PODCAST: Raven the Science Maven looks like a scientist

raven baxter_thebelrdgurl_podcast

PODCAST: Raven the Science Maven looks like a scientist

On World Science Day a couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak with a woman reshaping the image of Black women in science, Raven Baxter. (a.k.a. “Raven the Science Maven”) . I first heard about Raven when her music video Big Ole Geeks, a “science parody” of Megan Thee Stallion’s Big Ole Freak, popped up on my Twitter feed last summer. Needless to say it blew up. Since then, she has created more videos, including Wipe it Down, (about the Coronavirus), she’s given a TED Talk and was named Fortune Magazine’s 40 under 40 in Health this year!

Raven is an American science communicator and doctoral student completing a Ph.D. in science education. I wanted to talk to her about her journey as a Black woman within the science space. We talked about how lonely being incorporate science can be, how she stopped codeswitching and got real in the lab and why she is dedicated to teaching a creative approach to science so that kids actually enjoy it!. So check out my interview with Raven the Science Maven!

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Karama: Hey folks. I'm Karama a.k.a theblerdgurland welcome back to theblerdgurl podcast. Now I know I talk a lot about comics and anime and fantasy and stuff here, but today I'm talking science. And my guest this episode is Raven Baxter, a.k.a "Raven the science Maven". She's an American science communicator and doctoral student completing a PhD in science education.
Now I first heard about Raven when she dropped a single actually called "Big Ole Geeks", sort of a parody to make these stallions "Big Ole Freaks" last summer. Since then she's created more videos, including "Wipe it Down" a parody about the coronavirus, then a Ted talk and was on Fortune Magazine's 40, under 40 List.
I can't wait to share with you this amazing conversation I had with this amazing woman. But first we've got to pay some bills.
She's been busy. We talked about how lonely it is being in corporate science, how she stopped code switching and got real in the lab and why she's dedicated to teaching a creative approach to science so that kids actually enjoy it. So up next, my interview with Raven Baxter, a.k.a "Raven, the Science Maven".
Raven, welcome. It's nice to like talk to you again and you blowin up!
Raven: Yeah. I mean, that's what they say, you know, I'm just out here doing my thing.
Karama: I mean, and you were still a full-time employee working as a scientist too, as well. So and Happy World Science Day. It's so nice to be able to say that, knowing that we're going to have a new President that cares about science.
Raven: Yeah, it makes me feel really good.
You know, knowing, I mean, I was watching the President Elect Biden's speech and just to see how much appreciation he has for science was incredibly refreshing. You know, him making full sentences was music to my ears. You know what I'm saying?
Karama: Never saw that never saw phonics and actually a properly worded sentence would sound like music to our ears.
But here we are.
So for everybody who doesn't know your full title, what is your official like scientific type title? What do you do and what branch of science are you currently in?
Raven: Sure. So I am a molecular biologist and I am also now working as a full-time science communicator. And what molecular biology is, is the study of molecules and how they generate our life processes. And like, as you know, we are made up of molecules and they all do very special things in our bodies. And so that's what I'm interested in learning about. Um, and then as a science communicator, I basically engage the public in science. And make
concepts and science fun and interesting and relatable for people who are under the sound of my voice. And I, I try to extend that reach to especially communities that are left out of mainstream science education efforts.
Karama: And when you grew up, when you were growing up, did you know you wanted to be a molecular biologist said that we're a molecular biologist?
Raven: I did not, I knew what molecules were, but I didn't know how cool they were until I maybe got into college. I definitely always knew I wanted to be a scientist. And really what science has always been to me is just asking questions about the world around you. And being curious. And so the different branches of science are really just asking different kinds of questions about the world around you and things that you can see and things that you can't see and using tools around you to answer those questions.
So yeah, science. I'm a ride-or-die scientist my whole life.
Karama: For those of us who were in a pandemic lockdown, you've been like giving Ted talks. You got married. Congratulations. You've you've been busy. Your Ted talk, you talked about wanting to be an astronaut as a little girl.
