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Coming Out as a Scientist

15 Feb

I just read a very interesting article by Tom Welton, a Professor of Sustainable Chemistry at Imperial College London, in the Guardian – Gay Prejudice? It’s not easy admitting you’re a scientist. Certainly raises a few points around LGBT scientists coming out to the LGBT community and seeming disinterest in science within that community. Out LGBT scientists are just as important role models as out LGBT sports people, musicians, artists and activists. LGBT youth interested in science need to see that there are people like them that have chosen careers in science.


18 Jul

Sometimes I wonder why I didn’t entertain the idea of a career as an Archaeologist.

I am fascinated by history. I am a scientist by nature and training (analytical, inquisitive, skeptical, a critical thinker). I would love to time travel back to the 1930’s and 1940’s a be an Archaeologist in the vein of Indiana Jones. Oh for the adventure and romance (yes with tough, beguiling adventuresses or glamorous femme fatales)!! I do have ideas for a story / novel along these lines.

Over the last year and a half, while assessing applications from PhD students with a background in Archaeology or reading about Archaeological researchers in the Faculty I work in, I have contemplated my question. “Why didn’t I study Archaeology at university?”

In the final years of school I dreamt of being a Forensic Pathologist or Forensic Biologist. I was still fascinated with history. When I came to start my science degree (after a year of a Bachelor of Arts trying to concretely decide what I wanted to do), I headed down the path of applied biology and animal biology. Lack of Archaeological subjects where I wanted to study and a few other factors decided for me. And as I progressed though undergraduate science, I figured out that I wanted to either pursue Forensic Biology or Microbiology, and ended up following the Microbiology path though postgraduate research studies.

Now, with thoughts of Archaeology in my mind (thanks also to a recent news story about the discovery of 50 million year old crocodile, fish and other animal bones at a contraction site in a Brisbane suburb – Workers Make Surprise Fossil Find in Brisbane Suburb, although the find was not archaeological, but paleontological, it started me thinking about the study of ancient life), I wonder how different my life and career may have been.

I might not have been travelling around the world in vintage aeroplanes, romancing glamorous women nor going on digs in exotic locales, but I may have made some fascinating discoveries of the past lives of humans. I can dream and write about it in novels. Maybe one day I may write about Archaeological research as Science Communicator / Writer – this is my career goal now.

20130718-175949.jpg (Source – Internet Movie Database)

20130718-180150.jpg (Source – Internet Movie Database)

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