We are back for Season 2 of the Pride in STEM podcast! Joining Craig Poku (he/they) in this episode is the wonderful Kemi Oloyede (they/them), where we talk about their career journey, the barriers faced by Black scientists engaging in STEM and how they’ve used creativity to address these barriers. You can see more of Kemi’s work here.

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00:00:01 Craig               Hi. I’m Dr. Craig Poku and you are listening to the Pride in STEM Podcast. A series that explores the different barriers faced by members of the LGBTQIA+ community. As scientists, we are always taught that numbers and objectivity are the solutions to address problems faced by society. However, storytelling is just as important, especially when it comes to ensuring equality for marginalized communities. Through this series I hope that you, the listener, will come away with a new insight into what these barriers are and discover pragmatic ways to help us overcome them. In today’s episode I’ll be talking with Kemi Oloyede about what it’s like to work in STEM as a Black scientist. Whenever we talk about inclusivity in STEM we mainly focus it from a white perspective. Consequently, this may mean that solutions that are currently present may not be appropriate for LGBTQIA+ scientists who do not fit the standard mould. Furthermore, society will regularly separate arts from the scientists, however, could incorporating both be a way to improve inclusivity for non-white LGBTQIA+ scientists who work within STEM. Here we spoke about Kemi’s career journey. The barriers that they faced along the way and what they’ve learned from their experiences. The wonderful, the amazing, the talented Kemi Oloyede.

00:01:17 Kemi               Oh!

00:01:18 Craig               So firstly, hi. How are you Kemi? [chuckles]

00:01:20 Kemi               Hi, babe. I am fine. I’m just so glad that it’s really sunny outside because I’ve not really been leaving my house these days. As in….

00:01:27 Craig               I mean, you’ve not been leaving your house, but what you have do do is go viral on Twitter. [both laughing] But added context, Kemi put on a hot tech tweet, which really wasn’t that deep. Four hundred and forty one thousand likes the last time I counted.

00:01:43 Kemi               I think so. I’ve stopped counting at this point. It’s ridiculous.

00:01:45 Craig               You just got—like, did you ever feel that your fate would ever be dictated by a tweet—

00:01:51 Kemi               [laughs]

00:01:51 Craig               —talking about your iron levels of all things?

00:01:54 Kemi               It’s so me because it’s like whenever I talk about anything that I feel is of absolute importance or like something that I want to go viral, if it’s my artwork, it never goes viral. But I make like one off the cuff tweet and all of a sudden [inaudible 00:02:09] numbers.

00:02:10 Craig               Yes. [chuckles]

00:02:12 Kemi               I literally had people sending me on Instagram like…. [laughs]

00:02:15 Craig               Yes. I think I sent you one where—one of the mean pages that I followed ended up popping up and I was like, “I know this tweet. I know this person.” And I was like, “Babes, you famous.” [chuckles]

00:02:26 Kemi               No, it’s actually hilarious because I’ve been anaemic for years but I think it was the first time that my iron levels had been that low and I just didn’t expect it to be that low. As it’s been I take Floradix like every day, like, you know?

00:02:39 Craig               But it’s interesting that you talk about being anaemic and obviously Black, and that’s something that when I think about people who are anaemic I remember all of the medical textbooks and all of the examples were just of white people.

00:02:51 Kemi               Right.

00:02:51 Craig               So of course then you then go, “Wait a second, why am I figuring like this?” And you don’t see yourself in that situation. Then you then go, “Well, maybe I’m just making up in my head.” I mean, for starters, I didn’t think that you could be queer and Black at the same time for a very long time. Up until I was the age of twelve.

00:03:07 Kemi               Honestly the same.

00:03:08 Craig               Uh!

00:03:08 Kemi               I literally didn’t see any Black gay people at all growing up.

00:03:11 Craig               Such a mess.

00:03:12 Kemi               We’re two aliens.

00:03:13 Craig               And now we are the representation.

