This week, on the third episode of The Ismaili TV’s Trailblazers, we are joined by Latif Nasser, the host and executive producer of the Netflix documentary series ‘Connected: The Hidden Science of Everything’, and host of two podcast series’. He received a PhD in the history of science from Harvard University and is the recipient of the 2021 duPont Columbia Award for his series ‘The Other Latif’.

In this episode, he is interviewed by his sister Farah Nasser, a news anchor for Global News in Canada. The siblings explore their childhood, sharing stories about their upbringing and explaining how their parents enabled them to develop a constantly curious attitude towards the world. 

“This idea, ask questions until their head hurt. That was a thing that our dad would say, there are always more questions, there are always more things you can learn from everybody and not just fancy scientists, everybody.”

Latif explains how his curiosity, his passion for science journalism, and his interest in asking questions enabled the opportunity for his Netflix series. He discusses the many adventures that he was able to go on and that ‘he got to pick things that actually were genuinely interesting to him’, including a fishing expedition in the Sahara Desert, exploring the middle of the Amazon rainforest, and flying in a hot air balloon over a volcano, to name a few. 

“I could just imagine things and then do them.”

Latif talks about his conversation with his parents before he went to Guantanamo Bay for work, the support that they give him, and how he navigates their worries about sometimes unconventional travel. Farah asks about Latif’s mentors who have helped him carve out his odyssey. He explains that amongst the many mentors that he has, the Ismaili community played a big role in his upbringing.

“We were raised by a whole community of people who were looking out for us,” he said.

Latif is heartwarming when he describes his wife, Carly Mensch, “She is my harshest editor. She is my biggest cheerleader.”

Finally, Latif gives the audience tips on how they can deepen their curiosity about the world around them, “I think that curiosity is in us… There is something to be said for listening to your own weird, often dumb questions and turning the volume up on those and letting yourself, giving yourself permission, to follow those questions until you are satisfied. There is so much to learn and to know.”

This episode will air live on Friday 12 March 2021, on The Ismaili TV at 10 am, 2:30 pm, 8 pm, and 11 pm EST; 9 am, 3 pm, and 7:30 pm GMT; and 1 pm, 7 pm, and 11:30 pm GST.

Previous episodes of Trailblazers featured The Honourable Salma Lakhani, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, Canada, and Farah Williamson, co-founder of Project Shelter Wakadogo, Uganda. These episodes are now available to watch in full on The Ismaili TV On Demand.


The episode featuring Latif Nasser is now available on The Ismaili TV On Demand: