NASA Scientist Bill Cooke has his door clearly marked, but you’d know he spent most of his time there without the nameplate. He’s got a big “Meteor Crossing” sign on the door.
This guy loves his job.
Maps of meteor showers surround the office, but he mostly trades in predictions.
He explains, “[WHNT News 19 Meteorologist] Jennifer [Watson] forecasts rain. Well, we forecast rocks.”
But this week he turns his eyes from the skies to a different space.
He’ll take to the popular website Reddit to answer the public’s questions about his work in an AMA, short for Ask Me Anything.
Cooke says, “I’m hoping that venues like this will enable us to spark more enthusiasm. We have got to engage with the general public at their level with media that they’re familiar with.”
Because the people who work alongside Cooke helped put people among the stars, and they’ve got so much to show for it.
Cooke points out, “You benefit from NASA every day. The weather satellites, communication satellites. Yes, they are run by commercial entities, but they came about by the desire, the space race. All this stuff came about because of that.”
Meeting people in the space they frequent, can help them remember that – maybe when the next budget comes around.
But Cooke is far more excited about sharing his passion, specifically with a younger audience, “I hope that in asking us questions that they will become interested in meteors and space rocks, and maybe that will lead them down the path to learn more in science.”
Because books don’t inspire like they used to.
Cooke notes, “If we want to entice younger generations, old geezers like me have to learn how to use these new media and the internet to communicate more effectively.”
It might take Cooke a minute to transition from academic journals to the cutting edge of online community, but he wants to put in the effort.
Because calculations and formulas and even the rains of the heavens themselves, they don’t inspire like a voice.
Cooke remembers, “I can really point to a couple of teachers who helped send me down the path to where I am now.”
Maybe now he can repay the favor.
The Reddit AMA will take place on Thursday at 1pm CST.