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  • Writer's pictureDr A Bashir

34 Instinct

Our latest episode, Instinct, is all about trusting one’s gut. Dr Craig Poku is constantly doing just that; using his gut instinct as his guide, he has been able to navigate into spaces that best align with his professional and personal goals. In Instinct, we begin by chatting about Dr Poku's academic journey at King’s College London and the University of Leeds, where he obtained a Bachelor's in Mathematics and a PhD in Atmospheric Sciences, respectively. After completing postdoctoral fellowships in Leeds and York, he has returned to London to begin a new industry position, where he will look at how data science can be done in a more ethical way. To Dr Poku, that means asking the following questions: 'How does this [science] interact when it comes to social justice? How does this interact when we come to talking about colonisation and decolonisation practices?' Importantly, Dr Poku and I also had the opportunity to discuss the pivotal role baking has played in his decision to transition away from academic research. I assure you, dear audience, you are in for a conversation that is equal parts thought-provoking and laughter-filled as my guest regales us with his story to present day.

You'll find the audio version of this episode on our website, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Soundcloud, Spotify, and more.

The transcript of our conversation has been prepared for accessibility purposes, with minor edits for clarity and brevity.

Dr Craig Poku: If I had to think about one bit of advice that has got me to where I am, it's 'follow your gut instinct', and if your gut is saying 'Don't do something,' then don't do it, and that is something that I would always recommend to everybody, because if not, then you lose that sense of individuality.

Her Royal Science jingle

Dr Asma Bashir: Hello world, and welcome to Her Royal Science. Thank you so much for joining us for today's episode. Today, we'll be chatting with Dr Craig Poku, an ethical data scientist. He previously completed his BSc in Mathematics at King's College London and his PhD in Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Leeds. Dr Poku is also a member of Pride in STEM and the African Caribbean Research Collective (ACRC). Beyond his work as a scientist, Dr Poku is a very talented baker! If you live in the UK, you may have seen their stunning fruit tart recipe featured in the June 2022 issue of Tesco Magazine. I'm super excited to chat with Dr Poku today about his work in ethical data science and to learn more about his many creative outlets, but let's start from the very beginning—Dr Poku, what's your story?

CP: Hello and, again, thank you so much for inviting me to do this!

I'm a born and bred South Londoner. I was always interested in the natural world. I was always interested in numbers. I was always in that situation whereby I found that science and maths just made sense to me, so when I went through school, I was always finding ways to engage in those subjects a lot more. I was part of the maths club, there was also an elite science club as well that I joined, [and] we ended up doing competitions. I was a nerdy kid, and guess what? <Humorous> Everyone goes on about how terrible nerdy kids are! No, nerdy kids are the best because we always help people with their homework! That's what I always tell people.

AB: <Laugh>

CP: I then finished my GCSEs and my GCSE grades clearly stated, 'Well, do you know what? Maybe I should actually look at doing more mathematical and science subjects.' I proceeded to then do Maths, Further Maths, and Physics at A level, where [for] my Further Maths section, I ended up self-teaching because the school that I went to, long story short, basically said to me that I wasn't good enough to do Further Maths. And I just went, 'Bruh!'

AB: <surprised> What?

CP: 'I've been top of the year group! And you're telling me that I'm not good enou—. No, do you know what? You're mad. Guess what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna do it myself. I'm gonna buy the textbooks myself.' I still came out with an A, and they looked shooketh!

AB: <Laugh>

CP: But anyway, from that point on, I chose then to do degree in Maths and I really enjoyed elements of it. There [were] two streams of it: you've got pure mathematics, you've got applied mathematics. Look, I'm letting people know who listen to this: pure maths is cute but I didn't find it cute at all, in any way, shape, and form.

AB: <Laugh>

CP: It was not my vibe. I tried very hard, and I realised it just wasn't for me. Applied maths on the other hand, I thoroughly enjoyed because the idea of being able to apply numerical models to different elements of the real world, I just found absolutely fascinating. So, one of my favourite modules I did at university was Mathematical Biology. The example that I can think of very clearly is: we have a herd of fish-eating dinosaurs that have decided to take over. What predator-prey model are you going to build? Where would you then see a point of steady state? What happens if you were to change the population in a certain way? It was just the way in which you would be able to apply mathematics in such an interesting way.

