Laura Gehl’s new book, Who is a Scientist?, comes out in October. This nonfiction book profiles various scientists and highlights many professions that can fall under that label, including a meteorologist, an entomologist, a paleontologist, and more. Illustrated by photographs of the scientists, this book features a diverse group of 14 men and women, including people of different races, ethnicities, ability, sexual orientation, and religion.
Several photographers contributed the vibrant photos of the scientists: Ali Rae Haney, Alexandra Taylor, Durjoy Siddique, Justin Jansen, Kristen Joy Emack, Athena Mishiyev, Nanni Fontana, Tishena Okegbe, Richard Mankin, and Lori Coleman.
What I love most about the book is that each spread features a photo of the scientist engaging in their hobby on the left, and working on the right. It talks about their interests outside of work and then explains what they do at work. For example, the first spread features Isha, a meteorologist, dancing in a red flamenco style skirt. It says she loves to dance, play volleyball, and eat chocolate, before talking about her work studying and predicting the weather. In this way, the book shows that scientists are real people, it makes science seem cooler and more relatable, and it helps promote an early vision of good work life balance.
The last spread encourages the reader to think about becoming a scientist, and it features a cool chart to help them figure out what science field they might want to pursue based on their own interests.
*NOTE: I was gifted a PDF copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.