Five minutes of fame: Chemistry grad student loves your mom

Scott Gonzales: Are you taking classes right now?

Antonello Frau: No. I’m done with classes.

Gonzales: So are you here doing research?

Frau: I am.

Gonzales: What are you researching?

Frau: Let me think about the best way not to bore you. I am a polymer chemist. I fabricate something similar to your TV screen.

Gonzales: So, do you make TVs look better… or worse?

Frau: I don’t know yet. Let’s just say that I’m trying to improve everybody’s life.

Gonzales: In what way?

Frau: My ultimate goal is just to be helpful.

Gonzales: That could keep you busy for a long time.

Frau: Yeah, pretty much.

Gonzales: What does a chemist do in his free time?

Frau: Just listening to some music, working out, going to movie theatres and trying not to sing.

Gonzales: What are you listening to right now?

Frau: A bit of everything. As long as I can play along with any kind of music I can listen to it. Right now I’ve got Frank Sinatra, but I’ve also got Van Halen and anything that’s pretty much weird.

Gonzales: That’s a pretty eclectic mix.

Frau: Absolutely. I play guitar, bass guitar and piano, so, like I told you, as long as I can play along I’ll listen to it.

Gonzales: It’s pretty hard not to sing along with Frank Sinatra, even if you’re trying not to.

Frau: That’s kind of impossible, but my voice is not that strong.

Gonzales: I see that you have "I love mom" written on the side of your jacket. Are you dedicating that to her?

Frau: So here’s the joke – we always try, in my lab, to keep ourselves alive and crack jokes and so we like writing different things on our lab coats. This was supposed to look like, if I may say, "I love your mom."

Gonzales: You say that you try to keep yourself alive. That’s kind of dangerous sounding coming from a chemist. What are you doing in there that’s not going to keep you alive?

Frau: Basically, what we are doing is quite challenging and we have to focus on what we do almost 24/7, so, if you can imagine, it’s quite time consuming and brain cell consuming as well. That’s what I mean by keeping ourselves alive.

Gonzales: So, you’re just keeping yourselves entertained.

Frau: That’s exactly right.

Gonzales: Thanks, Antonello. Good luck and try not to blow us up.

Frau: I won’t.

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