Piloting submarines, scuba diving the world over, and jetting across continents a la James Bond, David Guggenheim is no nerd. Guggenheim, aka the Ocean Doctor, will be in the territory next week as part of a new program to encourage V.I. students to consider the sciences as a profession.
“Students need good examples of why science is really a very exciting and challenging field,” Guggenheim said. “We’ve lost some of the connection that science is really cool .… Kids usually agree that scientist are nerds and misfits.”
Entitled the Celebrity Scientist Tour, the program brings high-profile scientists to the territory—from such disciplines as marine biology, pharmaceutical research, physics, social sciences and engineering.
Kicking off the tour, Guggenheim will embark on an ambitious schedule of presentations next week at Country Day School, Central High School and the Education Center on St. Croix, before coming to speak at several schools on St. Thomas, where he'll also give a public presentation at Coral World at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 23.
A bona-fide celebrity scientist, Guggenheim is at the forefront of science and influencing policies that protect the Earth’s oceans and has served as the vice president of the Ocean Conservancy. He is now is heading up conservationist initiatives as the leader of 1Planet1Ocean.
Guggenheim explained that when he was growing up, science was a top choice among students, especially space science with the advent of the space program.
Space for Guggenheim’s presentation at Coral World is limited, and those who wish to attend should call 340-693-1239 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Celebrity Scientist Tour is sponsored by Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (VI-EPSCoR) with funds from the National Science Foundation, according to program coordinator Nicolas Drayton.
A major goal of VI-EPSCoR is to increase the number of V.I. students entering into the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines, by strengthening their interest, research skills and intellectual development.
For more information about the tour, Guggenheim’s appearance, or to get a school involved in the tour, contact Drayton at 340-693-1239 or email@example.com.