Started a masters though, hated it, and I dropped out. And at the same time, I got offered a grad scheme. Started that, I hated that too, and I dropped out <laugh>. So, you're figuring, 'How did I end up becoming a doctor?' Well, I then got a job in local government working in adult social care, where I was part of the project management team. During that time, I kind of saw how mathematics could be applied in another aspect. My supervisor [sat] me down four times, [saying] 'Craig, I feel like you should do a PhD.' And I said to him, 'I dropped out of my masters; I'm clearly not good enough to do this, so surely this is not the way to go about it.' And he was like, 'No, I do think you are good enough to do this.'

After having a chat with him, we concluded that maybe it's not the fact that I can't do a PhD, but maybe I should do something that's a lot more applied. I then applied to do a fluid dynamics PhD. Long story short, I had no initial interest in going into meteorology, but sometimes in life there are times where you look at [something] and you go, 'I'm going to approach this thing,' and there are other times when, actually, something approaches you, and you're like, 'Well, clearly this is my calling,' and that is effectively what happened.

I had a meteorologist on my panel, and they needed somebody to do the PhD that I then completed a few years ago. I went, 'Do you know what? Fog—didn't really think about it, but actually there's some really cool maths. Maybe I'll find it interesting.'

Completed the PhD, and there were some really excellent moments that happened in it. I definitely found that I really enjoyed the idea of software engineering. I enjoyed the idea of coding. I enjoyed the idea of applied mathematics. Observational science? Not for me. I like to stay warm. I don't do cold. And the thing is a lot of the studies that we were doing were all nocturnal, so because of that we effectively had to be in a situation where we were like, 'Oh, we're gonna now stay out till two o'clock in the morn—', Two o'clock? In the morning? London?

AB: <Laugh>

CP: Uh-uh. I'll stay indoors, thank you very much!

AB: <Laugh>

CP: Anyways, I finished my PhD in 2019 [and] I came out with minimal corrections. I had my supervisor, who was an actual babe, basically support me the entire time. I then went and did postdoc number one where I studied a bit more fog. And at [that] point, I was like, 'Okay, I'm a little bit bored of this.' And then the pandemic happened, which as a result meant that I was like, 'Well, what am I gonna now do?' And that's what made me then go, 'Could I possibly apply my maths in another field that is more applicable to the interests that I have?' Urban air quality is something that I've always been interested in. As a Londoner, I definitely found that it's something that [was a part of] your thought process on a regular basis, and more importantly, I'm asthmatic. Because of that, it was one of those things that I was always thinking about: urban air quality. There was a post that came up that was more data related, so I applied for that. I got the post. I was very surprised I got the post because I'm not a chemist in any way, shape, and form. And there was a quote from me at the age of 18 that said, and I quote, 'I would not be caught dead in a Chemistry department' and yet I had just accepted the position in a Chemistry department!

AB: <Laugh>

CP: I then went and did that postdoc and during that period, I then realised that I don't really have any interest in academia, but what I do like is the idea of how you can use numbers to effectively help people, [and] more importantly, how we could actually engage people within data and data within people such that it's done in a more ethical manner. The post that I'm now about to go into looks at how we can do data science but in a more ethical way. Rather than it being focused on how we make a company more money, it's more focused on how we can provide better work-life balances for people who have to work unsocial hours. How can we ensure that the policies that will be driven by the data products that we develop [will] not actually have a negative impact in people's lives in other ways? I definitely found that that was the type of data science that really intrigued me, and that is sort of where I am now.

AB: Mm-hmm <affirmative>, did you experience something or series of things in the academic space that made you realise, 'The next thing that I do, I need to make sure it is balanced in terms of work-life, it is ethical, and it does not take advantage of individuals'?

CP: Mm-hmm <affirmative>, there were several things that I think happened. I think the first major point for me was the fact that when I entered the academy, I was not only the only Black person in a lot of these spaces, but I was the only Black queer person in a lot of these spaces. And I think that a lot of the times whenever people talk about science, they talk about [how] science has to be super objective and there was no human impact whatsoever, but the reality is the reason why we're saying this is because we've effectively built an entire system of what is seen as a societal law, which is this white-cis-hetero-patriarchal way of thinking, and I don't fit into that viewpoint. Because of that, I was always finding that any time I came in with any new ideas based on life experiences, they would always go against the grain.