What changed? Why not? Astrophysics?
Raven: I personally think that when you work in the space industry, there's, there's so many things that you can do first of all. There is you can be a physicist and work on theories on how the world operates and how the universe and space and time operate.
Or you could be a geologist and look at how like the terrain on different planets are formed and what they're made of. but I think that the most exciting part of working in the space industry is actually going to space, right? And like being an astronaut and making that trip to wherever and having that very extremely rare experience.
So I went to space camp when I was around 12 or 13. And what space camp is, is a. Basically a sleep away camp where you spend a week at the U S space and Rocket center, and they train you on basically skills that astronauts need to learn to get to space and to run a successful space mission. So, um, with that being said, once I got into the simulations that were
putting us high in the air and like simulating like high altitude space travel. I quickly realized I did not want to be an astronaut, um, because I'm afraid of Heights. So I actually found out I was afraid.
Karama: That can be problematic. Yeah.
Raven: Yeah. And like, once I figured out, like I can't do the most fun part about working in the space industry.
I'm like, all right, well, let me just figure something else out. Cause it's just not going to work.
Karama: That's too funny. You will like, so yeah, I regret this decision as they're shaking you around the simulator. You said you always wanted to be a scientist, which is great. And it's wonderful that your parents like encouraged that.
When did you feel like you might be alone or one of the few people that was interested in that. Did you go through that in high school? Where people were like, "Ooh, science geek", or was it c that you realized, like, I don't really know that many people who want to do what I do".
Honestly, I I've grown up in, uh, the suburbs and the white suburbs specifically of New York State.
And. You know, like I didn't, I never had any negative experiences with science there. I, you know, I recognized that I was a racial minority and I just assumed that like being the racial minority is just always finding that you're the only person in the room. Fortunately, I didn't have any bad experiences until, um, I got into corporate, you know, and that's when that really became a factor in how I saw the world around me.
Um, as far as my treatment goes. But as far as science goes, it wasn't until college when I would talk to my friends, you know, and they would be like, "Oh, what's your major?" And I'm like ,"Biology". And they said, "Biology?!Like, Really?" And I'm like, "Yeah. Like, why is that weird?" And they're like, "Oh, I didn't know that we was out here doing biology". I'm like, "It's a major at this school". "Why wouldn't we be in the major programs?" "Like I just didn't know, you know, black people were interested in science" And this is other black people telling me this. So that was the first time I realized that what I was doing was not common.
Interesting. I, I went through something similar. I grew up in a suburban New Jersey. And again, one of the few black people. Definitely in my school all the way through. So I would say, I didn't know, I was weird, like for like a comics and geekdom and like, you know, animation and science-y stuff until I was in college because I was so busy being the only black girl.
Raven: Right.
Karama: When I think corporate, I don't think science, so help me out and for lay people who are listening, what is a corporate science job?
Raven: So corporate science is different from like, academic science jobs in that academic scientists work for universities and colleges and they they're conducting research usually on a grant. And that money goes to the school. Um, and they just work at the university versus a corporate scientist, works for a for-profit organization and key word for profit.
Okay? That means that we are working to make money for a corporation where, um, You know, depending on the type of company working for, you can be doing projects for bigger pharmaceutical companies like Johnson and Johnson or Pfizer or Bayer, um, or you could just be your own biotech in, uh, like your single biotech company.
That's making its own, um, discoveries and X, Y, and Z. So I was working at a contract research organization, which is a, for a for-profit, research facility that conducts, um, contract work for larger biotech companies.
Karama: So you said you were treated differently in corporate. I think we all have had that type of experience, but what is it like in the lab?
Raven: Working in the lab?
Karama: Or being treated differently in the lab?
Raven: I guess maybe I should preface this by explaining the nature of the work that I was doing. You know, I don't think scientists really explain what lab work looks like. It's never really quick, like at least the work that I was doing,
Karama: it's not like on CSI.
