I'm not sure whether it was the "Salter Science" Chemistry kit I had as a young girl, my obsession with making my own perfume from flower petals, or the colony of insessantly reproducing gerbils that my parents let me keep in the living room, but I came into the world with a profound curiosity about how it works. This only intensified as I realized that the more I know, the more I became aware of how much there is yet to be uncovered. I have been lucky enough to build a career out of scientific research, which is a little bit like remaining a child for ever.
In 1996 I moved from the U.K. to San Francisco with my newly minted Ph.D in molecular biology. I was seeking friendship, fun, love and scientific glory, and found three out of four of the above. I'd never even visited San Francisco before I arrived here, two suitcases containing my worldly belongings. Like Mary Ann, in Armistead Maupin's "Tales of the city", I was 25 when I laid eyes on San Francisco for the first time. And like Mary Ann, I fell in love with this ridiculously beautiful oasis of tolerance at the end of the rainbow and can't seem to leave.
Geekydaddy and I met here in San Francisco in 1998, and got married in 2004. We have (in order of aquisition) two elderly cats, a large hairy dog of indeterminate breeding but great beauty and spirit, a gorgeous, precocious little girl, born in 2006 and an adorable, curious little boy born in 2008. Becoming a mum while maintaining a career has split me into two people. Every day I wonder where we gather the energy to keep going, but so far, one day at a time, the house of cards stays up and I do almost manage to "have it all", as we were lead to believe we could back in the idealistic 1980's. No small part of this is because of Geekydaddy. Two careers, two kids, two parents. Quoting Tenacious D, as we often do, our family motto is "That's f*cking teamwork".
The concept that women should be treated equally to men is hard wired into me and I admit I struggle to understand people who don't live and breathe this philosophy. I'm fortunate to have found a husband who is wired the same way. I don't blog much about feminist issues, I leave that to people more eloquent and informed than me, but it is my ardent dream that every woman in the world has the opportunity to live her life to the fullest.