• Question: If you could swap jobs with one of the Scientists in this zone for a day - which one would you pick?

    Asked by ryanpendlebury1 to Freya, , Katy, Louise, Pamela on 19 Mar 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Louise Pendry

      Louise Pendry answered on 19 Mar 2010:

      oooooo – that’s an easy one.

      They all sound great but the one that really grabs me is Freya’s. Freya’s work sounds amazing. I studied cooperation in animals at uni years ago and it fascinated me. Loved Richard Dawkins’ books – especially The ‘Selfish Gene’.

      I’ll never forget this study.
      Vampire bats suck blood from other animals to survive. If they go for too long without a meal they starve to death. Vampire bats will share their blood with other bats and this means that other bats that have not eaten don’t starve to death. Now this doesn’t sound like it makes sense – why give your food away to another bat and increase your own risk of dying? The bats don’t just help out family members – they also let non-family members have a feed but why?????? Well, it turns out that these bats will only share with bats that share with them. If you don’t play fair and share too then they won’t give you any blood when you need it. So…. bats cooperate with each other in order to increase their own chances of survival. A bat being nice is really just covering its own butt!

      You want to chat to Freya more about this – the evolutionary basis of cooperation is fascinating! Freya will be a font of knowledge on this topic 🙂

    • Photo: Freya Harrison

      Freya Harrison answered on 20 Mar 2010:

      Ooh, that’s a good question. I think I’d swap with Katy and look at engines for a day – it’s something totally different from what I do and a topic I know very little about, so it would be really interesting to learn something new. I admire people who can make things (and make things work!) so it would be really great to meet some engineers. And I have to admit that I’d be intrigued to see the chicken strike test in action…

    • Photo: Katy Milne

      Katy Milne answered on 20 Mar 2010:

      Freya. I have never studied biology but as I have got older I have found it more and more interesting. I think there must be loads of parallels between the way animals behave and the way we behave. Why do we do we behave the way we do? Someone asked earlier why girls are paranoid about boys. Does that have an evolutionary purpose? It would be great to have an insight into those things.

    • Photo:

      answered on 22 Mar 2010:

      What a cool question!

      I was initially tempted to say I’d try Pam’s job, but I’ve already been a PhD student and I know exactly how hard that is! As a result, I would not take on Pam’s work, not even if you paid me.

      Freya’s day starts with coffee and that’s a winner for me but I think I would find that I would end up creating really strange psycological experiments for people and animals alike. So probably not hers.

      Louise always comes across as a lovely individual and she gets to play with chickens so I’d have to try hers. BUT my only knowledge is with frozen ones, ready for baking, SO I’d probably have to choose Katy’s job in which they throw frozen chickens into jet engines.

      Katy has the best of both worlds, she gets to fly round the world and do experiments. Kinda like me! only she probably gets paid more!


    • Photo: Pamela Docherty

      Pamela Docherty answered on 22 Mar 2010:

      I think I would pick Katy because that trial she described where they broke the wing of a plane sounds brilliant! Plus it would be interesting to see what life is like in industry, rather than the sleepy old world of academia!