Episode 2 – Nathan Sanders

Highlights from Ep2


Nathan Sanders is an astrophysicist, data scientist and the founder of two science communication groups, Astrobites and ComSciCon in the United States.
Find out more about him.


“Follow your passion to whatever it might lead.” – Nathan Sanders

“If you really want to do great work, I think it is critical that you are motivated by it, passionate about it and invested it.” – Nathan Sanders

“If you don’t know where your optimum… and your passion response function for initial is, then you will need to do your best work. You really have to find what makes you most excited what makes you most rewarded to be confident that you are making the best contribution that you can to do the research for the society.” – Nathan Sanders

“When I tell the story in retrospect, it probably seems like a natural progression, but at the time it definitely doesn’t seem like that.” – Nathan Sanders


“I started to try to learn more about careers, opportunities and areas of research outside of astronomy and statistics and data science and through a bit of an obscure path, I found an amazing opportunity in entertainment.” – Nathan Sanders

“I think it is so important to expose yourself to a variety of research disciplines and other opportunities because if you don’t learn more about other things that you can do with your career, you might close off of opportunities that you may find incredibly rewarding and exciting.” – Nathan Sanders

“Be more open, and explore more interests… And frankly that take risks. To try something out even you are not going to succeed…. To take a little bit of the time away that you are focused on. Because it is important to cultivate and expose yourself to other areas.” – Nathan Sanders

“I truly do think that developing skills as a communicator as important to your career as your domain knowledge in your discipline as the technical skills that you have as a researcher…. Take your practice in science communication as an opportunity to share your research and researching field to a broader audience. That’s going to be very exciting to learn about it.” – Nathan Sanders

What does PhD mean to you?

“The opportunity to practice and get experience to being an investigator.” – Nathan Sanders

What does scientific perspective mean to you?

“Part of it is taking an objective perspective, trying to open to all possible outcomes to research question and hypothesis, and trying to use a combination of well-justified well-modulated theory, which is informed by domain knowledge and understanding of a field, a market or industry.
But also data collected through observations and experiments to find the answer to your question.”  – Nathan Sanders

More about science communication

“You could do the most amazing thing in the world. It could be groundbreaking. It could be completely accurate and correct. It could be really novel. It should potential have a huge impact. But your work won’t have any impact at all unless you are able to communicate successfully with other people. The only value that your research will have, is the value that you can succeed in communicating with other people.”  – Nathan Sanders

“We are empowering graduate students to do things by themselves for themselves” – Nathan Sanders

“We encourage graduate students who are interested in building opportunities for students in their field to do science writing to consider starting their own bites site.” – Nathan Sanders

All about *Bites

  • “For me, one of the most rewarding parts of being a scientist was the opportunity to engage with other scientists, to spread the word that we do.” – Nathan Sanders