But the other thing to also note as well is that when I did the post in urban air quality, a lot of the work that we used to do would go into either practical policy, local policy, or national policy, and one thing that I definitely found whenever it came to doing that type of work was that I was always finding that we would [use] a subsection of data that was from very rich, affluential areas, which is problematic because obviously you've got a bias within your data, and because you've got biases within the data, what you're finding is if you're then trying to do stuff that's gonna be helping Black and Brown people, you end up finding that, actually, it can cause more harm than good.

The reality is with the amount of data that we currently have in the UK and in the world, we need to ensure that we have a more tailored approach. Having worked in local government and also being in a lot of activist spaces, I definitely found that you need to have a more human approach when it comes to dealing with a lot of these issues. Take for example the climate crisis: a lot of the times we always go, 'We need to act now, we need to do this, we need to do that,' but at the same time, when we are doing all of these points, we're still doing it in a very exploitative way. If we look at green energy in the UK, a lot of the materials that you have to use—for example, to build windmills—we don't have those materials in the UK, so you'll now have to go into previous colonies in order to effectively exploit and extract further materials from them in order for us to basically sort our carbon emissions, but at the same time also damage the land of areas that we've already damaged due to colonisation.

For me it wasn't as simple as just going, 'I want to help people,' but it was more going, 'How does this interact when it comes to social justice? How does this interact when we come to talking about colonisation and decolonisation practices?' And also, I think the main thing for me is that when we then talk about it on a much bigger aspect, such as white supremacy and institutional racism, the reality is that we need to have a much more pragmatic approach, and that pragmatic approach for me meant that we had to go down a more ethical pathway, and that's just how I started to think. I think that I've been very fortunate to find a company that has that very ethical way of thinking because a lot of times you end up finding that companies will just go, 'We just need to make the most amount of money possible and at the same time, we'll continue that pathway of exploitation.' It's something I saw in the academy quite often, especially when it came to field-work, and then more importantly when it came to big research projects, and I just didn't wanna be a part of that system anymore.

AB: I know that this is something that you and I have talked about briefly prior to the recording of this conversation, but I do wanna delve into this topic of the pressure that is felt primarily by, I'd say, minoritised peoples to stay within the academy that can be quite exclusionary. Can we chat a little bit about that? What was your experience of that feeling? Did you feel the burden to stay?

CP: <Emphatic> Oof. So... I think that there were two elements to this. I think the first one is—as an example, based on the data that I was able to attract a few years ago—I was the third Black British person from my department to have graduated with a PhD in Environmental Sciences, and for context, my school, which was the University of Leeds, is the second biggest school in terms of that field. That is scary, so I felt that part of the reason why I needed to stay was because I wanted to be that person to break the record.

I also think sometimes there's this thing of going, 'If you can't make the change, you have to be in a position that you can act the change.' So, in my mind as a PhD student, it didn't matter if I highlighted some behaviours that were problematic; the reality was I didn't have enough affluential power in order for me to do so. And even if I found people who did have affluential power, it was not gonna be done to the extent that I thought was needed in order for it to help people that look like me. I ended up finding that there was this weird level of pressure for me to go, 'I need to stay because I need to try and break this cycle.'

At the same time though, it is very exclusionary and also very elitist when you go into a lot of these spaces. I found that when I started my undergraduate, for example. King's College wasn't actually my first choice. My first choice was the University of Cambridge, which I got an offer for. And <humorous> let's just say that I watched 2011 Tony Awards live the day before my big exam, couldn't do maths. <Normal> But even during the process of me applying to Cambridge, there was this thing [they would say]: 'You need to be able to think like the top thinkers, and we are looking for the best thinkers in the world. It doesn't matter what your background is; it's fine.' I come from a working-class background and in my mind I was like, 'Well, I'm good 'cause, I mean, I just taught myself a whole A level and I enjoy maths and stuff.' But what I found going through that interview process was the fact that there were a lot of people who were in very affluential environments, so they were like, 'Oh, my mum's put me through this really fancy private school,' or 'My dad has been able to buy me this house,' or X or Y, and [that] wasn't me. And I'm not mentioning these points because I felt jealous, but it was more the fact that, for me, I found that I was like, 'Okay, this is the playing field that I'm going into.'

When I then went into going to do my undergrad at King's College London, there was still that element of elitism with a lot of the people that I kind of hung out with. There was this idea where somebody was like, 'Oh, I don't care that I get X grade in my degree because my dad owns this hedge fund, and he can just get me an internship.' And so, for me, there was this weird survivorship bias where I was like, 'I have to do well. I can't just scrape the barrel. I have to make sure that I get the best grade that I can physically get within the capacity of my knowledge because, if I don't, it will then mean that when it comes to me applying for jobs, I'm already gonna be working against people who already have all of these connections.'