It's not with the pretty lab. They, the results come back. Like, you know, 20 minutes they don't have.
Raven: Yeah, no, it's not like that. Oftentimes you're sitting around, you're waiting for things to happen and there's a lot of downtime. Time for chit-chat, you know, you're still watching your experiments, you're running data, generating reports. But like, you know, there, there is a lot of opportunity to, to speak to coworkers, et cetera.
And like, I often kind of found that I didn't have, I wasn't included like the company culture was not very inclusive of me. Um, but like they definitely, you know, were inclusive of each other. Right. Like I felt like. The only times that I really got was spoken to were times where I changed my hairstyle.
Like I didn't have dreadlocks. Then I had a different Afro. Sometimes that would straighten it, then people would be like, "Ooh, let's talk to Raven". Or like, I don't know, I'd wear a cute outfit and people who want to talk to me and I'm like,"Is anybody going to ask me like how my day's going?" You know, or like ask me to lunch or anything other than
what is super superficial about me?
Karama: Did you see, you saw other people doing that you saw other people like cliques and things like that?
Raven: Oh yeah. You know, people like were really deep into each other's lives. Like, you know, they knew each other's kids, their kids are playing together.
You know, they were like inviting each other out to like, after work beers and stuff and baby showers and all of these things that I would just be like, never. It almost got to the point where, like, I knew that if. People were talking about like there's like a super fun thing happening. I just automatically knew that I wasn't going to be invited and I never was. Like, you know, it was just, it was just that kind of thing
Karama: For your tenure at that particular company were you always the only black woman or the black only black person period?
Raven: As a scientist? Yeah.
Karama: Oh, so there was like, janitors and things like that. Yeah. I've been there. And that sounds lonely.
Raven: Yeah. I mean it's especially was for me because I'm super social and like, I love having fun conversations.
I love doing fun things. I'm actually a big extrovert. And like, so me having to walk into a situation every day where I really. There's no place for me. Right? And nobody's really interested. It was kinda like unnerving, like I had so much to offer. I just felt invisible for real. Like, it just, it did feel lonely.
Karama: Wow. Now was it there that you decided that you wanted to teach? Did you make the decision then? Like, you know what, let me get out and get, let me teach the next generation. So they won't be by themselves. Is that when that decision got made?
Raven: Kind of, yeah. You know, like I, throughout my professional career, whether I was working in corporate or working as, you know, working as a professor at a community college, I always saw the need for me to kind of stop what I was doing and use my skills and talents in a way that would make big impacts for the future generations of scientists.
And, um, That's kind of like a part of the reason why I turned around and went into science education for my PhD. And also ultimately why I decided to start working full time, like kind of for myself, but really for the community as a science communicator and bridging these gaps that I see in the science community.
Karama: Do you feel, since you at least came from that corporate job, that things have changed a little bit, that there's, there have been things have gotten a little bit more inclusive.
Raven: I really can't speak to it because I've. Kind of been marching to the beat of my own drum since then. Like, um, I I'm hearing about efforts that people are making to make their workplace more inclusive, but I don't work in those workplaces.
And you know, if I don't have firsthand experience then it's all talk to me. You know, I want to see something.
Karama: I know absolutely.
Raven: I couldn't even tell you. I'm hoping though that there, there are actual tangible improvements.
Karama: When did you decide, uh, to actually become faculty? Cause I know that was like one of the steps towards what are your, what you're doing now.
What was that experience like? And what were you teaching biology at that point?
Raven: Yeah. So I actually left my corporate position to become a, an assistant professor of biology at, a community college. And I made that decision because I felt like working in corporate would be safer or not. Corporate working in a college would be a little safer for me, especially the nature of the college.
Um, their student population was very diverse. And I just kind of felt like it will be more fun to work with diversity. Right? So that's ultimately what happened.
Karama: But I heard, uh, um, this might've been a new Ted talk. I might've heard it someplace else. There was like a, a mailroom incident. Was that at that school? Tell everybody what that was about.
Because that blew my mind.
