A Mad Scientist Fights Against Stupidity | Sean Derrig


October 29th, 2020

1 hr 24 mins 39 secs

Season 6

Your Host
Special Guest

About this Episode

Sean Derrig is NOT an eco-warrior, he’s a scientist. And he’s on a mission.

He’s also the author of a wildly entertaining and informative blog called Rectofossal Ambiguity - where he takes on the alter ego RectoFossa, a grumpy microbiologist who thinks writing this blog might be an antidote to all The Stupid on the internet. Recto Fossa is latin for arsehole, apparently.

Huge thanks to our sponsor for this episode - Cloud Academy! Go to https://cloudacademy.com/ and use the coupon code ARTIST for 50% off the monthly subscription fee for life!


LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/seanderrig/

Website/Blog: https://rectofossal.com/


[00:20:59] "So biologists, we're all obsessed with shit, basically. Especially microbiologists."

[58:32] "You need to understand that your success is entirely wrapped up in how successful you can make your team. It's not about you. It's about the people you put around you and what you can do to make them truly successful. And that's what you got your success from, because the company isn't going to grow based on finding your own ego. It just it doesn't - it would be great if it did. It would be marvelous. But life life doesn't work like that."

[01:00:17] "And without the ego and the drive of the lunatic at the helm, things don't happen. However, you do need somebody with their eye on the brakes and an eye on the cliff that you're hurtling towards, as well as."

[01:03:56] "I'd say just keep canceling the bullshit out there. Let's get the good studies out there and make sure that people understand what they mean and what they don't. And in terms of science communication, what you need to suss out really quickly is the level you need to pitch something at"

[01:05:11] "Either we can do this, which we think is quite a good idea, or we can hold our hands in a bucket of shit and give ourselves a huge round of applause. Which would you prefer to do? Well, I think I'll do the first one."

[01:06:36] "One of the greatest advertising copywriters ever once said when you're writing it out, that's only 10 percent of people read beyond the first line. So you've blown 90 percent of your budget on the first sentence. Make it a fucking good one. And in that, I think sums it up, it's you need to make sure you grab their attention"

[01:11:35] "I'm basically unemployable, and I haven't done too badly."

[01:16:39] "You need to continually reinvent and improve yourself because there's always a superior model."

[01:18:13] "There's just so much stuff out there that I don't know. I'm totally disappearing in a bubble of my own confirmation bias."

[01:21:46] "If you're uncomfortable with gay marriage or opposite marriage, it's fine, you can be as uncomfortable with that as you want, just don't marry a gay person and it will never, ever, ever, ever affect you"


[00:01:33] Guest Introduction

[00:03:28] Sean’s journey to the dark side of microbiology

[00:06:56] What's the dark side of microbiology?

Sean Derrig: [00:09:18] 70 billion friendly bacteria

[00:14:31] WTF is a “fatburg”

[00:18:27] All the unexpected ways we’re wasting water

[00:21:05] What is a radicle?

[00:21:42] Debunking big pharma

Sean Derrig: [00:23:36] The importance of good inclusion criteria

[00:27:08] Biases in biological sciences

[00:31:21] The importance of randomized trials

[00:34:56] How to not bullshit yourself

[00:38:34] Question everything

[00:39:53] Bayes theorem and COVID testing

[00:49:34] Which is worse for COVID testing: false positives or false negatives?

[00:52:31] Sensitivity and specificity in COVID testing

[00:53:35] Bayesian psychology

[00:56:00] Tips for entrepreneurs

[00:58:32] What success is all about

[00:59:55] Traits of successful entrepreneurs

[01:01:39] Entrepreneur in the COVID era

[01:01:50] That would be kind of interesting inside.

[01:04:52] How to communicate with executives in a way that will make them care

[01:08:15] Sean talks about his patents

[01:11:27] What's the one thing you want people to learn from your story?

[01:12:02] Lightning round

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