Hello! I am delighted to join the TIGERinSTEM team today and share some of my experiences, observations and reflections with this vibrant community and its followers!
I am a Brazilian Pharmacologist that went for a career change after 14y in Academia, just to be surrounded by even more Science - I'm now Research Development Manager here at @UniofNottingham where I am proud to be @UoNBAME Chair - as expected #BHM is keeping me busier than usual
In Brazil, 56% of the population is Black, but as a result of systemic racism (rooted in over 300 years of slavery), we are under-represented in Academia. I am a historical accident.
My history doesn't represent Black Experience in Brazil. I was raised by two amazing women, my sister @amaliacursino and I had an amazingly nurturing childhood, access to fantastic Education(here you can see the "miserable life" I led in Brazil!)
I was born loving #Science in a very artistic household. After causing much damage to the house, my mum gave me a Young Scientist set. when I was 6 years old. It was the beginning of the end (and the lack of race/gender representation was not a deterrent - these were the 80s)
Watching a TV show, I heard for the first time the term "Genetic Engineering". It was early1987, and I became determined to find a way to work with it - and fast! I was a very determined 11-yo!
And, by the time I was 14, I found my spiritual homeland: The Federal Technical Chemistry High School, where I studied Biotechnology. Yes, I have been inside a lab since I am 14, and there I made friends and colleagues for life, like @yraima_cordeiro
By the time I applied for Uni I landed a Biotechnologist job at the same University I had chosen to go, State University of Rio de Janeiro ( @UERJ_oficial). It took me a bit longer to finish my BSc, but I got my PhD in 2 years, so it all worked out perfectly!
In the meantime, a wedding, a birth and a divorce - but no drama! The wonderful @malucursino was 4yo when I had my Viva, which was followed by a massive party. Thank you for the weekends at the lab, Malu - mamae ama! (art by @amaliacursino ).
BTW, @malucursino is finishing Philosophy (Philosophy of Science) at @OfficialUoM and works as a freelancer for @bbcworldservice @bbcbrasil producing and presenting #Science & #Culture content. Anticipate the challenges she would face as a #BlackWoman in #Academia woke me up.
I was lucky enough to established my research group quite quickly in Brazil, my then PhD students were central to many achievements, such as the @4womeninscience in 2008 "Because I worth it"! Nice to see NADPH Oxidase making the news (happy to bore you talking more about it)
"Wow, how amazing, it seems there is no #racism nor #misogyny in Brazil!"
Right - Racism and misogyny are always there, in the background or "out-out there" - NADPH Oxidase got a tiny note, the "cool" thing is that they thought I was a samba dancer instead of a scientist 🤦🏿‍♀️
It makes me think of what #ToniMorrisson said about racism: it is a distraction. I wish my generation was the only one to go down this route...
Only #History can help us not to repeat the errors of the past. Remember the wise words of the old man in white beard (no, not Santa, silly!):
Because #Racism and #Misogyny kills, easy like that! The world is designed to please less than 10% of the population! (shout out to @CCriadoPerez ).
Maybe that's why we don't have a cure for malaria, but we have got an amazing solution for erectile dysfunction (don't get me started with contraception!)
#DiversityInScience is not a matter of choice, but SURVIVAL. Data are great, but we need action. Like asking conservationist to wait a couple of years until we've got more evidence on #ClimateChange. Scandalous effects of #racism #homophobia #transphobia #misogyny are palpable!
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