Raven: Yeah. I mean, long story short, I was trying to get my mail and, um, one of the faculty members didn't think I worked there and asked for my ID. She thought it was fake and then threatened to call the cops on me, even though, like, there was absolutely no reason to do that. And she gave me..
Karama: Call the cops on you inside your place of work?
Raven: Mm-hmm.
Karama: You see Karen's are everywhere, man.
Raven: Yeah and her reason was that she didn't think that I look like I worked there. Um, so therefore I had to be lying even though I had identification. Like that literally listed my job title of the department and like, you know, so that, yeah, that happened.
Karama: You have people breaking in to teach classes at the school at a regular basis.
Raven: Like they will be lucky.
Karama: Oh my God. Um, when that was cleared up, did you ever get an apology?
Raven: No.
Karama: Oh girl. Yeah. And it's funny because a lot of people think, Oh, that was years and years and years ago, this was recent, right?
Raven: It was like three
Karama: years ago,
See what I'm saying?
Raven: Within the past five years.
Things are changing, but they have not changed completely. Um, no, I'm really sorry that you had to go through that. But on the brighter side of teaching, uh, what, what did you like about teaching science? What was what's what excites you about the teaching process?
I think that, uh, part of what needs to change about science culture and the way that we teach science is just allowing for more individuality and creativity.
And so I worked really hard to incorporate elements of that into my lectures and my assignments and my assessment. So one of the biggest ways I did that was through my tests and exams. So I will couple all of my exams with a creative assignment. And that way students can kind of exercise their creativity any way they want to, to, um, convey, uh, convey a particular subject with their choice.
That we covered in class and the product could look like anything from like a game or a puzzle, or like a skit, a play, a painting, an animation. I've had so many things come from this assignment and it helps bring the. Our community of students together, like closer together, because it's, I assigned this in a group project and they ended up doing really well.
Um, and it also helps to bring down testanxiety because the students know, like, I, you know, everything's not riding on this one multiple choice exam. Like I'm going to have the opportunity to really show the professor that I know my stuff. You know, and I could take my time with it. And, um, yeah, I had, I've had really great outcomes with that and I'm looking forward to continuing to do that.
I'm looking, I'm actually looking for a faculty position now, so hopefully I'll be able to continue that.
Karama: What age group were you teaching then? And what age group are you looking to teach?
Raven: I was teaching college students, um, and I'm still looking to teach college students.
Karama: Um, I find it interesting that people even college level have that anxiety when their major might be science.
You know what I mean? But I mean, I guess there's anxiety around all, all, uh, testing.
So tell me how your music video, Big 'Ol Geeks came about
Raven: Big 'Ol Geeks came from, um, my desire to, put out positive messages to the science community, especially to women who look like me. And just kind of give them an instruction manual for like the kind of energy that we're going to start bringing into the space.
And, um, and that came about because after I left corporate for several months after I was really ashamed and embarrassed to, because, so many black people were like rooting for me. And I was, you know, really the only black scientist they had ever heard of, or even seen or met. And so for me to tell everybody that I was leaving, um, even though it was because I felt like I was being mistreated, you know, people didn't understand the
the extent of the trauma that I was enduring in that position. And, um, they just wanted to, they just wanted to see black women winning, right? Yeah. Without really understanding, like we are really being harmed in these places that don't have, um, proper like diversity, equity and inclusion. Initiatives in place and like action plans.
So I left and then after I left, even though I was leaving with the intention of, you know, doing good for the community and bringing people in behind me while improving the culture. I was still kind of ashamed because I was definitely like another black woman who left STEM and I had to take a few months to reflect on that.
You know, it was kind of a big decision because mind you, like, I had gotten undergrad and graduate degrees with the intention of like being a career like corporate sciences. And I had totally changed my plan. So I was like, kind of in limbo. And trying to figure out what do I do now? You know, the plans have changed and I can not believe that this happening.