That kind of carried on through to my PhD, so by the time I ended up getting to the stage of me going, 'I'm going to apply to do a PhD,' a lot of people are already tired, especially people from marginalised backgrounds. You end up finding you wanna stay in the system long enough because you want to try and make change, but then you've already got a system that has been working against you for all of those years. You are so tired and you are so emotionally drained that by the time you then start to think about, 'Okay, am I gonna think about promotions or am I gonna think about this?' you don't have the energy to do that because you've already got a group of people that are already working against you.

AB: Yeah, you're completely wiped and I can imagine [then] adding on the elements of the pandemic, adding on the Black Lives Matter movement as well, where it was very visible what everyone was going through... Was there ever a point where you were expected to be the spokesperson for our people?

CP: So... Black Lives Matter 2020 was a weird period for me because I found that everybody instantly went, 'I know! I'm going to demonstrate that I'm an ally by going to Craig to have Craig answer all of the questions for me.' And this is something that I've said many times before: I am Black, but I'm not paid to be Black. I'm not paid to have my lived experience. The reality was that when I went into the Black Lives Matter period, I had to just turn off all of my socials because I was being bombarded by a lot of white people. There were some people I hadn't even really spoken to at this point, but they were all so concerned about being called racist, and I think this is something that I want to highlight very clearly. I found that a lot of the times whenever we talk about racism, we are very quick to say it's an American problem. 'Racism only happens in America.' The reality is that, in the UK, racism is rife. However, a lot of the times we just go, 'It's not that bad,' or we just kind of brush it under the carpet. And then what happened during Black Lives Matter was I even had other Black Americans come to me and say, 'Oh but you don't actually really experience racism because you are British.' And I was like, 'Do you not realise what colonisation was? You don't realise that we're all part of the same struggle, kind of thing.' I just got to a stage where I was just like, 'I need to reserve my energy here because we're all trying to fight the same battle.'

AB: Yeah.

CP: And the reality is that if I walk down the street, they won't see me as Black British or Black American or X. They see me as a Black man and therefore if I'm going to be dealing with racial situations, that's the first thing they would see.

I definitely found, especially during that period, there was so much talk about affirmative action, ringfencing funding, performative steps, but [the] argument that I kept saying to them was, 'Why did it take the death of a Black man?' And for context as well, Breonna Taylor died a few months prior to that, but nobody made the same song and dance about it because, again, hetero-patriarchy. It's the fact that it was a Black man specifically that everybody went, 'No, we are going to now fight this.' And all of the steps that I was seeing around me, I [thought] maybe there could be change, but I just became very unhopeful at that point because I found that it's very quick for people to want to not be racist, but they never want to do the work. I definitely found that especially within the academy; that was something that was very common. What's now interesting is the George Floyd murder happened two and a half years ago, yet a lot of people have now just gone back as if nothing has happened. They've gone back to this period of thinking, 'Oh, well I'm tired of having to do the work; I just wanna go back to how things were before,' and I've literally gone, 'Unfortunately, I don't get that get out of jail card.'

AB: Yeah, I hope that people who do end up staying within the academy have releases, spaces where they can be themselves and not have to answer questions.

CP: Yeah. I am very, very fortunate that I was able to have solidarity from two groups: the Racial Justice Network, which is a group of people that look at how we can basically apply race theory to different aspects of society—I was there from the perspective of climate—and also the African-Caribbean Research Collective. Because we were all dealing with the same struggle at exactly the same time, we kind of came to each other for support and for comfort, and I definitely found that both of those aspects were so needed because I ended up finding that, during that entire period, it was just exhausting. I legitimately was there going, 'Why am I having to deal with this?' And everybody [that] was there was like, 'Yeah, we're all having to deal with this together.' I found that having those two groups allowed me to feel that I could be more like me because I definitely found that, in the academy, it could be so lonely when you are one of X and you are having to effectively conform to this sense of normality and do this kind of fake 'ha ha ha' laugh rather than actually being like, 'What you are saying isn't that funny.' But I have to laugh because if I don't, I will have you go, 'Oh, so now you don't wanna engage,' and therefore you end up being alienated. At that point you're like, 'Well, some company must be better than no company even if that some company is not good for your physical and mental health.'

