A Little Bit about the Scientist…

My name is Martina and I am a Toxicologist, Science Writer and STEM Advocate. One of the most common questions I get asked is: What is toxicology?  Usually this question is followed by: What can you do with that? Most people assume that toxicologists only work on autospies and do CSI type work.

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Yes, forensic toxicologists and other types of STEM disciplines can do this type of work, but as a toxicologist you can do other things as well. Just like many STEM fields toxicology is interdisciplinary and allows you to solve problems. For example, I am interested in public health, vaccines, safety and STEM education. As a toxicologist my career choices are not limited.

Even though as a toxicologist I am not limited to my career options I realized that there was a limited number of underrepresented groups in toxicology. What’s up with that? As a black woman in STEM representation is important to me. This is why I share my story and I encourage you to share your STEM story.

My journey is not linear and it had bumps along the road. I know many people can relate no matter what your field. These bumps along my science journey taught me to stop putting myself in a box, explore all that STEM has to offer and be open. My career journey has allowed me to wear many hats. I got to be a researcher, STEM educator, science communicator, science writer, director and my list keeps growing. At first, my goal was to become a vaccine development researcher. Now my goal is to become a director of a STEM Program. Goals change and a STEM career allows you to do many things!

What is your STEM story? How can we increase the number of underrepresented groups in STEM? Share below.

4 thoughts on “A Little Bit about the Scientist…

  1. I usually introduce myself as an Applied Physicist turned IT Security Consultant turned Consulting Engineer in Renewable Energies. This means I have worked in fields with very few female colleagues ever since.

    Good question … if you had been intrigued by science as it came naturally to you it is most difficult to answer. I had been interviewed sometimes as a ‘role model’ for women in science and technology, and I had never been able to explain ‘why there are so few women in science’.

    I feel there are a lot of initiatives and associations that run programs to motivate girls for science. What I found weird though (I am from middle Europe, I am not sure how this translates to other regions) is that often sociologists and the like had been in charge of those programs. I always thought that they should explain to me (not the other way around) based on their own choice of majors why there are few women in hard sciences.

    1. Thank you for reading my post and commenting! In the U.S. there are many initiatives and associations to encourage young girls in science. Even though we have these programs we still continue to see very few women in science careers. By coming together as women in science we can help provide resources, information and mentoring to young girls. As of right now I still find it difficult to answer: why there are so few women in science’.

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