brain power of mine. Sunday is easy to use, but it's also safe. They use natural ingredients that are safe for pets and kids. So to take the guesswork out of growing a greener more beautiful lawn this year visit getsunday.com/families to get $20 off your custom lawn plan at checkout. That's $20 off your custom land plan at getsunday.com/families. All right, back to today's episode. Now I read, sorry. I watched an older Ted talk of yours, um, on making science nicer. And it really struck me as how important it is because as a science communicator, you have to make sure that people are listening to what you're saying, and they're only listening if they can really understand it, if you make it palatable to them. Right. Right.

Emily: Right. Exactly.

Denaye: I feel like I've seen so much, especially during the pandemic, so many sort of science battles, whether, you know, it's about climate change or STEM cell research or vaccines. Um, there's just a lot of people fighting over science right now.

Emily: Yeah. Yeah. I, it's definitely a very fascinating time. I think, as a science communicator to just witness the political, that kind of the political politicization politicization, what word am I trying to say that I have no idea, but one of those, probably one of those, you know, the, like the politics and science and how it influences what people believe. And, um, it's, I find it just like absolutely fascinating that wearing a mask can be politicized. Um, and so, yeah, I think for people who are science communicators, we have to understand, um, how certain advice is going to be received and how the messenger sort of influences how others will receive that advice as well. Um, and I think the other really important thing to remember, uh, with any conversation that that goes, um, on with science is that everybody has a different bandwidth to be open to new information like this.

Emily: When I think about climate change, for example, there are so many people all around the country and all around the world that have, uh, are a lot of their mental capacity is trying to figure out how to put food on their plate or how to make sure they have a roof over their heads or how to make sure their kids get to school safely. And they just don't have the bandwidth to care about these larger issues that some of us who are lucky enough to be able to care about them do. Um, and so I think we have to be cognizant of the fact that not everybody has the same bandwidth as we do. Um, cause you know, you've talked to them and you're like, well, you should care about climate change. And they're like, I care about keeping my children fed and I do not have time for that.

Emily: And that's just, I think that is sometimes something that we forget, um, and understanding that. And um, either, you know, making sure that people who have the bandwidth to care about this, that we kind of take the onus on us to do the work, to help solve it or frame the issue in a different way that actually speaks to them. Cause sometimes we're talking about it in a way that doesn't actually speak to their values or the things that they care about. So talking about issues in a way that's empathetic, knowing that not everybody has the same bandwidth as we do. And then also framing that issue in a way that speaks to them can be really helpful.

Denaye: Yes. I think we can be really quick to judge other people who don't care about the same things that we do on the same level that we do. Right. If you don't care about climate change, you must be a bad person, right. You're, single-handedly ruining our earth because you don't care about climate change. Right. But you're right. Everyone cares about something different and talking to someone like that, you know, like you're a bad human because you don't care about climate change. That's not going to get anybody anywhere.

Emily: Right. Cause if your goal is to change their mind, then you have to be a little bit more thoughtful about it. Because a lot of these conversations that you see, especially online on Facebook, on Twitter, the goal of these people's conversations is not often to change their mind to be right. And so when you see these conversations where people are being really snarky and condescending and there's name calling and there's character assassinations involved, that is a conversation where somebody is just trying to be. Right. Um, the harder thing to do is to try to be persuasive and to be persuasive, you have to really put more thought into the way that you communicate.

Denaye: Yeah. You have to be a listener. Exactly. Exactly. So I'm going to read this message. I got an Instagram recently because I felt very frustrated by it. Um, I had posted a picture of myself getting the COVID vaccine, not with any messaging, just, Hey, I got the vaccine and I got a message that said from a follower that said, you're participating in the world's greatest vaccine trial ever as these vaccines are only under emergency approval and in trial until 2023. Congratulations on being a trial participant for free clapping hands emoji, you could have signed up in phase one trials and at least got paid for it. Yeah, I think I just like I, so I have a pre I have pretty fixed skin. The sort of thing doesn't really bother me in a sense where I wasn't really personally offended by it, but I just felt like I hear that you have a very strong opinion about this. That's what I, yeah.

