Amanda Coletti wearing a shirt that says "Stories in Science" on it. Photo provided by Amanda Coletti
Amanda Coletti wearing a shirt that says “Stories in Science” on it. Photo provided by Amanda Coletti

Amanda is a Ph.D. student in Communication studying science communication, narrative storytelling, and communication training/development. After studying neuroscience in undergrad and earning a M.S. in Physiology & Neurobiology, Amanda saw first hand the issues in STEM fields with communicating research, training, and mentorship, and she became passionate about studying these communication research questions, designing training to help address these problems and measuring their effectiveness.

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Early Bird

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?


3 Do you have any pets?

Yes! My longhaired calico cat, Belle

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

I have so much brain-themed decor! My favorites are a brain-shaped cookie jar and brain section coasters

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?


6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?


7 Do you speak any other languages?


8 If you could switch professions, what would you do?

I actually did switch professions from neuroscience to science communication, which is my dream profession!

9 If you could switch science fields, what field would you want to work in?

I have switched science fields, so ideally I want to work in an interdisciplinary job at the intersection of social and natural sciences

10 If you got a plane ticket right now, where would it go?

Italy. My paternal side is Italian and I’ve always wanted to travel there and explore the food and culture.

11 If you had one superpower, what would it be?

As an avid Harry Potter fan, I’d love to be able to apparate! Instantaneous commuting would be wonderful

12 Is there anything you strongly recommend we watch and/or read and/or listen to?

I really love listening to podcasts! Some of my favorites include The Story Collider, Ologies, and SpeakUp Storytelling

13 It’s your day off. What do you want to do?

Brunch, shopping, and watch movies

14 What are three things you can’t live without?

Chocolate, books, podcasts

15 What beverage gives you life?


16 What book did you read in school that positively shaped you?

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

17 What did you want to be when you grew up?

Dancer, music composer for movies, scientist

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

I get inspired by so many things: books, podcasts, social media conversations

19 What got you excited in science?

Exploring the unknowns of the human brain

20 What excites you about science now?

How narrative can be used to tell compelling and engaging stories about science

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

I love watching Masterpiece period dramas on PBS

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I’ve been playing the piano since I was 5 years old

23 What is your favorite game?


24 What is the last book you read?

The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall

25 What is one of the best pieces of advice you’ve received?

“Strive for progress, not perfection”

26 What is something you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do?


27 What is the best advice for your 18 year old self?

“You will move past this, life finds a way”

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Reading a good book with a comfy blanket

29 What is the last thing you watched?

Greys Anatomy

30 What is the weirdest thing you’ve had in your bag?

A section of brain sample as I transported it between buildings

31 What is your favorite animal?


32 What is your favorite book?

Jurassic Park

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Chocolate Cake

34 What is your favorite day of the year?


35 What is your favorite plant?


36 What is your favorite science fact?

Neurons that fire together, wire together

37 What is your favorite season?


38 What is your favorite smell?


39 What is your favorite sound?

Ocean waves

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

My empathy

41 What is your favorite word (in any language)?


42 What is your proudest moment?

The first time I told a personal story on a live stage

43 What kind of tree would you be?

Cherry Blossom

44 What’s the best thing about where you live?

The changing seasons

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I love to read/watch murder mysteries

46 Who would you like to see 46 Questions interview next?

Laura Markley @wastefreephd