Her Royal Science is a podcast created to feature individuals from minoritised groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Host Dr A Bashir created Her Royal Science for minoritised peoples in STEM to share their life experiences in a safe space, thereby allowing others who may have experienced something similar to feel seen and heard.
In this episode, we speak with Dr Sabah Ul-Hasan, a bioinformatics postdoctoral scholar and lecturer who curates and integrates specialised medical databases into Wikidata. They are also one of the founders of The Biota Project, which intersects science education, outreach, and environmental justice to foster science and data literacy. We begin our conversation by exploring their first moments of fascination with science, and in particular, with wildlife biology. Later on, we discuss the value of data accessibility, the importance of community, and the valuable lessons that Dr Ul-Hasan has learned along their journey.
Episode transcript available here: https://www.herroyalscience.com/post/26-community
25 Squid Game
In this episode, we speak with Olivia Ghosh-Swaby, a Neuroscience PhD Candidate who uses translational methods to study neuroplasticity at Western University in London, Ontario. We speak about how she fell in love with neuroscience, her research, her recently awarded Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, and her podcast, Brain Matter Chatter, a recently-founded forum 'to raise awareness about issues surrounding mental health in academia’. We also discuss some of the systemic inequities that impact the success of minoritised people in STEM and the enormous power disparities between early career researchers and senior decision makers in academia.
Episode transcript available here: https://www.herroyalscience.com/post/25-squid-game
24 The Circle of Life
In this episode, we speak with Dr Sharla White, Vice-President of Research and Development at ClearLight Bio, an early-stage start-up that specializes in 3D tissue clearing and immunohistochemistry. We begin our laughter-filled conversation by diving into the first moments of her childhood when she, encouraged by her parents, realized how much she loved the puzzle-like nature of science and scientific experiments. We then discuss her academic trajectory, starting at Washington University in St Louis for her Bachelor's in Chemical Engineering, then onto the University of Illinois at Chicago for her PhD in Pharmacognosy, after which she completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University. We also explore the differences between working in academia and in industry, and touch upon the lessons Dr White learned along her journey that she is now passing onto her children.
Episode transcript available here: https://www.herroyalscience.com/post/24-the-circle-of-life
In this episode, we speak with Hajer Nakua, a PhD candidate in Neuroscience who uses magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the relationships between brain organisation and mental health at the University of Toronto. As part of her recently awarded Fulbright Scholarship, Hajer is currently pursuing a research exchange at Stanford University while she continues to grow her far-reaching platform as a science communicator. We discuss how she—inspired by SciComm phenom Samantha Yammine (a.k.a. Science Sam)—began using social media to reach a global audience of English and Arabic-speaking individuals. We also explore the challenges of a healthy work-life balance as she works towards completing her degree during the COVID pandemic, and discuss the added nuance of being a visibly Muslim woman in neuroscience.
Episode transcript available here: https://www.herroyalscience.com/post/23-fulfillment
22 Il Était Une Fois
In this episode, we speak with Dr Joël Babdor, UCSF postdoctoral researcher studying the interactions between the human immune system and the microbiome. We talk about his journey from Paris-Est Créteil University, where he did his undergraduate degree, to the University of California, San Francisco, completing his Master's and PhD at Pierre and Marie Curie University and Paris University along the way. We also discuss Black In Immuno, an initiative he co-founded in 2020, which is due to have their second annual week-long celebration of Black immunologists from November 14th to the 20th.
Episode transcript available here: https://www.herroyalscience.com/post/22-il-etait-une-fois
21 The Magnificent Dr Griffith
In this episode, we speak with Dr Theanne Griffith, UC Davis assistant professor and author of 'The Magnificent Makers' series. We talk about her journey from undergrad to assistant professorship, starting from Smith College, where she completed her BA in Neuroscience and Spanish, and onto Northwestern University, where she completed her PhD in Neuroscience. We also discuss her ongoing research on the neurobiology of thermosensation, and delve into the origin story of 'The Magnificent Makers', also discussing the importance of representation of Black and Brown individuals in STEM-themed media.
Episode transcript available here: https://www.herroyalscience.com/post/21-the-magnificent-dr-griffith