• Question: Did you get any questions from the kids that made you reevaluate or consider your work in a new way? And if so, how did that impact your thinking or your work?

    Asked by elysethegeek to Andrew, Lindsay, Paige, Sean, Jeff on 13 Feb 2016.
    • Photo: Andrew Maynard

      Andrew Maynard answered on 13 Feb 2016:

      Really interesting question – I can’t remember that far back to be honest. I do know that the students made me rethink a lot of my assumptions about communicating and engaging with non-experts. There was a real sense of going back to school – with you as the student!

    • Photo: Lindsay Hunter

      Lindsay Hunter answered on 13 Feb 2016:

      A lot of kids, in trying to understand paleoanthropology and the importance of new discoveries, ask for more clarification on what makes US human. This is a very challenging question, and one that I grapple with daily. So far, the best answer that I’ve heard (from Dr. Matt Cartmill) is “Being human means that “being human” means whatever we say it means.” (Which gives you some indication of how important communication and semantics are!)

    • Photo: Sean Murphy

      Sean Murphy answered on 13 Feb 2016:

      Yes there have been quite a few situations where a question or suggestion makes me think “so why do I do it that way?”, or “I never thought to try that”. Sometimes we focus so much on a particular problem or task, and we are often working with other people with similar training and experiences. A fresh set of eyes on a problem can really make us look at a problem in a different way and think outside-the-box.

    • Photo: Jeff Shi

      Jeff Shi answered on 13 Feb 2016:

      Perhaps not in so many words, but kids certainly often pick up more interesting threads about general bat biology and behavior that lead me to wonder why no one has explored so much of it!