Hello everyone! Vicky here to bring you some holiday cheer. I thought, since this is our last post before Hanukkah, Yule, Life Day, Festivus, Kwanzaa , Pancha Ganapati, Soyal, the Dongzhi Festival, Christmas, Newtonmas, Boxing Day, Omisoka, and New Years, I could wind down a busy few months by talking about the American Museum of Natural History party season!
Just about every day of the week, starting from the 10th of December to the 19th, there is a party at the AMNH. Each department has their own parties, some are small and attended mostly by people within the department; others are all staff events with food, drinks, and music.
The Library kicked off the party season this year, with probably 50+ people eating and drinking in the reading room (it’s only one night of the year, librarian friends who are cringing!) as the night went on. This was a great opportunity for me to better get to know many of the scientists that I’ve interviewed for my NDSR project in a more informal environment.
Friday the 12th was the day of the physical sciences party. Since it’s one of the better slots for parties, the Rose Center was absolutely packed. What usually sets the physical sciences party apart from others is the high probability of seeing some science celebrities, since it is held in the same wing as Neil deGrasse Tyson’s office.
For me, the first celeb sighting of the night was Bill Nye the Science Guy! I walked by Neil deGrasse Tyson’s office on the way to the bar/food room, and looked in hoping for a quick look look at NDT himself, and to assess the number of people at the party. To my surprise, I saw Bill Nye in there dancing!! I promptly freaked out to my boss but kept moving as the office was way too crowded for me to get in.
Later that night, as I was refilling my drink, in Bill walked to get some dinner. I saw him bopping around the table, getting some pasta and salad, and waited until he was done to approach and ask for a picture. He was so sweet and immediately agreed! He told me on “the Science Guy show,” they had 12 GB of digital data that were constantly being fanned and air conditioned. In his words, “it was state of the art technology.”
After I got through the crowds and saw a lot of the scientists I interviewed for my project here, I made it into Neil deGrasse Tyson’s office thanks to my security guard friend Jamiel, who is tight with Dr. Tyson. He introduced me to NDT, and asked if I could get a picture with him. Dr. Tyson replied “only if she asks me.” I was so struck I immediately stuttered out “if you don’t mind, Dr. Tyson!” And he turned to take a picture with me. As we opened a bottle of wine together, I told him about my project and digital preservation, which was absolutely incredible. He was obviously supportive of anything preserving science data. He even took a picture with my boyfriend later! Such a good sport.
I have to say, the AMNH is absolutely the best place I’ve ever worked. Everyone I’ve met here has been nothing but gracious and my work is everything I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid. However, perks like getting to meet Bill Nye the Science Guy and Neil deGrasse Tyson make this job all the sweeter.
Until our next posting, happy holidays to all you fabulous readers!