Aaron Mercer is a neuroscientist, and a research scientist with Novo Nordisk. Considering I know next to nothing about what that entails, I was extremely excited for this week’s interview. After talking to Aaron, I realized I could subtitle this episode “How To Be a Scientist.”
This is my favorite type of episode to do because the world is so foreign to me. It’s literally why I started this podcast. I love getting to peer through the keyhole of how people came to do the work they do, what steps they took to get there, and what the journey felt like. In the case of Aaron Mercer, he’s now had more years of post-secondary education than he does K-12. That’s staggering, and well worth diving into.
And dive into it we do. We hit all the stops including high school, college (where, it should be noted, Aaron and I were DJs at KCSU fm in Colorado State University), graduate school in Nebraska, post-doc at Michigan, and finally in his professional role in Seattle. It’s an incredible path and one I found endlessly fascinating. We take plenty of digressions along the way talking about distance running, craft beer, and music, which brings me to another point.
Scientists are typically portrayed one way in media – this way, basically – and it was fun getting to talk to a real live scientist about how much of that portrayal rings true at all. His insight is interesting.
Two notes: 1) I lost a friend and mentor last week as Mike Gaughan passed away. Please go back and listen to his episode, the very first episode ever posted on this site. Great insight into the world of PR and promotions with work in movies and natural resources. 2) No episode next week. Happy Labor Day!