Uh, but that only lasted for like six months. And then like by month six, I was like, it actually isn't my fault. Because it wasn't my responsibility to stay and fix and fix what they should've had there in the first place. And like, I'm just one person in this corporate machine. And if this machine, you know, is not supportive of women like me, there's, you know, I can't, I can't fix that.
Like, Yeah, but,
Karama: um, I'm really, I'm really glad you said that because I think so many of us in many different disciplines, black women, and this is the other reason, I think black women have the highest rates of like stress related illnesses and, you know, and fibroids and cancer and things like that. And hypertension, because when we do get into these spaces and, and it is Highlander syndrome, what I call Highlander syndrome, there could be only one.
When I was working more in video and advertising, I wanted to leave so many times and it was always a black person saying there, "You can't leave. You're the only one. We need you". And I'm like, "But what about me?" And then when I, and then when I had a stroke, I was like, you know what?
I'm not that one is not supposed to pay me.
But unfortunately, or fortunately, I think a lot more people are speaking out about this because it doesn't make sense for me to be the only one allowed in. And then you beat the crap out of me and I'm supposed to take a trophy for that. I was supposed to stick it out and say, yeah, but I'm the only one, you know what I mean?
Like it is. It is frustrating and it's also scary and it is so very unhealthy that we don't have the support in these places. And I personally don't think it is a badge of honor anymore to be like in 2020, the first black fill in the blank. Because it means like, Oh, they're going through it. Like, I am so excited for Kamala Harris.
I'm also terrified. Look at how old, most of these presidents, vice presidents look, when they leave office, baby girl is going to need help. She gets out. You know what I mean? Like I hope she has the support system of the gods.
Raven: Yeah. Yep.
Karama: So music, when you decided. I'm going to make this, and I'm going to unleash this creativity...were you always into music and then you just decided I'm gonna put my science to it?
Raven: Basically. Yeah. That's it like, I started journaling kind of my thoughts about how I was feeling. And once I realized that it was them, not me. And then I got like, you know, my 'big petty' energy on and I'm like, Oh wow. "You know, They really messed up".
That's sort of where Big Ole Geeks came from. Um, but as far as my entire music, like I've always been into music and I guess having all that time to sit and reflect on what my professional experiences had been. Gave me some time to do deep introspection and like out of the pits of my spirit, like through like, "Oh yeah, like I do love music".
And then like," I do love science". And then I was like, Oh, well, you know, I'm mashing them together. And unapologetically because I had lived, you know, basically years of my life in this corporate space, trying to cater to what I thought other people would accept from me. And I was not having it anymore. I'm just going to do this my way and y'all are just got to deal with it.
I'm glad I did it.
Karama: And so a lot of other people. It blew up and on top of that, you've sort of got national recognition. So what has been the most mind blowing experience that has come from that video? Cause I know you've done others since then.
Raven: Uh, from Big Ole Geeks. Um, I will say that I'm studying, I'm actually studying the response to that video as my doctoral dissertation.
Karama: Oh, wow.
Raven: Um, so, um, I'm interviewing women, black women who watched the video and I'm understanding what their reactions were to that type of representation, because it really was the first time on the internet that black woman had shown shown her science in that way. I mean like, do we do not have twerking videos, like black women on the internet doing science, like that does not exist until I put that video out, which is why it got so much attention.
Um, but the responses were amazing. Um, just to talk a little bit about my study, I interviewed 50 black women and. 80% of them had never seen a black woman scientist period.
Um, not on TV, not on social media, not in person.
Karama: They didn't even, they didn't even have a black physician. Like he didn't have a
Raven: No.
Karama: Wow.
Raven: And, um, half of these, half of all of these women either had STEM careers or had careers outside of STEM. And I think one of the most important parts of my research was that 80% again, of the women who saw my music video, but did not have STEM careers said that they would have pursued a STEM career if they had that type of representation when they were younger.
Karama: Yeah. I believe it. I know you said you're using it sort of for your dissertation. Are you going to be trying to prove why the types of education and science needs to change? Is that, is that the goal?
