Why does red wine make your mouth feel dry? And why are peppers “hot”? Raisa Rudge answers these and other questions in short videos on Instagram.
Rudge started making the videos during her PhD on olfactory sensations of food at the Physics and Physical Chemistry of Foods and Physical Chemistry of Soft Matter. ‘My research was on the cutting edge of physics, chemistry and food technology. Sometimes I had to explain a physics story to food scientists or a story about wine to a physicist. I noticed that explaining your work as a scientist in simple terms was far from easy.’
That was around 2018. Since then, Rudge aims to post a video every week under the title PhysicsFriday. ‘I have secretly always wanted to work at the (Dutch, ed.) children’s television show Het Klokuis. Perhaps this is why. In making the videos, I always keep my nieces in mind. They must be able to understand it. Moreover, using difficult words is no fun for anyone; it keeps people from listening. I may have a PhD, but in science, I too prefer normal words. I want to show that science is not at all boring and stuffy.’
I may have a PhD, but in science, I too prefer normal words
Is making videos in addition to your research not difficult? ‘Some videos take more time than others. Sometimes I am able to do the whole thing in a single shot, add some music, and I’m done—five minutes of work. But I have also done time-lapse videos, which took half an hour to film and quite some time to edit. So yes, it takes time, but I also enjoy it tremendously, and I like putting my creativity into it. research is a lot of lab work and reading, and sometimes I just need room for my creative side.’
And, it works. The videos have an average of 1500 views. ‘The new Instagram Reels option has contributed. Previously I used Instagram to share holiday pictures, but then I thought: I have more to offer. There is much more to my life than just travelling with a beer in my hand.’
Curious? Check @ryzenshine (*also if you want to know why mozzarella melts and halloumi does not) on Instagram for science videos, DJ skills and the occasional holiday photograph. From Australia at this time.