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From comfort zone to microphone

Podcast series changes people’s views on everyday items

Last updated: 6 March 2024


Nervous, but excited. That’s how Marie-Pierre Paquin, our Chief Advisor Discovery, felt when she was asked to appear on an episode of our Things You Can’t Live Without podcast, hosted by material scientist Dr Anna Ploszajski with special guest Rudy Garcia-Tolson. 

Marie-Pierre shares what it was like temporarily swapping her lab coat for the microphone to explore the science behind the titanium in Rudy’s prosthetic legs, and how he has come to rely on them as a five-time Paralympian, Ironman finisher and adaptive sport advocate. 

Marie-Pierre Paquin
Our Chief Advisor Discovery, Marie-Pierre Paquin

Why did you want to take part in the Things You Can’t Live Without  podcast?

Well, I would say because someone super nice asked me to, but also because this is something outside of my comfort zone. I admire people who are super at ease with expressing themselves and who can make a complicated topic clear and understandable. The podcast was a great opportunity to really stretch myself.

What was the experience like? Is it the first podcast you've been on?

It was my first podcast, so the whole thing was intimidating for me – the special microphone, the sound test, and Dr Anna who is extremely good at hosting. The production team was very reassuring, though, so in the end it was a great experience, even if I do still struggle to listen to my own voice.

Do you like listening to podcasts yourself, and what do you listen to?

I do listen to podcasts about history or science. But lately I’m more into audiobooks. When I travel it’s easier and makes me feel like I’m not losing precious time in the airport or in transit.

What was it like meeting Rudy and Dr Anna, and what did you learn from their worlds of sport and materials science/science communications?

I was impressed by all of Rudy’s achievements and his dedication towards helping young athletes. When Rudy is speaking you can hear the passion in his voice. Dr Anna impressed me with her ability to react to our comments, adjust her approach, and make insightful connections, all while actively listening. It’s not an easy task.

Why would you encourage someone to listen to the series? 

The episodes are well made and establish the link between materials and our daily life. Dr Anna makes it fun, and the main guests are all super interesting. I was amazed by Rudy.

What do you hope people take away from listening to these episodes?

We all use materials in our daily life. And building a sustainable future requires thoughtful consumers, who understand the impact of their choices.

And finally, what's one item you can't live without, and how do the materials Rio produces make that possible?

An easy answer would be my phone, but I feel like that’s a boring answer, so I’m going to choose something that makes me happy, and that’s my mountain bike. It’s made of aluminium, and I mostly ride in the woods with friends and family. It’s one of my favourite activities.

Listen to Marie-Pierre, Rudy and Dr Anna on Things You Can’t Live Without.

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