Raven: There's, that's, that's a distant goal of it. I mean, I think the immediate goal is to really show that.
The way that we're studying under-representation it needs to be rethought because many of the studies that are done, you know, about black women's experiences in STEM and understanding why we have under-representation, they're really only asking black women who are in STEM professions. Right. And like, Not necessarily people who left STEM, not necessarily people who never had a STEM career.
Like we need to understand why people are not picking STEM in the first place to answer why we're underrepresented in STEM. And also people who've left STEM careers. So I want to highlight like there's, there are things to learn about. Um, under-representation in STEM from adult black women who never chose STEM careers.
It's like we have to hear their stories because we need to understand where we're missing the mark in, in garnering interests from, from this population.
Karama: And it's so funny because so much of what you're saying does not sound like it's a lack of interest
it sounds literally like its environment. . Even people who get the concept of black women in science, it's like, yeah, I'll go. "I don't want to be the only one".
Now, let's talk about some of these accolades a little bit. Now, first of all, you've released some more songs, some more tracks, your COVID track had me hollering by the way, because it was like, "Just wash your hands".
Um, but it was a bop! I liked it. And then you have another one out where you actually highlight, um, women scientists. , where did you find the women that were in that one?
Raven: Um, those are just women that I, that I knew were following me on social media.
I put out a call on social media, like if you are a woman scientist come through. Um, and yeah, it made for a really cool video. I'm glad we did it.
Karama: Now. Fortune called.
Fortune has a 40, under 40,
I remember being on Twitter when you said, "Oh my God, I got a blue check mark!"and I was like, "Well, duh you're in Fortune!"
So what was it like first , when Fortune called.
And then second getting that blue check.
Raven: You know, it's weird because like, I never really saw myself as somebody who was doing big things, you know? And like I knew what Fortune magazine was. Everybody knows what the fortune 500 is. Right? So when I was contacted by them for this 40, under 40 List, I was like, "Mm, I think you have the wrong email address".
Like not,
Karama: Raven. I don't think they screw that up very often.
Raven: I mean, it was just unreal. Um, and then once we got on the phone and to hear how excited they were about the work that I was doing. I said, Oh wow. This is, I must have really done something here, you know?
Okay, let's do this. and they don't tell you that you're actually on the list until the list comes out. So, Oh,
Karama: so, but they hit you up and say, Oh, you are in the running or you're a finalist. How does that work?
Raven: I would say that I was a finalist.
Karama: Okay.
Raven: And I'm like, "Oh, they can't pick me". Like, I didn't know that they were doing 200 people this year.
They did five categories of 40, um, which made more sense to me. Cause like, I didn't know until they released the list, but up until the day they released it, they were like 40, under 40 I'm like, so there's 40 people on planet Earth.
And y'all, there's just..
Karama: There's your scientific mind again, like, let me do the math on this.
Raven: But it's still all in. Like, it, it was nice to be recognized because when I started this work, especially when I put big old geeks out, like I truly did not know if I messed up like my entire reputation because of the radical way in which I was portraying women scientists. And like, it was radical because I was really coming, like breaking all of the barriers and the boxes and, um, doing so in a way that was super unapologetic. And like, um, risky really, especially for me as a black woman and just knowing how, how hard we have to tip toe would walk on eggshells to be taken seriously and, um, to be seen as credible. You know, I just kind of is dove right into what I believe was being true to myself. And didn't really want to take the time to worry about how I would be treated because at the end of the day, I was being true to myself and that was the most important. So to see that being celebrated by Fortune Magazine, um, was incredible.
And it really signaled to me that, you know, all this time, you know, black women. Didn't
necessarily have to, like, we didn't have to do as much as we thought we had to do, you know? And like, I'm really glad to see more black women coming out of, of these boxes and keeping it real and being true to themselves.
Cause I think that's going to make us a healthier people, you know, in the long run and happier people
Karama: really. Yeah, no, absolutely. I'm also curious, I've been meaning to ask you this question. Were there older black folks who will like, okay, settle down, settle down. Like,
Raven: Actually no! My grandma was bopping to this thing.
