New show reveals unsuspected facets of the EPFL community

A Master’s student in technology management at EPFL has created a new show – dubbed the Galactic Chloé Show, in a nod to her love of astronomy – where members of the EPFL community reveal something unexpected about themselves. The first episode, featuring Marcel Salathé, has been released.
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College campuses are brimming with life. Some of that life is made public, through open events and published research findings, for example. Yet some of it remains out of view – the hobbies, special interests and unique life experiences of the students, professors, staff and visiting researchers. At EPFL, Master’s student Chloé Carrière created the Galactic Chloé Show to bring some of these otherwise hidden aspects of these people’s lives to light. The show was put together with the help of Mediacom, and the first episode will be released today on the YouTube channel of the same name. New episodes will follow every three weeks. The first guest, Marcel Salathé, is an epidemiologist and EPFL professor.

Carrière, 22, has a special interest of her own: astrophysics, and especially space travel. She just completed a Bachelor’s degree in physics and has started her Master’s with a minor in space technology. Carrière founded a student association called Space@yourservice, which holds “Astronomy on Tap” evenings where students, experts and members of the general public meet for a drink and discuss astronomy, satellites and missions to Mars. These events have been put on hold because of the pandemic – which is what spawned the idea for the YouTube show. Carrière wanted to keep up the discussions and relaxed setting, even if only virtually for now.

“I love talking about this field, and if I can share my enthusiasm in a fun setting, that’s just perfect,” she says. “Now I’m trying out this new format, which is halfway between a US talk show and a science documentary, and it’s an exciting challenge.”

A breath of fresh air

In each 15-minute-long episode, Carrière will interview a guest on a set decorated to look like a lunar outpost. The idea is to give certain people at EPFL – who you probably walk past every day – an opportunity to reveal things that others might not know about them, such as about their life before or outside EPFL: their childhood, hobbies, interests, families, milestones in life, and so on. For example, you’re probably familiar with Prof. Salathé as an expert who has been called on to help public health officials manage the pandemic and develop the SwissCovid app, but you probably don’t know that he has an avid interest in winemaking, loves pizza and used to be a musician.

The Galactic Chloé Show addresses all these subjects with a sense of humor, in part using memes developed by EPFL students and posted on social media. It delivers a breath of fresh air in the sometimes rarefied atmosphere of science.

Watch the first episode of the show on YouTube