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Interview with Ian Brooks

by Eva Amsen

A few years ago, I came a across a website called LabLit. I know it well now, and have been featured on their podcast and wrote a review for them, but back in 2006 I had never seen the site before. One of the pieces that caught my eye at the time was The Scientific Chat-up by Ian Brooks. Here’s a part of it:

“I see Mike flush and hang his head. Don’t do it Mike! I’m thinking. But as if on cue, he makes the lemming-like suicidal leap from the precipice of true love and says: “I’m in graduate school. Studying physics.”

A sudden chill descends upon the table. Giggles break out near my left shoulder. All my hard work is slowly coming undone! Why oh why, I think to myself, couldn’t he lie? He’s supposed to say he’s a musician; that’s my line too!”

A few weeks ago I caught up with Ian, and he talked about the secret life of a PhD among musicians, and tried to figure out what’s cooler: drums or neuroscience.

(The audio quality is not that great – I had to split the tracks because I forgot to use headphones on my side, and I had to cut out a large chunk of my part with my first few questions for that same reason, but hopefully it’s still coherent even without my opening questions.)

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