But

Kate, I cannot even hear your opinion because there is so much shame in your messaging.

Emily: So much shame in the messaging and just so much snark there's, you know, there's no, um, conversation that's going to be had with that level of snark, um, to begin with your brain just shuts off. And you're like, wow, the, the communication has already ended because you've burned the bridge and there is no, um, communication back and forth that can happen now. Um, and, but when I hear things like that, I'm like that as someone who clearly doesn't understand the situation and you just sort of have to be like, well, I, I hear that you have a strong opinion about this, but I also hear that you don't quite understand how this works. Um, I mean, for the, just to give one example, one of the reasons why, um, these vaccines were able to be, um, expedited was because in traditional vaccines that often take many years to develop.

Emily: One of the major hurdles is funding, um, funding of the trials and the spacing between the trials. Um, and so with this, that wasn't really an issue because we could just funnel as much money into it as we needed to because it was a global pandemic. And then you just skip all those gaps of time in between where scientists are writing grants and applying for funding and getting rejected and then going to the next cycle and applying for funding. And you can solve a lot of time issues when you have a lot of money and I'm like, well, you don't take that into consideration. Um, it, maybe it felt like it was rushed to somebody who doesn't understand the process, but, uh, that it, I think to those in the scientific community, it's like this checked all of the boxes and went through all of the same rigor that, um, any vaccine goes through. So yeah, I, I, but you're right, that that comment is simply meant to, um, be snarky and it's not really meant to facilitate conversation.

Denaye: I don't feel like having a conversation with someone like that because it does feel feudal because, I mean, I don't even know where, where to go from there. Um,

Emily: They're clearly like not looking at a club conversation. They're basically just looking to get clout from, um, snark, which is the downside of social media. Social media has so many benefits of sharing information, especially scientific information, but then people have the wrong incentives because, um, snark is very much rewarded, um, on social media, especially on places like Twitter, where you have an unknownst view, that is just very one-sided and very snarky. And, um, but that gets retweets. And so yeah, social media has a downside.

Denaye: I do feel like there is a strong elitist perspective in science where there are people who really understand science well, who kind of looked down upon the people who don't. Is that something that you see in the science community?

Emily: I, I think that his, I mean, yes, definitely across the board. That is absolutely true. And I think historically it was more true. Um, I think there's been more social science research on the communication of science and the communication of anything in general, especially when it comes to politics. There's a lot of political psychology research that's out there that science communicators can learn from where a political scientist, um, researcher will, or, uh, someone who's researching political psychology rather will look at the best way to frame a policy proposal so that, um, someone who leans conservative or liberal will be more likely to support it. Um, and you can imagine that that same research can be applied to the framework of, well, how do I, um, propose this new science policy or the scientific information in a way that someone who leans conservative or liberal will be more likely to, um, digest it or just listen to it at least. Um, and so there's a lot of that research that's coming out now. And so I think that, um, it's gotten a little bit better, but yeah, it is still a pervasive problem.

Denaye: So you, especially on your Instagram channel, I don't know, is there anywhere else that you talk about science in a way that's really palatable?

Emily: My, the main one that I do now is on TikTok. Um, TikTok has been really fun for me. I started at, during the pandemic and it quickly became my most viral social media platform. I think anywhere else, like on Twitter and Instagram, Facebook, I have like fewer than 150,000 followers. And on TikTok, I have nearly 600,000 followers and it just became this, this platform that became for me really fun to use when it comes to science communication, because it's pretty short, it's only 60s videos and I deliver information really quickly. And so it's a really great challenge to figure out how do you deliver a scientific message within 60 seconds that can be clear and concise. And I, I, I love that that framework. Um, so for me to talk has been my go-to

Denaye: Yeah. And 60 seconds is really all the attention that you're going to get from most people about the science topic, because after that you're going too deep and people, you start to lose them in the details. Right? Exactly. So who is watching like who is interested in learning about science from you?