AB: Yeah, and it's concerning to me because a lot of us who end up in the academic space are very young at the very beginning, either in the middle of undergrad walking into the research setting, or even grad school really starts in your early twenties. You're still trying to figure out who you are, and that's something that I think we should continue to talk about out loud, especially in our safe spaces. I do wanna talk about something else that's kind of adjacent, depending on what the origin story is of Pokubakes; did that come about when you were in grad school or was this something that happened completely unrelated? Were you like, 'I just love baking; let me bake!'

CP: Pokubakes was an idea that came at the final year of my PhD, and what happened was I was finding that... A lot of times when people talk about, 'Oh, you know, when I was baking, I baked with my grandma when I was really, really young,' and so on and so forth. Spoiler alert: that didn't happen with me. I kind of dabbled in some baking when I was younger and then I dabbled again with baking when I was in my undergrad. I even dabbled again during the beginning bits of my PhD. However, there was a series of Bake Off—I think it was the 2018 series—that I just kind of went, 'I really want to try some of this stuff properly.' There was a person on there called Ruby and I really just vibed her. She had a way of cooking and baking that made me go, 'You know what? Let me actually give this a proper crack.'

I then decided that for my 2019 New Year's Resolution I was going to make bread every week, and within that resolution I also decided to document it on an Instagram page called @pokubakes. Now, gonna be honest with you, <humorous> my initial loaves were questionable. They were under-kneaded. They didn't rise properly. They were dense. I mean the way I describe it, they had character, but I would not describe it as a bread that I would go, 'Oh yeah, if I had to go on national television, this is the loaf that I would be having.' <Normal> Instead, I went, 'No, do you know what? Like with all things, I just need to stick with it.' And I stuck with it.

I then started doing pastry. I started doing croissants and stuff, bearing in mind, [I'd] never been able to make any form of bread, and yet there was me going, 'I'm just gonna jump into the hardest bit of pastry that I can, because sometimes with life you just have to go straight into the deep end.' What turned into a sort of hobby has now become a space where I now feel that I'm able to use it as a way to reconnect with my identity, reconnect with my understanding of how creativity is so important for the sciences, but also how science is important for creativity. They work in synergies with each other.

What also Pokubakes made me realise is that I didn't wanna be in the academy because that process made me really understand who I was as a person, and then it then made me go, 'Do I want to put this amount of energy into academia?' I then realised very quickly, 'No, I don't.' At that point, that's what made me then go, 'Well, what do I actually enjoy within academia?' One of the main motivations for why I applied for my second postdoc was because there was a data element to it and I wanted to [ask], 'Is data science something that I could explore?' I then ended up taking this postdoc, which essentially was a junior data science position, but that then made me go, 'Hold on a second—there are elements within this that I do enjoy, but there are elements in this that I don't enjoy. Maybe I could do this within industry.' And that all came from basically making bread every week for an entire year.

AB: You were ahead of the game by the way, 'cause everyone started making bread in the pandemic. You were a year ahead of time! <Laugh>

CP: Yes, that was it! I started making sourdough, I think it was towards the end of 2019, and then the pandemic hit us in March of 2020, and all of a sudden everybody was like sourdough, sourdough, sourdough! I got so many sourdough questions during that entire period, where I had a lot of people who would say to me, 'Craig, my starter isn't working. Craig, my bread isn't rising. Craig, why is my dough so wet? Why is my dough so dry?' I got so many questions that I actually went, 'You know what? I could use this as an opportunity to actually do tutorials,' so I ran a few Instagram live sessions answering people's questions. I've recently now got a website, so that's, where I've now actually started using my recipe section.

Originally, I went into perfectionist mode: every recipe needs to be tested at least four or five times. No, I now decided, 'This is the recipe that I wrote at the time. If you want a more professional recipe, hit me up.' But I think for me, I am really proud of Pokubakes because I never start a project and finish it. It's been going on for almost four years now and it's one of the few projects [where] I've learned so much about myself, going through the idea of making bread, doing pastry, actually understanding culture, understanding how I can incorporate different elements of culture into the food that I make, take into account different elements of social justice, the reasons as to why we cook locally, the reasons why we think seasonality, and I'm really glad for that space. And I think that is something that I now encourage a lot of people to do. It doesn't have to be cooking, but having that space where you can focus on that creative outlook is so important.

