Science Hooker is entirely funded by your kindness.
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"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."
Science does not need to be dry.
Middle and upper class.
Even though people fitting these values dominate it.
Serve my science as a double shot in a sleazy bar.
"What was your name again?"
Learning and ability is not about background.
It's about will, thought, curiosity, stubbornness and passion.
Science Hooker is about science for ALL.
Science Hooker is all about access to science and academia for everyone: regardless of background, economic, gender, LGBT or otherwise.
My background prior to my PhD was as a prostitute in Edinburgh. Academia is a tough gig to get by into and get by in without rich support. I engage folk mostly on Twitter, but also write for the Huffington Post, and run a Facebook and YouTube channel. I would love to expand into other media. Your support helps.
Science Hooker is about not being ashamed or shy of one's past. There is nothing 'bad' or 'inappropriate' about being a sex worker, or being trans. When I first entered academia there was pressure to hide my past, pretend to be the same as everyone else. Science Hooker was my considered response to this pressure. I am proud of who I am, who I was, and where I come from. I am not ashamed of either myself or my friends and loved ones who engage in sex work.
Academia is always talking about being 'diverse' and 'open', but these are often false and empty battle cries. When confronted with raw, genuine diversity, academia tends to shun it and close ranks around accepted norms. Science Hooker is about challenging and changing this. Loudly. Brashly. Without apology.
I now work as a lecturer in astrobiology at the University of St Andrews, as well as teaching robotics, mechatronics and electrical engineering at the University of Glasgow.
My PhD was with the UK Space Agency, based at the University of Glasgow, researching the process of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the ancient Mars atmosphere being sequestered into stable mineral carbonate. Such carbonate minerals have been observed by satellite, rovers, landers and in meteorites from Mars that have landed on Earth. I examine these sources and attempt to resolve the mineralogy and reaction pathways involved. There is a lot of advanced microscope work of Mars fragments, which I love. I also conduct laboratory experiments in pressure vessels that mimic early Mars hydrothermal systems. But why is it important?
Because we can utilise the same reactions in rock formations on Earth to store atmospheric carbon dioxide as minerals. A method much more stable than other current carbon capture and storage methods. I am also working with Engineers in Space Glasgow to build a new prototype rover tool that uses ultrasonic grinding to expose a smooth rock surface, so that rock reactions can be observed more clearly.
I love science.
I love educating about science.
Be fierce fire.
Be unapologetic for who you are.
Refuse to be a victim.
Refuse to feel sorry for yourself.
The world is not kind.
So bring kindness to it.