Emily: Yeah, I, it's such a range of people now because for the last eight years I've been hosting Xploration Outer Space, which is a space show geared toward college age students and older. So I have a pretty large adult following from that. I was also a tech journalist for a little while covering the space industry. And so that's like a pretty, um, high like professional space industry audience. So an older space industry audience, but with Emily's Wonder Lab, I got this just a huge group of following of mostly moms with young kids who are trying to foster curiosity and just an interest in science, in their kids. And so now I have this really fun mix of people who are like old space industry professionals, young college students studying STEM, mostly probably aerospace students. And then this cohort of moms who are just really excited about getting their kids.

Emily: Interested in science, um, and it was fun to watch because after Emily's Wonder Lab came out, my audience across all of my platforms was like something like 70% male, 70 to 75% male. Um, because that's just what the demographic of the space industry looks like. Um, and then after Emily's Wonder Lab came out, those numbers changed every single day to now in my audience is about 65% women. So it basically switched, which is really, really cool. I love like, I'm very happy to see that. And that's very rare for a science communicator in my position because most people, um, who do this on social media, their eye is predominantly male. And so for me to have a predominantly female audience, that's like, I feel like that's my superpower.

Denaye: Yeah. I am not ashamed to admit that a lot of my science knowledge has come from kids' books. Like my kids have this book called what makes it rain? It's like a 15 page board book. And I was like, wow, how do I know why it rains? Now I know how it rains. And it's funny about even as an adult, you know, most of what I learned in science class in high school and in college is not, is gone. Like it went in one year, ended up, we went out the other. So there's been this real kind of learning together. That's happened with my kids.

Emily: Yes. I, and I think that those types of books are so, so great because for so many of us, I think as we get older, we get more embarrassed to admit the things that we don't know, and that hinders any type of learning because when you're not willing to admit that you have a gap in your knowledge, you're never going to fill that gap in your knowledge. Um, but kids are so open to asking questions about the world and books like that they work. Their goal is to explain it in a way that you don't need any prior knowledge to be able to understand the concept, at least at a high level. And I think that's so valuable for anyone. So for me, when I explain topics about science or astronomy or whatever it is, I try to explain it in such a way that anybody can understand it.

Emily: Um, I think my audience, I, in my head I'm thinking like, well, what about, um, like a, a six-year-old would a six year old be able to understand that? And it just happens to be that a lot of my adults are still following because they want stuff explained to them like a six year old as well, because so many of those people have forgotten a lot of the basic concepts of science and needed explain to them as if they didn't have any prior knowledge also. So all of these things that like the books that you're reading, I think many adults would benefit from those as well.

Denaye: Yup. Speak to me like a six year old. I have no shame in fitting that. Yep. So you have a kids book now.

Emily: Yes. Yeah. So the Adalace Adventures, um, it's a five book series. It's about this girl in third grade who loves science and adventure. And she goes on, um, these different excursions to solve mysteries, um, with technology and gadgets that she builds herself. Uh, so it's kind of like, uh, a nerdy version of Nancy Drew.

Denaye: Oh, awesome. I'm going to have to get it. I can't believe it. I don't have a copy of it yet. Well, this has been so fun. Chatting. Where can people find you?

Emily: Well, I'm online. I'm everywhere at the Space Gal, um, @TheSpaceGal. So on TikTok on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, The Space Gal, um, and then you can find me at thespacegal.com.

Denaye:Awesome. Thank you so much, Emily. Thanks so much for tuning in. If you've enjoyed this episode, take a screenshot of yourself, listening and post that up to your Instagram stories. Make sure that you tag me. I would love to hear from you. If you have a second, leave a rating or review for this show on iTunes that helps the show to reach more people. I appreciate your support. Have a good one.

Denaye Barahona

Dr. Denaye Barahona is a loving wife and mama of two. She partners with families to tackle the challenges of raising children. Denaye is a minimalist who claims to be a decluttering expert (don't let her near your closet). She loves to travel, talk health-and-wellness, and give unsolicited advice. She has been featured on the likes of The Today Show, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, The Minimalists, Motherly, Becoming Minimalist, and numerous other media outlets. Denaye holds a Ph.D. in Child Development and is a Clinical Social Worker with a specialty in child and family practice.