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Thursday, 4 February 2016

The Joy of Science - #ThinkyThursdays 9

The Joy of Science

So I've been thinking about science and how amazing it is. This was brought on by the fact that I have finally seen The Martian and it's brilliant (Rob is currently reading the book and I have dibs once he's finished).

I feel that I was very lucky growing up. I have a father who, although went into the Church of England as a vicar, started off a technician in the RAF and a mother who was a dairy chemist, so our family is very much about the science. We were always encouraged in the ways of science and engineering which, in the seventies, were not considered what girls did.

Soph and I also went to an all girls secondary school that was very much known for its science teaching as well as its classics. Our school (Ashford School for Girls as was - it's now co-ed) won a competition to put an experiment on the NASA shuttle in conjunction with ITN just after we started and, due to the Challenger disaster, it was delayed so much that at least three generations of pupils got to work on it, including us, who were only lowly first years when the original group won. Helping with that and going to Florida to see the experiment go up in the Shuttle in 1992 was utterly brilliant and helped fuel my love for science.

The experiment was to see how a crystal garden would grown in zero gravity.

Soph and I even went on national television when the experiment was set to go on the Juno mission (Anglo/Russian) as well. We were on This Morning with Heinz Wolff and we set the experiment off before a commercial break and had to hastily improvise because it didn't work. It was a prototype and got stuck, so we had to fix it :). In the end it didn't pan out, but it was fun while on the books.

You'll be happy to know the experiment gave some really interesting results when it flew on STS-47 Endeavour.

I feel so privileged to have grown up in an environment that inspired my love of science and engineering. I know many women were discouraged from the area simply because it was seen as the male domain. I very much hope this has changed, but from what I see on social media I fear, not everywhere.

Science is amazing and should be open to everyone.

If you're wondering, I became a computer systems engineer before I dived into this whole writing thing with both feet. :) My Alevels are in Maths, Physics and Art, which probably give away my enjoyment of both sides of the line, I still love science as well as the arts and am so very, very glad I had so many wonderful experiences over the years.


  1. Hi Natasha ... clever lady - but what a privelege being able to be a part of that science study - with the result of today's International Space Station taking Major Peake into space and to walk in it. Then your trip over to NASA - what a brilliant opportunity ...

    It'd be wonderful to have some posts on it ... perhaps the A-Z this year?

    Cheers Hilary

    1. It was such an awesome thing to be part of. I'm afraid this would not fit with my AtoZ theme at all :) a bit too science fact - LOL :D


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