NPR/All Things Considered Interview Tomorrow

I did a phone interview with NPR’s All Things Considered yesterday, not about the Obama thing, but about the Phoenix Lander on Mars. The fellow who was interviewing me was asking me about whether the Phoenix mission wasn’t a little bit boring, and what I might do as a writer to spice things up. For my part I explained why, yes, some of the details of the mission might be a bit of a snooze unless you were an engineer (in which case, they’re really, really interesting), but that was not only okay, but necessary for actual science, because a) science features a lot of process, and b) the process of science does not fit a convenient narrative structure most of the time. And so on.

In any event, the interview, or some portion thereof, will be on the weekend edition of All Things Considered, tomorrow (Saturday) at 5:40pm or thereabouts. Says my notification e-mail: “Best to check the schedule with your local station to see when the show airs, because sometimes they delay it.” Indeed.

In any event, if you’re an NPR listener, listen tomorrow!

By John Scalzi

I enjoy pie.

25 replies on “NPR/All Things Considered Interview Tomorrow”


Yet agin another reason why I hate that my Saturday’s are crammed full of stuff to do when important things are happening on radio.

Sounds cool!

Having worked on Mars research until recently…I really, really feel sorry for the Phoenix team. They’ve got some really great scientific stuff there, but…well, MER was going to be an incredibly tough act to follow no matter what, but to be following it as a lander, not a rover…

I’m trying to remember what this “radio” thing is. If I recall correctly, it’s like a podcast, except you can’t pause it and you can’t decide when to listen to it. I didn’t realize that was still around…

Hopefully they will have it up in some sane format soon enough so I can listen.

Is this the start of a new career as a science “expert”? Should we expect to see you on TV attempting to explain science to talking heads? (Something on the order of teaching pigs to sing, I imagine.)

To John – Congrats on the interview, I’ll listen for it tomorrow.

Carol Elaine – thanks for the notice on Tim Russert’s death. I’ve been on-line job hunting all day and haven’t had either NPR or the TV on all afternoon. YIKES!

When Mars Pathfinder touched down, lo these many years ago now, one of the science team members was an internet person and science fiction writer named Geoffrey Landis.

He’s the one who started naming rocks after cartoon characters, as it happened, and he spent a good deal of effort (in between his actual science team duties and watching his experiment run) on PR stuff.

With the right attitude, to some extent you can help popularize stuff that’s otherwise sort of boring for normal people, space and science wise.

Amusingly, there was a link on the NPR site to another “science” piece about procrastination, something I know that John knows a bit about… the guest’s name is John Perry.

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