Zoe Budrikis joined Nature Reviews Physics after postdoctoral research at the ISI Foundation in Turin and at the Center for Complexity and Biosystems at the University of Milan and a PhD from the University of Western Australia.
What made you want to be a physicist?
In high school, I didn’t plan to study physics. I wanted to take Ancient History instead. But the timetable didn’t work out so I took physics classes and enjoyed them, and then I took some physics courses at university and enjoyed them so much I changed my degree. The rest, as they say, is history.
If you weren’t a physicist, what would you like to be (and why)?
It’s a cliché, but my backup plan/daydream is to open a bakery. I love seeing people enjoy food I’ve made, which is easy to do with cake! Plus, thinking about how to put unusual flavours and ingredients together is the kind of problem-solving I find relaxing. Of course, there’s a lot of physics involved in understanding how food works.
Which is the development that you would really like to see in the next 10 years?
Interdisciplinary science has really come to the fore in recent years, and I’m excited to see where that will take us. Especially because so many of the big problems in science and society – climate change springs to mind – require people with different backgrounds to work together to find a solution.
Which historical figure would you most like to have dinner with — and why?
I’d love to meet some of the everyday people of the past. Any era, really. Most of what I know about history is about big political figures, or famous authors/artists/inventors, and I think it would be fun to sit down with someone not at all famous and find out what their life was actually like.
What Sci-Fi technology would you most like to have (and why)?
I’d like everyone to have the Babel Fish from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
What is your non-scientifically accurate guilty pleasure (could be film/series/book)?
I watched a lot of classic Dr Who as a teenager, and I retain a soft spot for alien planets that look remarkably like quarries.