AB: Mm-hmm. I mentioned this in one of our correspondences that I was flipping through your PhD thesis as I was preparing for this interview, and in the acknowledgements section you talked about also doing jiu jitsu, so I figured that was one of your creative outlets.

CP: Yes!

AB: How did you get into jiu jitsu?

CP: Okay, so the professional answer is that I wanted to learn self-defence, and the idea of me punching people in a controlled manner felt really appealing to me, so I decided to do a jiu jitsu class. The honest answer was that I had somebody who I liked very much at the time basically reject me and I was so annoyed that I went, 'You know what? Maybe I should do something to get rid of that anger and aggression.' I was peeking out at the jiu jitsu class and they were like, 'Oh, are you here for jiu jitsu?' And I was like, <nervous> 'Yeah?'

AB: <Laugh>

CP: And so, I ended up basically joining that jiu jitsu club. Now, that club was based in London and there were some people from that club that I'm still really good friends with actually; in fact, one of them I now teach alongside. What I found during jiu jitsu was that I ended up going into the mindset of, 'Oh I'm only here for myself,' 'cause here's the thing, I don't do team sports, in the nicest way possible!

AB: <Laugh>

CP: Like, team sports involve having to be coordinated with a bunch of other people all at once. That's not really for me. What I did find however, was that with jiu jitsu, there was that kind of, like, club companionship. I definitely found that especially somebody who was really struggling with like the idea of really fitting in with my peers, jiu jitsu definitely had a lot more people that were sort of my vibe.

Now, I then—and I feel like I need to be transparent about this—I got to brown belt in 2018, I then had knee surgery in 2019. When I then came back onto the mat, I was just not in a really good space. Now, I also was in a really bad space with academia, but I also found that that community aspect that I really enjoyed, I never had in my Leeds jiu jitsu club. There are some people who I do still talk with, but I was really missing my London gang, as I'm gonna call [them]. I then made the decision to stop jiu jitsu and take two and a half years off, and I said that I would only go back if I [could] find a space where I would be able to have that club companionship again.

I moved back to London very recently, I found a club and literally I've been able to feel like I can fit right in, and I've been able to be myself. I'm able to be as camp as I want, as flamboyant as I want, whilst also still doing the thing that I really enjoy. That's the one thing that I definitely found really helped me 'cause I was doing jiu jitsu alongside my PhD. Whenever PhD would get stressful, I would go [do] jiu jitsu. Whenever jiu jitsu got stressful, I'd do PhD, and I just switched between the two.

AB: I would love to probe you for some final words of advice to someone who might be feeling the way you felt in 2019—pre-Pokubakes, [when] jiu jitsu wasn't necessarily working out—what advice would you have told yourself then that someone could possibly benefit from now?

CP: If I had to think about one bit of advice that's got me to where I am it's 'follow your gut instinct', and if your gut is saying, 'Don't do something,' then don't do it. I went and did a Maths degree despite the fact that my teachers told me not to do it because my gut feeling said to me it was the right idea. I came out with a first-class honours. I dropped out of my Master's and my grad scheme and worked in local government because my gut feeling told me, 'Don't do those things. You've got something else.' I got a full scholarship for my PhD. My gut feeling told me to stop certain aspects of research and go into another aspect of research, and that led me into ethical data science. Everything that I do is because my gut feeling is telling me to do it, and I think that a lot of the time we are in a society where we basically feel as though we need to do stuff because external pressures have always told us to do stuff. I am very thankful for my mum because my mum always told me to follow my gut, even if it went directly against her own advice. It helped me develop independent thought, and I definitely found that the reason why I'm so proud of all my creative outlets and my career journey is because I've always followed my gut instinct. And that's something that I would always recommend to everybody because, if not, then you lose that sense of individuality, and that's something that I've always been a big fan of.

If you look at my CV, you'd go, 'How did I go from A to B to boom to boom to boom?' The commonality within all of those points is that I followed my gut instinct the entire way through. That allowed me to actually get to a space where, whilst it wasn't a linear path to how I got to where I am, it all ties into that bigger picture of creativity, the idea of how science and data can actually allow people to feel that they can engage, the way that we can actually use people's expertise in the way that we do data, in the way they all feed into social justice. It all ties into that bigger picture, and that's how I always thought.

Her Royal Science jingle

CP: I love you mum, if you listen to this!

AB: <Laugh>


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