A bit sad, but more than a bit beautiful, too.
I still get the occasional joke from colleagues about my ‘crackpot consultant business’, but I’ve stopped thinking of our clients that way. They are driven by the same desire to understand nature and make a contribution to science as we are. They just weren’t lucky enough to get the required education early in life, and now they have a hard time figuring out where to even begin. At the same time, the physicists on my team like to help others understand more about science and appreciate the opportunity to apply their knowledge outside academia. In connecting both sides, everybody wins.