by Laura Davis, managing editor
In Season Two, Dr. Geek, Flask, Mr. Creature (the second), DEUS-X, and Madame Oracle will be investigating robot companions, replicators … er … 3-D printers, and bionics. Will robots ever become third in command of a starship? How long will it be before we can print a cup of Earl Grey tea? What’s up with the Dr. Who spinoff series, A Wild Endeavor? Well, you’ll have to tune in to find out!
Scott Viguié, Dr. Geek himself, recently spoke to a 600-member audience at Gallifrey One, a Dr. Who-themed convention in Los Angeles. Afterward, an attendee referred to Viguié as “The Most Interesting Geek.” We don’t want him to get too puffed-up over it, but he really is a very interesting geek! And he really is a doctor (or is he a Dr.2 ?), with both a Ph.D. in Archaeology and a Juris Doctorate. He started out practicing law, but quickly moved into the field of legal education and helping law school graduates prepare for the bar.
He also worked as a senior archaeologist on Kauai, Hawaii, and he’s done extensive research on myths and their impact on modern archaeology and storytelling. Those experiences and studies led to his book, Archaeology in Fiction. In its synopsis, Viguié wrote, “Popular fiction is filled with images of archaeologists as daring adventurers who constantly risk life and limb in the pursuit of fabulous antiquities of immense historical and monetary value. There are evil villains, great romances, and unknown perils lurking around every corner. That’s the view many people have of archaeology.” In our interview, he also said, “Because of Jurassic Park, people sometimes think I am a paleontologist.” (This gets an extra-hearty chuckle from me because of the number of times someone has mistaken my boyfriend, a geologist, for an archaeologist; apparently, we need to get to know our scientists a little better!)
I asked what the path looked like, the one that leads someone to study both archaeology and law, and then go on to develop a series like Dr. Geek’s Lab.
“What can I say,” Viguié replied, “I tried to be a true Renaissance Man. I’m the most interesting geek. I have a strong passion for education … I started this project [Dr. Geek’s Lab] to encourage others to embrace the sciences. As Carl Sagan once said, ‘we live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.’ We are becoming end users. Not creators or inventors. It’s a trend I’d like to reverse.”
The Dr. Geek’s Lab series looks at examples of science fiction in real world technology and the possibilities offered by science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In Viguié’s words, they’re “examining the future that was, the future that is, and the future that has not yet come to pass.”
In his work as an archaeologist, Viguié witnessed how easily and quickly pieces of the past can be destroyed in the present. One example he gave was how the buried bones of an ancient child can vanish forever in the span of seconds if contemporary construction projects aren’t carefully monitored.
“People get a lot less interested in the past if they are worried about the present. [It’s sad] but it’s still the human thing to do. That’s why my show illustrates how the past and present will form the future,” he said. “It’s funny considering it’s all relative. The future is nothing more than as-of-yet unrealized inertia. If we want another outcome we have to be like Schrodinger and make a choice. You’re not dead yet!”
OK, it all sounds like it might be a little chewy, but Dr. Geek’s Lab puts it all together with a fantastic ensemble cast, nice production, and a heaping dose of geeky humor … and tea. If you’re new to the series, I’ll turn you over to their announcer for an introduction:
For fans present, and fans with as-of-yet unrealized inertia (sorry, couldn’t resist!), the crew at Dr. Geek’s Lab has happy news! Season One is now available as a limited edition box set, complete with bonus mini-sodes and crew interviews!
Viguié is also organizing the first Dr. Geek’s Science Fair in Florida later this year. It’s planned to be an annual event, sort of a cross between a science fiction convention and a science fair. In keeping with Dr. Geek’s mission, the event will revolve around exploring science from fiction. We’ll present more details on the science fair as they become available.
You can catch Dr. Geek’s Laboratory of Applied Geekdom on Krypton Radio, Thursdays at 2:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 6:30 p.m., Pacific time. It’s your chance to come “hang out” with the most interesting geek! What does Viguié hope you’ll take away from the experience?
“I hope everyone is encouraged to apply their geekdom. Together we will help the future along … give it a push where it’s needed.”
- Season One of Doctor Geek’s Laboratory of Applied Geekdom, Limited Edition Boxed Set!
- The Doctor Geek’s Laboratory of Applied Geekdom Science Fair