Anna Rothschild: Why you should love gross science
Anna Rothschild makes videos about science for the young and the young at heart. Full bio
Double-click the English transcript below to play the video.
of the first fertility drugs
that when women enter menopause,
of fertility hormones in their urine.
named Bruno Lunenfeld,
isolate those hormones from the urine
who are having trouble getting pregnant.
was that in order to test this idea,
got special permission from the Pope
get pregnant today,
synthesized in a lab,
intellectual audience about nun pee?
and multimedia producer,
fascinated by gross stuff.
that I started a weekly YouTube series
a little gross about pee.
that we don't really like to talk about,
of doing it very private.
peered into the world of pee,
deeply helpful to humanity.
of making my show,
when we explore the gross side of life,
would have thought we'd find,
that we didn't think was there.
about gross things for a few reasons.
talking about gross stuff
to preserve curiosity.
about what I was like as a child?
a slime chemistry set
in my sixth-grade biology class.
surfaces around our classroom
that are undigested that owls barf up,
and awesome and cool.
with gross stuff as a kid
are really into gross things,
or eating their boogers.
are like little explorers.
as much as they can
about the relative acceptability
how everything works
of life as they can.
and not to touch the slugs or toads
in the backyard,
to keep kids safe, right?
your nose spreads germs
will give you warts,
actually think that's true.
as many toads as you want.
when kids get a little bit older,
that engaging with gross stuff
finding out where the limits are,
will have burping competitions
who can make the grossest face.
it's a little bit transgressive, right?
to why we define stuff as gross.
the concept of disgust to morality.
we categorize as gross
that we're just animals.
bodily fluids and sex
can be really unsettling,
of our own mortality.
with this deep existential angst.
and the avoidance of gross things
to protect our bodies,
kids really begin to internalize
disgusting things and immorality.
to back up this next idea,
it happens around the time we hit puberty.
our bodies are changing,
and girls get their periods,
in this way that we never did before.
really gross is happening to my body!"
something bad or wrong about me."
associate gross stuff with immorality,
out there in the world
for a walk in the woods.
to the birds and the trees and the flowers
a bigger and more awesome picture
that are driving forest growth,
beneath your feet
all of the plants around you.
about gross stuff early and often
allowed to claim this bigger picture
the fascination with gross stuff
like it's not there.
sort of a big part of our lives
and some weird tissues
consciously or subconsciously,
not to fart publicly.
to avoid being gross all the time,
this kind of voyeuristic delight
who show my videos
of adults, too.
hearing about gross stories,
to explore the gross side of ourselves.
gross stuff is so important.
on tonsil stones -- sorry, everyone --
and bacteria and food
and they smell really terrible,
and it's like -- it's awful.
have experienced this.
who have experienced this
to talk about it.
is my most popular video.
became sort of like a self-help section,
their tonsil stone experiences
for getting rid of them.
for people to talk about something
taking about publicly.
something as goofy as tonsil stones,
can have an effect like that
as common as periods.
a video on menstruation,
I am still getting messages
who are asking me about their periods.
and some not-so-young people -- out there,
what's happening to their bodies
that I am not a medical professional,
they should talk to a doctor.
that everyone should feel comfortable
about their own bodies.
it's really important for us
from a pretty early age,
over your own body
that talking to your doctor
can only address issues
there's something to address.
interesting things I learned
one scientist who told me
we don't know about periods.
that still hasn't been done.
a lot of scientists in the field
that women talk about publicly.
to ask a question.
talking about gross stuff is so important,
what you're going to find
this lovely, bright purple ink
one of the kinkiest creatures
male and female genitalia.
in this kind of, like, conga line
the partner in front of it
an awesome time-saver,
and they were like,
touch that with a stick,"
the bigger thing about sea hares
have a small number of very large neurons,
to use in neuroscience research.
used them in his research
and play in dirt and ask questions.
and don't be ashamed of it,
what you're going to find.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERAnna Rothschild - Science journalist
Anna Rothschild makes videos about science for the young and the young at heart.
Why you should listen
Anna Rothschild combines whimsical writing with painting, collage and digital animation to bring her stories to life. She is currently at the Washington Post, where she directs and hosts the series Anna's Science Magic Show Hooray! The show explores science questions like "Why do we have butts?" or "Why is blood red?" and Rothschild regularly answers questions submitted by the audience. She is also the creator of the YouTube series Gross Science for NOVA and PBS Digital Studios. Rothschild has won multiple awards for her work, including the 2016 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award for Children's Science News. She has an MA in science journalism from New York University and a BA in biology from Brown University.
Anna Rothschild | Speaker | TED.com