Name: Simon Fox
Current Job: Public Health Doctoral student
Scientific Discipline/Field: Public Health
Country: United Kingdom
Pick some letters (L,G,B,T,Q,+, etc.): G
Twitter or other social media handle: @BeardyAcademic
What does your job involve?
I am currently researching the healthy ageing of LGBT+ populations. So that’s a lot of reading, writing and talking to people! I gave a long talk at the 2021 LGBT STEMinar on the same subject, and have contributed to an academic blog.
How did you get to this job (education etc.)?
My background is in the care of ageing populations. From there, I studied occupational therapy, then public health.
Do you feel being LGBT has affected your career decisions?
Not initially, but my doctoral research definitely has been. The more journal papers I read at undergraduate level, the more I could see where the gaps in the current knowledge are, and this spurred me on to investigate them at a population level. It’s endlessly fascinating.
Have you had any reactions from colleagues about being LGBT, either good or bad?
In the very early stages of my career, there were moments of unwanted curiosity and comments, but there’s been nothing in the past few years. My study environment is very inclusive and everyone I’m in contact with are brilliant.
Did you have any role models growing up (LGBT, STEM, totally unrelated.)?
I have always admired people who travelled and wanted to learn and make the world a better place, such as Sir David Attenbrough and Michael Palin. I wrote to them as a kid and their reply letters are now framed on my wall to remind me of where it all began. I am also a lifelong Doctor Who fan. There’s something wonderful about a hero who uses science and humour to save the world. Nowadays, I admire Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Professor Alice Roberts who bring science and history to the masses with enthusiasm. There’s also my Mum who worked in the NHS for years. Healthcare rubs off on you!
What are your plans for the future?
I hope to do a lot of things – teach, write books, research, travel, and meet lots of people. We will see what the job market brings!