Have you ever wondered how many Legos it takes to build a replica of the sun? This is the sort of scientific, and sometimes silly, challenges Trace Dominguez, SOC/MA ’10, discusses on his podcast “That’s Absurd, Please Elaborate.” He has worked as a science communicator, video producer, content creator, podcaster, researcher, and owner of his own media company, Trace Elements Media. Dominguez sat down with Grace Ibrahim, host of the Media in the Mix podcast, to discuss his career (so far!) and the impact American University School of Communication (AU SOC) had on his journey.
When it comes to his media work, Dominguez is known for delving into a wide array of scientific subjects ranging from quantum mechanics, astronomy, psychology to engineering and agriculture. The question arises: why this mix?
“Translating science, technology, engineering, and math into visual can be complicated, but it’s also really fun. It’s a puzzle every time,” Dominguez says.
|Image from TraceDominguez.com
Dominguez explained how he got his start in science communication thanks to SOC’s connections with industry leaders like Discovery Communications, where he interned after attending an info session on campus.
“I think if I hadn't gone to American, I wouldn't be where I am now,” he said.
After Dominguez’s internship, he became part of the Discovery News team. It was during this time that he played a pivotal role in launching a YouTube channel which would eventually transform into the renowned multimedia science platform Seeker. Seeker has since gone dormant, and the channel's journey was marked by a series of acquisitions, eventually landing with Vox media.
The constantly shifting landscape of digital media was a driving factor in Dominguez's decision to go independent.
“I went independent, and I took a month off, because I was totally burned out. And I watched all the Marvel movies and television shows in order. And after that month was over, I was like, okay, let's sit down and figure this out,” he said.
Rested and reinvigorated, Dominguez reentered the creative arena, producing a video every week for about three months, on a wide range of topics. What surprised him during this period was his growing affinity for video editing. The ability to have complete control over the content and the creative process resonated deeply with him.
As an independent creator, he found himself exploring new horizons. He began pitching ideas to various companies and landed contracts from clients who were captivated by his work. Some of these early connections have continued to this day, including an ongoing collaboration with PBS in South Florida, where Dominguez hosts a show called "Stargazers."
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