I'm crying. This is from someone in the biology department at UB. The dept. didn't want to accept me as a PhD because I was passionate about education just as much as I was passionate about being a molecular biologist. This is one person in that department who supported me. 1/
I had went through an entire PhD interview process all the way to the end. I had almost two years of working as a corporate scientist under my belt period and a master's degree. The reason for not accepting me? They didn't think that I cared for the program. About science. 2/
They thought that because I was passionate about serving the public and informing the public about science that I did not qualify to be a PhD scientist. They LITERALLY told me that they did not think that I would be interested in the program. I have the email.
I am literally just crying my ass off right now. Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo hard
This is the stuff that I don't talk about when I say why I don't talk about my doctoral experience. I've been through a lot
You can be a scientist that cares about the public. You don't have to choose one over the other. I hate that these programs make people value research over humanity and learning and teaching. I hate it so much.

Looking back I wouldn't change anything because I'm happy where I am
But if you are under the sound of my voice on this internet, and you are in charge of a biology PhD program, you need to provide opportunities for people like me who are experts in biology to also teach others and care for others while doing research. We don't want to be robots.
Y'all are losing a lot of talent because you don't want to open your mind to people who are willing to educate and create more scientists in future generations. We still deserve a seat at the table!!
I'm obviously very sensitive about this but this is a real issue. I have to talk about it. this is a gigantic issue in science culture and this is something that I want to change for future generations.
But after they sent me that rejection letter and told me why they thought I wouldn't be interested in the program, I sent an email back saying I would have been a phenomenal student in their program. Now they have to see me in the newspaper and on TV. Doing science. 💀💀💀💀💀💀
Now y'all understand a little bit more when I say "I'm doing ________ for my haters". "Haters" is my figurative term for people who tell me "no" and deny me opportunities to achieve my dreams. I had to forge my own way to where I am. Haters are my motivators.
please forgive these voice text errors. I am almost legally blind and my voice to text puts periods in full text instead of punctuation
And y'all will see me use the word "hate" very rarely if ever. This is something I truly do hate.
GATEKEEPING.
YOU CAN DO BOTH! You can do biology research and be passionate about education. I literally have spent 8 years of my life literally doing that as a corporate scientist and graduate student... I was teaching at a community college while I was a drug discovery researcher.
And for those of you who don't know, I AM in a PhD program right now, hoping to finish this year. I'm in a science education PhD program that can barely support my level of expertise and experience as a molecular biologist. Education programs are not equipped for people like me
Most education PhD programs are focused on K-12 teaching experiences. I am not a K-12 teacher or researcher. I am molecular biologist that wants to serve the public as a science communicator.
Interdisciplinary PhD programs in STEM are the future.
Y'all I was doing cell transfections, protein purification, CRISPR experiments, high-throughput assays, etc. for big pharma by day, and teaching at a community college by night. Guess what??? THE WORLD DIDN'T END. You can do BOTH!

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More from @ravenscimaven

27 Jul
STORYTIME! A couple of years ago, I went to sleep perfectly healthy, and hours later woke up in the middle of the night with a RAGING headache. My head was throbbing, and I felt so odd. I also felt some water in my ear that was probably fr the shower I had taken earlier. 1/
There was SO much water in my ear, I could hear it. So, I did the tilt your head thing, bouncing my head sideways to jerk the water out of my ear. Nothing would work. I decided to sleep on that side of my ear to let the water drip of naturally via gravity. My head was pounding 2/
It took a while for me to go to sleep. I laid there with my head pounding and I could hear the water in my ear moving, and I was banging my head on the pillow, even the nightstand to get the water out. I was desperate. I ended up going to sleep eventually 3/
Read 15 tweets
5 Jul
Here's my introduction to celebrate 16k! I'm Raven Baxter, a.k.a. Raven the Science Maven! I'm a science communicator finishing a Ph.D. in science education. My background is in molecular biology, I've been a corporate scientist and educator in both K-12 and university. 1/
I was an only child w/ ADHD, raised by Mom. We didn't have much money, so Mom entertained me w/ science books at the library. I couldn't sit still in class, I'd finish my work early then I would get up and smack kids and spin around. I was moved up grades so that I'd sit down. 2/
I put a lot of my energy as a child into absorbing ANY AND ALL science content I could find. My favorite TV channels as a child were @weatherchannel and @cartoonnetwork. I'd flip between PowerPuff Girls to soak up girl power and Local on the 8s to watch the weather patterns! 3/
Read 12 tweets
28 Jun
Do y'all wanna hear about the time that I was offered a science faculty position and the university withdrew their offer after I asked about their policies regarding maternity leave? Because apparently women in their mid/late 20s are useless if planning on having kids? 1/
Let's just say it's a VERY small, private, STEM-focused university in PA🤷🏿‍♀️. They headhunted me from LinkedIn. The HR recruiter was so friendly and welcoming at first. I had two interviews via Skype, then invited for onsite. I drove down from Buffalo 3 hours, so excited! 2/
I was mostly excited about the opportunity to do teach, advise and conduct interdisciplinary research at the school! They paid for my hotel and promised to comp me for mileage from my drive. 3/
Read 25 tweets
22 Jun
Some of the same people from the Black community who've encouraged me to have a career as a scientist will also refuse the COVID-19 vaccine, made by scientists. Even Black scientists. This is problematic but I understand the history behind the reason why. This must change. 1/
There is huge mistrust in science and healthcare within the Black community that is a result of America's generational abuse and trauma inflicted on Black people, from horrific experimental surgeries on slaves, through the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, and so many more examples. 2/
The amount of Black people that I see that are refusing any opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccine is terrifying. I remind people in my community that there are Black scientists at the lead of these vaccine studies such as Dr. @KizzyPhD, and they turn on us and shame us. 3/
Read 7 tweets
15 Jun
Dear allies, I appreciate you supporting my strong voice on this platform. Did you know a lot of Black women silence their concerns & emotions due to the "angry Black woman" stereotype? What are you doing as an ally to support Black women's voices in the workplace and beyond?
I'll help you out with one, you reply with additional thoughts: When a Black woman is expressing her opinion, watch your coworkers reactions. Be on alert for tone policing. Be on alert for people mischaracterizing her words for "angry" "mean" or "abrasive". They are often wrong.
If you see something: SAY SOMETHING RIGHT THEN AND THERE! Not later, not after the meeting, not when you two are alone. It's UNCOMFORTABLE, but changing culture is not a nice and comfortable situation. We have to be socially and self aware enough to snap out of the status quo.
Read 4 tweets

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