Karama: Good!
Raven: You know, her friends were bopping to it. They were sending it. I was really surprised. Cause like, you know, I'm an AKA actually. And like, you know how we are. So, um, but everybody was very supportive and that's, that's when I knew like, women just needed to see other women making their own narratives and like doing that is inspirational.
And everybody's narrative doesn't look like mine, but seeing an example of what it means to do that , was inspirational for people, regardless of age and, career field, et cetera.

Karama: That's awesome. But now, like, It's really blown up. I don't know if a fortune did it for you, but the blue check mark did.
Also as someone who also has a blue check Mark, isn't it hilarious on this side? What people think that you have the ability to do when you get one of those? It's like this thing is not paying my bills.
I don't know. It's it's funny. Like I, you know, I've kind of, I feel like I manifested the blue check. Cause like, at the beginning of this year I was like, "Oh, I want to get a blue check," you know? And it was just kind of a thing, like another milestone, right? Like, yeah. But, um,
Raven: the authenticity that came with yours. It's the fact that this is the original. There might be somebody else on here. that's going to try and call themselves Raven or Raven, the science Maven, but they're lying. This is the original. And that's what is, that's what I liked about mine. It's like, I am, there might be a bunch of y'all calling yourselves this, but I am the one that is what that is the only thing that made me feel good about it.
it was important to me to have a black voice, an authority in science identified by Twitter who was black. And who can act as a trusted figure in science and bridge the gap between, you know, the black community and the science community, and act as like a liaison. I think is important that Twitter gives people that type of visual trustworthiness badge so that people can find their role model and their information source. Especially now during a pandemic. Like c'mon where the Black community is being hit hard. Like we need, we need this. So I was happy about it
Karama: As you should be. Um, last question, if you had to. Have the ability to go back in time and talk to Raven that was going to science camp. What advice would you give her?
Raven: I don't know. I really, I don't really have much to say because everything went fine. Um, maybe just say you're doing a great job. Like, um,
Karama: or maybe you're not alone. You're not going to be by yourself.
Raven: Yeah. I mean, I don't really know what to be honest. Um, I was a very oblivious child. I, and that's, that's a part of the reason for my success was that I never really cared what was going on around me, not in a emotionless way, but like I didn't allow outside factors to impact my interests and my academic like journey.
You know what I'm saying? So, Anything that I would have told Raven back in the day would have just went like way over my head. That's why it's hard to imagine. I'm like, would I even listen? Like be paying attention? Probably not. Yeah.
Karama: So is that what you would tell, like somebody else that you meet now that is that age that's interested in science, would you, would you give them the same advice?
Like trust yourself? Yeah.
Raven: Yeah.
I think that's, that's definitely the advice I would give is like follow your intuition and, um, keep, you know, the path may not always seem straight, but that's okay. Because paths don't have to be straight. You can go up down and around left right back front, but you're still moving.
Like just keep moving, keep understanding yourself, learning, growing, and it'll be fine. Awesome.
Karama: Thank you so much for hanging out with me. I really, really appreciate it.
Raven: you for inviting me. It's so good to talk to you again,.

Karama: Isn't Raven amazing? I love all the things that she's working on. And I love the fact that she's got this dedication to making sure that black women stay in the sciences and stay recognized. I'm putting all of Raven's information in the show notes so that
you can keep up with her and make sure you don't miss anything. But please leave a comment for me over on Apple iTunes and police subscribe to this podcast and tell your friends about it. Don't forget to comment over on iTunes, subscribe and do me a favor, take a screenshot of this episode and on Instagram stories, shout me out, tag me, tell everybody that you listened to the show and that you like it and get your friends to subscribe too. I really appreciate it.
And I will see you next time.

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Hi! I'm Karama! I'm a Brooklyn blerd, journalist and content creator fueled by coffee and comics. Anime is my orientation. Currently on one too many podcasts. Read More

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