Anyone that follows the XKCD comics will know that they posted an Up-Goer Five comic about the US Space team. They said that “Most of the jargon used in rocket science is not among the most commonly used words in everyday life. This comic is a commentary on the absurdity of boiling down technical explanations for lay people.”
A few people on twitter have attempted to describe their working life using this concept, including:
Stephen Davy at The Sceptical Chymist shares information with the world
Chemjobber makes people money
Derek Lowe makes people feel better
As well as the many blog posts, people have been using the hashtag
#UpGoer140 to try to explain their work in lay terms, in less that 140 characters.
I have decided to have a go at this. As you know I am a postdoctoral researcher in carbon capture but I cannot use the words science, lab, research, carbon etc. My new job will be to make drug-type molecules.
Here is my Up-Goer Five attempt:
At the moment I work to make the world a better place by trying to find ways of taking the bad stuff out of the air. I want to see if using new things will help or make the world a worse place to live. I wear a white thing and funny glasses every day and play with round glass things and then put other stuff in the glass. I also show other people how to play with round glass things and how to make stuff using them. I sometimes use long glass things with white stuff in to make the thing at the end much nicer. My new job will be to make stuff that will help people who feel bad, feel better some day.
Why not have a go yourself?
*I have realised that only chemists will really get my description, maybe I should have another go and try to write about my work in a way that everyone can understand …?