We met up with Lee Constable, presenter for the popular Channel 10 show Scope to find out how she managed to carve out such a creative career. Day-to-day, she’s using her science smarts along with her drama knowhow to bust myths with science and explain STEM concepts in a way that’s fun and useful.
Keen to tune in to Scope TV? Catch it on Ten Peach, Sunday mornings at 10am. Or watch it online for free at Tenplay.com.au.
When you were younger, what did you see yourself doing as a career?
I grew up on a sheep farm in country New South Wales. I always had an interest in farming, animals and nature, but it probably wasn’t until high school when we had science classes for the first time that I started to love it.
I thought I’d be a climate scientist or environmental scientist of some kind, but I always had a creative streak. I majored in drama and sociology in my Arts degree, so I always kept this other side of my interests alive.
What was your study pathway to your current work?
At ANU, I did a double degree in Arts/Science, then Honours in Biology and a Masters in Science Communication.
When did you get switched on to science communication and how?
I became interested in science media when I was doing my SciComm masters. At that time I started doing community radio and podcasting. I also participated in a Questacon circus doing live shows for different communities around Australia.
Around that time, I put together a showreel with the help of a camera guy at Questacon. 6 months later a job as a presenter at Totally Wild came up, and I was shortlisted. During shortlisting for the Totally Wild gig they saw my science presenting experience and considered me for Scope TV instead.
Tell us about Scope TV. What is the big picture goal or purpose behind Scope?
Scope TV is show about all things science, engineering, maths and medicine, so each week on the show we have a different topic we explore. For example, we bring on guest speakers who are experts in their field to bring the theme to life.
New episodes air Sunday mornings on Ten Peach at 10am and are available to watch for free online at Tenplay.
What is the coolest, strangest, best, most meaningful, most ambitious or favourite project you’ve worked on so far?
I got selected to be part of Homeward Bound last year. It’s the world’s largest all-female expedition to Antarctica, and a leadership program for women in STEM all around the world. We spent 3 weeks in Antarctica attending leadership workshops, and meeting scientists that live and work there full time.
I wasn’t expecting icebergs to be so beautiful! I’ve seen them in plenty of documentaries, but looking at an iceberg with your own eyes is pretty amazing
What is your advice to students who want to work in science communication?
There are so many different ways to jump into media – Youtube, podcasts, student media at your university, for example. There are lots of opportunities, so whether you’re blogging or vlogging just give it a try!
What is something interesting or surprising about you that not many people know about?
I can crack a stock whip! I learned to ride a horse before I ever learned to ride a bike, too. I think that sometimes surprises kids for them to learn that someone like me grew up in the country.
“There are so many different ways to jump into media – YouTube, podcasts, student media at your university, for example. There are lots of opportunities, so whether you’re blogging or vlogging just give it a try!”
Author: Eliza Brockwell
Eliza is passionate about creating content that encourages diversity of representation in STEM.