Scientists of North Carolina

One of the ways I use photography is to share scientists' stories through a social media community called Scientists of North Carolina. Each week we feature a new scientist who lives and works in North Carolina in a style inspired by Humans of New York

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“I define a scientist as a creative question seeker. Not an answer seeker. I think a good scientist, someone who’s really propelled to make a career or lifelong hobby out of [science], is someone who can ask question after question. Because what you find out is that the answer is never the answer.”

“It was a very clear moment when I decided I want to spend my life doing this and I will never forget that day. My friend said ‘Stephani, you need to go get a PhD.’ and I said ‘I thought about it, but I can’t do this.’ And he said ‘well go ask Aidan’ so I went and asked my son Aidan who was four months old standing up in his crib. I was like ‘do you want a doctor mommy?’ and he started sort of hopping up and down in his crib and smiling. That was the moment where my mind was fiercely made up to take this route and be a scientist.”

“I think I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that I spent a lot of time in the hospital while my mom was battling stage four cancer for four years. I used to just sit there and hope that some kind of technology would come through and save her life. A technology that ultimately never presented itself. And I’d always think that maybe there was one person out there who could have saved my mom’s life. But they were never given the opportunity to pursue their dreams within the scientific enterprise because they looked a certain way, or they were from a certain background, or because they were a woman.”