00:03:15 Kemi               I know. [laughs]

00:03:17 Craig               So for context to the audience, I am Black and queer for those who don’t know who I am. And so therefore it’s not as if, like, I’m just like, you know, making up my own identity It is generally the fact, that this is how I identify. So enough about, like, you know, me. I guess I’m interested to just to know about you Kemi. So could you just, like, give the audience like a quick introduction about yourself?

00:03:39 Kemi               I actually have a background in chemistry, analytical chemistry and forensic science to be exact. Yeah, I’ve gone into toxicology and I’m currently doing a PhD in environmental sciences. And yeah, I’m basically a Black, queer, non-binary babe who also likes to draw and illustrate. And for the past two years now I’ve been doing a lot of digital art based things. Yeah. I’m basically a real advocate for being creative and being artsy, but also being queer. And being in STEM because I feel like it’s not very often that we see those things overlap. So yeah, that’s basically me.

00:04:19 Craig               Firstly to begin, for anyone who hasn’t followed Kemi’s work, you really need to. Because Kemi’s artistic flair is just on another level and like you are doing some big, big things with it. Like, I mean, how are you finding the PhD at the moment?

00:04:34 Kemi               Oh boy! If I’m being honest with you, I’ve been at a real low point with this PhD. I mean, I’m still in first year so I’m still sort of in that space where I’m, you know, adjusting myself to the project and to the techniques and have like a big assignment coming up soon where I’ll have to do mini [inaudible 00:04:53]. It’s good.

00:04:54 Craig               It’s going to be okay, trust me.

00:04:56 Kemi               Yeah.

00:04:56 Craig               If you go in there with the attitude of, “If you believe, you will succeed and you will achieve,” I mean that’s what I tell myself every day when I wake up. [both laughing]

00:05:04 Kemi               And that is literally the first thing you do when you wake up?

00:05:07 Craig               Even if I’m like, I don’t want to leave my bed because, you know, my depression’s hitting me like a high, but, you know, I’m just going to try my best here.

00:05:12 Kemi               [laughs]

00:05:14 Craig               And sometimes you kind of need to because otherwise—

00:05:15 Kemi               Yeah.

00:05:15 Craig               —then you end up in this situation where you’re just sort of like—especially when you do have these really big exams within, like, your academic career. It can be quite exhausting at times.

00:05:26 Kemi               Mhm.

00:05:26 Craig               [inhales] But no, like, it’s interesting. Firstly, you have a very varied background for somebody at this point of your PhD and I think that’s something to be really commendable. Of course, you’re now doing a PhD. How did you feel that there may have been any barriers for you? Or more specifically, were there any barriers that you think you could identify if you were a Black person who wants to engage in a PhD or in STEM, generally speaking?

00:05:50 Kemi               Yeah. I think, to be honest, even sexuality aside or gender aside, yeah, being Black has definitely been a barrier, I’ve noticed. [chuckles] You know, I’ve noticed after finishing my first degree, a lot of my white counterparts were out here just easily getting jobs, you know? Not even having first 00:06:10 a degree. And I struggled for a while afterwards and, you know, it is—it—I mean it’s one of those things that unfortunately you have to sort of, like, acknowledge that exists. I mean, you know, even with me having an Nigerian name for instance, I know that that very much impacts, you know, my applications being seen and being able to enter certain spaces. I think I’ve been very fortunate enough to have people around me that, you know, have given me opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. You know, white friends as well as Black friends who’ve had their foot in, you know, doors of many opportunities. So yeah, I don’t take those for granted. But yeah, I am definitely not, you know, ignorant to the fact that my skin colour or my Blackness plays a part in how I’ve been able to navigate being in STEM and being in this sort of field. So it was quite tough.

00:07:07 Craig               So you’ve obviously mentioned toxicology, but that falls within, like, you know, the wider environmental science field. So before I ask a bit like, how do you think you may have seen some barriers within that space, what is environmental sciences?

00:07:23 Kemi               Yeah. I—to be honest with you, my project falls within the category of environmental toxicology—

00:07:31 Craig               Okay.

