Outwit, outlast, outSTEM: we career stalk the physicist currently on Survivor

Baden Gilbert
Before the tribes merged, Baden was on Team Contenders. Image: Ten via Instagram/@baden.gilbert

STEM and reality TV rarely hang out in the same sentence, but with Ten’s current bachelor an astrophysicist and a stack of STEMinists with killer CVs vying for his love the unlikely duo have been spending a lot of time together.

And we’re not complaining.

Between the #astrobach tag on Twitter and the science puns doing the rounds in entertainment headlines, we’re just stoked the mainstream media is talking about someone – anyone – in STEM.

But it’s not just The Bachelor contestants who boast jobs in science, tech, engineering and maths. The current sixth season of Australian Survivor: Champions v Contenders features an up-and-coming physicist with an impressive tertiary study pathway. And he might just have the adaptable STEM skills to win it.

Baden Gilbert, 23, PhD student

At 23, Baden Gilbert is the youngest contestant in this year’s cast, and is in the process of wrapping up his PhD at The University of Adelaide on the physics of the ionosphere – the charged part at the top of the earth’s atmosphere.

Baden Gilbert
Thanks to his STEM smarts Baden (left) dodged Exile Island and pulled off a blindside. Image: @Baden.Gilbert

He applied for the series after seeing last year’s science genius Sam completely ace it, despite STEM skills not traditionally associated with excelling at such a physical game.

RELATED: We stalked the CVs of the Bachelor contestants with STEM careers

“An underdog is less likely to be targeted by others prolonging their time in the game,” he admitted in episode one, explaining that being under-estimated could work to his advantage. “That’s what I’m hoping will happen to me!”

With smarts in physics, he’s been smashing the puzzle-focused immunity challenges. And as a member of his local life-saving club he has demonstrated serious strength in anything water-based.

Here’s hoping he proves that the adaptable nature of a STEM degree means a fluency in a transferable soft skills – communication, creativity, time management, problem-solving – that can be used across a host of diverse challenge-types, not just those typically requiring brains.

Casual fireside chats about quantum mechanics would be cool too.

Into STEM + reality TV? Here’s the latest on Bachelor Matt.

Cassie Steel

Author: Cassie Steel

As Refraction’s digital editor, Cassie Steel spends her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists on Twitter.


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