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Joe DeGeorge of Harry and the Potters Featured by PBS Nova

Posted by: sue
November 21, 2009, 10:34 AM

Harry Potter meets Science meets Wizard Rock...of sort as PBS Nova has a new special online called "Secret Lives of Scientists"  and features Joe DeGeorge of Harry and the Potters. Many of you might know that Joe is one half of the popular Wizarding rock group, but he is also a serious Physics student at Clark University, and on the site we can learn more about his passion for both science and music in a great series of videos with this  funny, talented and very smart young man. Quotage from PBS:

"We were pretty excited when Joe DeGeorge came to our set. We’d met some other scientists who thought they were rock stars. But Joe really is one. In his SLoS videos, Joe talks about some similarities between rocking with his band, Harry and the Potters, and doing his science. In one of the pieces that got left on the cutting room floor, he also spoke about one of the differences:

“The sort of satisfaction I get out of music is that there’s almost this instant gratification of making something—when you play a show, people are there, and clapping for you, and excited for you. Whereas in science, if I’m just at my lab, mixing some stuff up, maybe I make a new compound—but nobody’s there, cheering for me. There aren’t a hundred people standing outside my lab, going ‘Yeah! Do it again! One more!’ I mean that would be great if that happened in science. But it’s hard to imagine a giant laboratory on stage with some guy mixing stuff together and not knowing what’s going to happen. Most of the time, people would just be like, ‘Oh—that didn’t work….’”

For better and for worse, what Joe says is true. In one of his videos, you can hear us clapping after he sings his impromptu composition, “Dick Feynman.” But we didn’t clap at all when Joe was telling us about growing crystals in the lab. Not even a little.

So if science is short on rock-star adulation, what’s in it for Joe?

“I get a great satisfaction in knowing that we as a species are looking for new things and exploring the universe we live in, to see what’s really out there, and trying to understand how it works, and where it’s going—and where it came from. It’s almost like it fulfills, that sort of religious nature people have, the need to explain the universe—that’s what science does for me. So, being able to explore the unexplored is—I imagine I get the same feeling that an ancient shaman would, working with magical materials. When I do science, I’m trying to do something no one’s ever done before.”

Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap.

Dumbledore would be proud.

Hear hear! Thanks for the link Daniel!

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8876 Points

Wow, this is such a great article. This interview is awesome and, the comments about Joe DeGeorge are just amazing.

Posted by Moose_Starr on November 21, 2009, 10:52 AM report to moderator
4007 Points

what a great article!

Posted by KC Nox on November 21, 2009, 12:45 PM report to moderator
147 Points

There are those of us who do applaud the seemingly solitary work of scientists. I recently heard from a college friend who said that she works for a company that is one of the only suppliers of Perchloric Acid (an extermely powerful acid used in industry) in the world. That was an awesomely geeky place to work I thought and I applauded her pride in working there. I never knew the science side of Joe DeGeorge…it makes him all the cooler to me!

Posted by realspace on November 21, 2009, 02:06 PM report to moderator
4852 Points

great article!!

Posted by #1 Witch ROAR! on November 21, 2009, 02:30 PM report to moderator
3271 Points

I applaud you Joe and Dumbledore certainly does too! Great article!

Posted by Half-Blood Princess66[ROAR!] on November 21, 2009, 06:54 PM report to moderator
80450 Points

Interesting stuff!

Posted by Won_Two on November 21, 2009, 07:45 PM report to moderator
660 Points

This is brilliant! Maybe he will be the guy to make apparition a reality!

Posted by Noble Birth Descending on November 22, 2009, 02:54 AM report to moderator
16832 Points

Wow. This is great! SQUEE!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by gingersnape on November 22, 2009, 03:13 AM report to moderator
3048 Points

This is such a wonderful and inspirational article. He sets such an example for all of us.

Posted by Kirk on November 22, 2009, 03:36 AM report to moderator
4138 Points


Posted by Calum Wilson (RuneDream54) on November 22, 2009, 05:09 AM report to moderator
3526 Points

awesome article!

Posted by DesQueJteVois on November 22, 2009, 06:28 AM report to moderator
261 Points

Loved the article!!!

Posted by kyramp on November 22, 2009, 08:03 AM report to moderator
3371 Points


Posted by Lady of the Lake on November 22, 2009, 06:19 PM report to moderator
3560 Points

Cool…wait, Nova is still on?

Posted by Brosia, OoM 2 [WBM] on November 22, 2009, 07:01 PM report to moderator
1709 Points

ha ha this is totally genious

Posted by LittleLoony♥ʎuool ǝlʇʇıl {WBM!} on November 22, 2009, 08:34 PM report to moderator
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