Page 3.14

An Interview with ScienceWoman

i-c62c9d5c5609aaa96862581fa293a1d2-sciencewoman.jpgPage 3.14 gave the usual tough questions to one of our newbies, ScienceWoman, of On Being a Scientist and a Woman. (She’s there in the photo, if you look very, very closely!)

What do you do when you’re not blogging?
Teach freshman. Write grant proposals. Advise grad students. Change diapers. Breastfeed. You know. The usual.

What is your blog called?
On being a scientist and a woman

Where did that name come from?
I guess I wanted a blog name that described what I intended to blog about. And since people keep referring to my blog as self-explanatory, it must have worked. But I think it might be the longest name on ScienceBlogs. [Editors’ note: Based on word count, it is!]

How long have you been blogging, anyway?
Two and a half years! I started when I was a Ph.D. student.

Where are you from and where do you live now?
I grew up in Midwest, have lived from east to west, and am now a new resident of Mystery City. It’s location is…you guessed it…a mystery. It’s another one of those self-explanatory things.

Would you describe yourself as a working scientist?
Yes. At least when I am not a procrastinating scientist.

Any educational experiences or degrees you’d like to mention?
I may have a Ph.D. but I am still learning. Getting up in front of a bunch of students makes me really learn the things that I thought I knew years ago.

What are your main academic interests, in or out of your field?
I’m an -ologist with an interdisciplinary subspecialty, so naturally I am interested in things that don’t neatly fit into little boxes. Apart from my professional interests, I’m also very concerned about the environment and the world I am passing on to my child, so I pay lots of attention to climate change and biodiversity issues.

Who are your favorite writers?
I tend to read a lot of short stories and non-fiction (history, science, nature writing) so I tend to follow subjects not authors. One theme of my reading is the Arctic; I like tales of its exploration and indigenous culture but especially books about its natural history. I’ve just started reading Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez. As far as actual writers, I’ve recently enjoyed Bill Bryson and every day I look forward to jo(e)’s vignettes.

Last book you read?
The Three Little Pigs. I read it out loud for my daughter, Minnow, complete with funny voices and huffing and puffing and blowing the house down. She thought it was hilarious. “Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin.”

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
Caddie Woodlawn, Laura Ingalls Wilder (yes, I know she was real), Anne of Green Gables, and other spirited historical girls…

Your favorite heroes in real life?
My mom, my daughter, Rachel Carson, Dian Fossey, Sally Ride, Al Gore.

What is your idea of a perfect day?
Lots of time for unstructured play with Minnow; good food with my husband, Fish; a couple-mile hike to a beautiful vista with my dog, Princess Pup; copious sleep; and no housework.

What’s your greatest habitual annoyance?
I’ve become a lot less patient with time-wasting meetings and inefficient people and bureaucracies since becoming a parent. Time is amazingly precious.

What’s your most marked characteristic?
I don’t know. I asked Fish and he said “I don’t know.” Maybe my friends and readers could help me out, but the best I can come up with is “lucky.” I feel very lucky to have had all of the opportunities that have helped me become the person I am today.

What’s your fatal flaw?
Taking on too much…

What would you like to be?
Just who I am, only less stressed.