Job titles matter to some employees. Many want their title to reflect what they do, especially in science, since there are so many specialties. For one young woman, her title is likely the only one of its kind. She is the Chief Curiosity Correspondent at the Chicago Field Museum. Emily Graslie has a YouTube channel on neuroscience topics and other life science events. While the research she talks about can be incredibly complex, and sometimes very dry, she manages to bring even the scariest and most difficult topics to life in a way that is entertaining and educational.
Emily is one of a kind, as far as museum officials are aware. While many museums have docents and educators on staff, having one with the specific title of “Curiosity correspondent” is unique. The museum president, Richard W. Lariviere, says her title and her role at the museum is unlike any other. How does one get a job like Graslie’s? In her case it was accidental. Lariviere saw a post of hers online that she would be at the Field Museum, and more than 100 of her fans showed up to see the museum along with her. She was offered the job on the spot, even if the description wasn’t fully fleshed out yet. Graslie didn’t have a science background; she was an art major when she first visited a museum with taxidermy animals and preserved specimens. She was fascinated by how much researchers can learn from dead animals, and her interest took off from there. She began volunteering, started her blog and then caught the attention of Hank Green, of the YouTube SciShow who helped her begin her channel. It’s been an unusual path, but Graslie loves making science accessible and fun.