Category: unscheduled rants

I didn’t get the job

A recruitment story If the revelations of the secret lives and decisions of moralising politicians revealed anything in the last weeks, it’s that nothing much stays backstage in Canberra – whether it be paramours or au pairs. Backstage, a lovely

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Confession of the deliberately barren

I watch a young parent labour a double pram uphill. A toddler on the left and a baby on the right. Ecstasy wells up. I get rivulets of joy gushing from my toes up my calves and thighs and a

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There is no Plan(et) B(eauty)

In 2010, I accompanied about 15 of my Manila-based labmates to a large regional conference addressing the proximate and serious issues facing the most diverse coral reef systems in the world. For once, the rooms were not overloaded with white, male

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My Space

The old, white man rang my mobile about ten minutes before my PhD exit seminar began. Unbeknownst to the caller, I had removed all men, including him, from my panel many years before, in an obscure form-ridden process that appeared

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Choices, an elimination game

Someone wrote to me today that they hoped I had done what I did as a choice and not a sacrifice. I hesitated a lot before answering, partially (mostly?) because I was attempting to obey the Rotary rule of ‘kind, true, necessary’

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Mother’s father

My grandfather was a surgeon, and married a nurse. For the entirety of his working and marital life he had good women to do his bidding. It was never clear whether he really considered what they thought, what they wanted, or

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“Find one or two women” A manifesto for the times

It was about 3 months ago that I decided that every last citation that I would include in the yet-unwritten parts of my PhD thesis would have at least one female author/editor. Sick to death of seeing strings of male

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A paperless conference

A paperless conference sounded like a great idea. Just think of the trees. And this was a conference FOR the trees. And the fish. And the birds. The World Parks Congress, held every 10 years to remind us that we

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A grand opening

The grand opening of the World Parks Congress, Sydney Olympic Stadium November 2014. The audiences is shushed and warned off flash photography. The hosts urge quiet respect, announcing that ‘this will be a sacred part of the ceremony’. The scene

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The Virtual Dive Machine

The final plenary speech at a very large conference. This scientist bears a superficial resemblance to another in the public eye: an ageing rock star who also has added a podium to his stage. Bald, spare, charismatic. He tells us

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