“I want to retire to Mars”

 “I want to retire to Mars”

 New Presenter of Sky at Night on BBC 

Professor Maggie Aderin Pocock

Who do you think you are?

I define myself as a Scientist, first and foremost.   Also as a Communicator, but that came much later.   As a Scientist I have a brilliant job, I travel the world. Science can change peoples’ lives – we can save peoples’ lives! That’s one of my lifelong aspirations; to communicate my passion to others.

The Science Communicator

The Science Communicator

 I like going into Inner City schools.  I live for that.

The child who did not speak

http://vimeo.com/38422243

The best thing that happened to me was at a mixed ability school which included some deaf children, one of whom was a voluntary mute.   In the middle of my talk he suddenly started asking his teacher questions, “What happens if two universes collide?”   To think the universe can inspire so much!

My two role models  are a bit odd! First is Dr. Spock (sic), from Star Trek, and second is Sherlock Holmes. But they have things in common; both are analytical and very unemotional. Because my parents split up when I was four, I think the idea of being in total control of your emotions was quite appealing to me because so much was going on and I couldn’t control it.   So to be reserved, to analyze things and get a result, was very appealing to me.

Next, Yuri Gagarin: and the more I found out about him, the more passionate I got about him. We share a birthday, and he died the year I was born, and (of course) he was the first person into Space.

At a very early age  I was aware that my father  wanted a boy. Continue reading

The Book : Interviews with Inspirational Women

Baroness Boothroyd in the LordsIntroducing the ebook:

Interviews with Inspirational Women

The original title of this book was to be:

Backwards and in High Heels.

 

One of the greatest dancers ever, in the fifties was Fred Astair, but his partner Ginger Rogers did everything  that he did.  However, she did it backwards and in high heels.  A reflection on some of the restraints and handicaps which women often face when attaining their ambitions.

“ I started to experience (discrimination)  more from 2005, when I started to take on professional positions.  I found I had to work extra hard at certain things in comparison to my male counterparts.”  Rebecca Miller conductor.

However, a more positive title is Interviews with Inspirational Women

Although meant as a handbook for entrepreneurs, it can also act as a guide for people on the career path.

There are 3 key principles which this book espouses. Continue reading

Ruth Russell Human Shield

      Women in Peace

Interview with Ruth Russell back in 2007

Ruth Russell at home in Adelaide

Ruth Russell at home in Adelaide

 

 

“I had decided to be prepared for suicide. I had a roll of glad wrap, which when wrapped around the face, would suffocate you in 3 minutes. This was in case I was wounded badly or unable to speak.  I had a tattoo of my passport number on my arm.   You had to be prepared for every eventuality.”

 

A peace activist, who went to Iraq in 2003 as a human shield in the hopes of averting the war.
A human shield stands side by side with the Iraqi people.    In 2003 opposition to the war was mounting daily, but it seemed that no-one was listening to people who didn’t want war.

Many people from the coalition of the willing countries, did not want war.  These people needed to be seen, to be given a voice.   The Geneva Convention states that certain areas should not be bombed: food silos; water treatment plants; electricity for civilians.    However, during the 1991 gulf war, food silos had been bombed by the British in disregard of the Geneva Convention.    As an Australian, and aware of our big wheat exports to Iraq, I decided to go to the wheat silos.
(These are NOT military sites, but sites designated as essential humanitarian sites)
 

Shock and Awe the bombing of Bagdad

Statue in Baghdad

A new idea, was “Shock and Awe” that you could drop your first 3,000 bombs on a capital city, Baghdad, made up largely of civilians.

My Russian History Professor  Margaret Allen, said something, that 25 years later   I acted upon .


“At certain times in the history of the world it only takes a nominal 12 people to stand up against a dictator”

Once I had made the decision all kind of opportunities opened up for me to have a really powerful voice.   Continue reading