On a Mission to Make Science Hot, Hotter, Hottest
Hetty Helsmoortel is all over the place: the molecular biologist, cancer researcher, entrepreneur and PhD in health sciences is part of the intergalactically popular podcast Nerdland, she can be found hanging in many a Flemish lavatories alongside her co-host Lieven Scheire with their Nerdland tear-off calendar, she has written books on chemistry and genes, chronicling the year’s most remarkable science news in her – three years and counting – witty theatre tour Missie, and in 2018 she launched the science festival Sound of Science, which has since been renamed Nerdland Festival and attracts more than 20,000 visitors every year.
Science is “hot and happening”, Helsmoortel recently told Belgian newspaper De Tijd, and she doesn’t find that all that surprising. “We live in a world that is becoming increasingly complex and chaotic. In that type of environment, science can offer guidance. Just as religion once did. There is nothing more comforting to me than the fact that one plus one is always two. Logic like that brings me peace.”