you’re in computing – that’s not sustainability, how come you’re writing a book about teaching sustainability?
My answer “oh I used to be a botanist/geographer” has satisfied the journalists, but has had me increasingly thinking. The interchange has coalesced a significant principle of the book. If I was a botanist, the journalists wouldn’t have asked that question (and I wouldn’t have had such a ready answer!). I should have said something like:
that’s a good question but my hope is that in a few years you wouldn’t ask it. Sustainability is something that affects all of us, in every discipline, no less a computer scientist than a botanist, no less a nurse than a geographer
Clearly this answer needs some more thought but the redundant question has helped me a lot. Perhaps spending time with experienced journalists with critical and enquiring minds should be a requirement for everyone who’s just setting out to write a book. Perhaps their need to make stories accessible and engaging for everyone is a really good way out of a sheltered academic existence – even if the questions (and answers) seem naive.