did you get this dream job?
Chedd-Angier, the producers of Frontiers, wrote me a letter
and asked if I'd be interested in hosting the show. I said
I was, and asked if they were interested in letting me interview
scientists. They said they were and we began working together,
discovering as we went along what has become a unique way
to do a science show. I've had a lifelong interest in science
and the chance to meet with scientists and help in getting
their work on screen and in presenting a realistic, three-dimensional
picture of what scientists are like was exciting to me. After
several years of doing the show, I'm happy to say it still
was your favorite Frontiers show to do?
Each and every one in which I emerged alive.
you implemented anything that you learned from this program
into your own life?
Yes, I never go looking for sharks or rattle snakes. I don't
bother them. They don't bother me.
What is the most dangerous thing you've ever done on the
It's hard to decide. I've sat looking down into a volcano
that could blow at any moment; I've helped catch a shark and
several rattlesnakes; I let a tarantula walk across my hand,
and I ate rat soup. The one thing I refused to do was feed
a cute little baby seal with a bottle because the scientists
mentioned that if it bit me its saliva could be lethal. I
think maybe I don't know how to pick the safe ones.
What is the funniest part of doing the show?
our cameraman, Peter Hoving. He's not only an extraordinarily
talented director of photography, he also breaks us up and
relaxes us with a bizarre sense of humor. He's a tremendous
asset to the show.
If the show wanted you to go to the moon, or other planet,
would you do it?
I've learned not even to get up on a tall ladder on this show
without asking a lot of questions first. And as for space
travel, I've interviewed a number of astronauts and other
space scientists and I'm surprised by what a toll on the body
prolonged weightlessness takes. I think I'll keep the earth
under my feet until they work that one out.
is your favorite animal?
The human one. Understanding that one seems to be our toughest
challenge. Among non-human animals, I guess chimps. Then,
maybe nematodes. I've watched them under a microscope, and
although they only live for a couple of weeks, they seem to
have such a good time. They've also provided science over
the years with a lot of important information. Possibly, not
as much as the fruit fly, though, and they have a REALLY good
time. So, okay, fruit flies.