As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a scientist.
When most kids had their hearts set on becoming footballers and fighter pilots I wanted a white lab coat and thick nerdy glasses (I didn’t even need to wear glasses though, unfortunately).
Instead I became a marketing consultant. This may have been a mistake.
I loved science and nature from as early as I can remember and spent much of my childhood bug collecting, consuming David Attenborough documentaries and roaming the corridors of the Manchester Museum. From the age of seven I became a committed amateur Herpetologist, and much to the surprise of my parents built a successful amphibian reserve at the bottom of the garden. On a roll, I then convinced my parents of the academic merits of keeping various reptiles in the house. By age ten I knew the Latin names of the main snake families and could identify most dinosaurs with merely a passing glance.
My future was set.
Unfortunately, I’m also an idiot. I became a teenager and developed other interests, and although I never stopped loving science, I became distracted by such fripperies as material possessions and the opposite sex. Such ill-advised interests sent me down the dark road of studying for a business degree and landing a job in marketing.
I’m not ashamed to say that I landed a pretty prestigious job. I moved abroad, worked in an international environment with loads of fascinating people and earned far too much money. There was one key problem though, I hated the job. I spent most of my time working on such vital problems as “should the perfume cap be dark black or just black?” and consumer marketing itself felt dishonest and a bit grubby.
Working in marketing did teach me a couple of important lessons though, that I enjoyed writing, conducting research, and that if you’re going to spend the majority of your waking-hours doing something, then make sure you actually enjoy it. I decided I’d quite like to combine science, research and writing into some kind of career, preferably one that didn’t also involve watching hours and hours of focus groups.
I’ve now quit working full-time in marketing, have been studying part-time for a science degree for a few years (at The Open University) and have begun writing about science in my own amateurish way. I’m hoping these activities will lead me to the kind of job my 7-year old self would have approved of.
There, life story and therapy session over.
I also enjoy exotic food, The Wire, buying way too many books, Black Adder, vegetarians, podcasts, Greece (the country) & Charlie Brooker. Not necessarily in that order.