Dec 202006

Susan as collaged by Margaux Williamson.Susan’s birthday is today, and last night she finished off the last academic assignment for her doctorate. That’s only one of the many things she’s pulled off this year — being her husband I might be biased, but I think her 33rd year was pretty amazing.

As a biochem grad student, Susan has pretty much a full-time job at a lab where she’s been publishing papers, training students and doing real science type stuff with gels and microscopes and a labcoat of her own. Last year she started a group on campus and a zine (LadyScientist) to talk about the issue of women in science. (Interesting fact that we just discovered this week: University of Toronto has the widest wage discrepancy between male and female professors in Canada.) This year she’s been dealing with the same issues, just in a fantastic variety of ways…

WRITING! Interested in writing science journalism for a more general audience, she’s been taking classes and participating in a writers’ circle with science blogger Eva Eastern Blot. She’s gotten stuff published in The Varsity, a forthcoming piece for The Peer Review, and just today an article in Inkling Magazine.

Susan's funniest slide.

LECTURES! She gave a well-received talk at Harbourfront Centre to a packed Brigantine Room full of people curious about her crafty approach to protein modeling. Eva reported on it and took the pic above.

Susan's on the far right.

MUSIC! She’s been playing bass in a new band called Tomboyfriend that is totally awesome and glamorous. They practiced like crazy for their debut headlining at Wavelength, the best indie music series in Toronto, and have done two shows since. As Susan’s groupie/roadie I have been at every gig — but happily it’s a great show with dancers, costumes and attitude. The music is lovely, epic and heartfelt and even worth braving the hideous myspace to listen to. Or tune in tonight (or tomorrow night) and hear them on CBC Radio’s Brave New Waves, it’s apparently going on right before the new Arcade Fire single (!). An amazing response for a band a month old, but they deserve it. [UPDATE: No BNW, it turns out, due to mishaps and chance.]

MOVIES! Nope, not my movie — Susan directed and edited this fun little vid about being a mild-mannered grad student by day, pipette-wielding superhero by night. It was for a contest held by the biochem department for the end of the year to do outreach to new students. When you watch it and see her uncanny speed you’ll understand how she gets so much stuff done.

Happy birthday, m’luv!

  5 Responses to “LadyScientist Rocks My World”

  1. Best of luck to Susan!

  2. And oh my god, Inkling Magazine is so cool. Especially to a nerd like myself.

  3. Yeah! Susan found out about Inkling through their science blog at .

  4. happy birthday Susan. i can’t wait to see your band live. (i only have lamer excuses why i didn’t make it out yet)

    ps. i notice it’s always the same person you end up helping in your super hero video. other people have trouble folding protiens too, y’know.

  5. thanks sean (and khalil) for the b-day wishes. and just so you know, i only help people with protein folding that have seen my band live. your next chance at this point is march 6th at the drake.

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