Joe DeGeorge of Harry and the Potters Featured by PBS Nova


Nov 21, 2009

Posted by: SueTLC


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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