00:07:32 Kemi               —but I think [chuckles] Usually, many people don’t know what that is so I feel for the most part when people ask me what my PhD is in, I say environmental sciences. But my sort of research pertains to a niche area of environmental sciences in which we look at the presence of pharmaceuticals in the environment. So this can be—so with my research group. My research group is called the Emerging Chemical Contaminants group.

00:08:06 Craig               That is a name.

00:08:07 Kemi               [chuckles]

00:08:07 Craig               I love it. I’m here for the name.

00:08:10 Kemi               [laughs] You know, as part of, you know, the wider environmental research group at Imperial. So our group very much, you know, focuses on the presence of pharmaceuticals, but also illicit drugs in, you know river water, waste water. But also a lot of research is also to do with like air pollution as well. Thinking of microplastics. So there, yeah, there’s a lot of—it’s basically sort of it’s an interesting crossover between toxicology and environmental sciences and ecology. It’s all very like multi-layered. Yeah. [chuckles]

00:08:52 Craig               It’s so interesting you say that. So for context of the audience, I’m actually an environmental scientist myself. [chuckles]

00:08:58 Kemi               Aye!

00:08:59 Craig               Yay!

00:09:00 Kemi               There you go! Wo! Wo! [chuckles]

00:09:01 Craig               [chuckles] So, like, I am currently an air quality data scientist, as I like to refer to myself. And like prior to that I was, like, doing a lot of stuff with regards to meteorology: clouds, fog more clouds, more fog.

00:09:16 Kemi               [laughs]

00:09:16 Craig               And I found that it was one of those spaces where it is very interdisciplinary and stuff. What I’ve definitely found, I guess from my experiences of being Black were that, firstly going and doing field work was wild because there were times whereby you are the only one there. And people can say some mad things once in a while and I’m just there like, “I can’t.” I mean, and then when you then add sexuality on top of that it can then make it quite alienated because you then find that opportunities for you to go to certain places kind of get taken away from you. Especially when you are in a field that is very fieldwork heavy. But for me, I’ve definitely found that and I think that’s partly the reason why I wanted to have a chat with you. Is the fact that, do you ever feel that it’s your gender or sexuality that it sort of stops your opportunities from being able to engage in a field or is it the fact that you are Black?

00:10:11 Kemi               To be honest, I think this sort of thing really varies for people. Especially depending on if the—I mean, I don’t want to use the term, you know, being, you know, cis presenting or whatnot. But if you appear a certain way, for instance, I think that can definitely hinder you. I think for the most part I present as a cis woman. So sometimes I don’t get the disadvantages of, you know me being non-binary or anything like that when it comes to my work. But I do feel that being Black does take precedence over that. I mean, for me with my identity, like being Black and being non-binary, like all these sort of things, they’re truly part of who I am. But I do recognize that being Black is noticeable before anything else.

00:10:59 Craig               Exactly. Yeah.

00:11:00 Kemi               You know, say—I mean, I’m a trans non binary person, but say for instance I was a trans woman or, you know, I had, you know, visible, you know—if, I don’t know, presented a different way. For instance, I know that, you know, I definitely would end up being perceived a lot differently than I am now, and that’s something I also don’t take for granted either. Because I know so many trans people who also go through that and are perceived very differently and they’re not taking it seriously. So I think in some ways I am quite privileged in that. But yeah, I think, yeah, being visibly Black and especially being like the—one of like two people in my research group, is something that’s unavoidable.

I00:11:48 Craig              Yeah. And I think that’s something that’s really important there because it’s this idea of intersectionality and the fact that different privileges and different disadvantages or different modernized identities will supersede depending on the circumstance. So I know that, for example, for me, my Blackness, and because I am—like I am Black, I’m proud to be Black, that will supersede a lot of the biases that I will find from other people. Whereas my sexuality, on the other hand, I find that sometimes in some spaces it doesn’t supersede because the Blackness and the racism is quite strong. But then I also will then find that if I am in a space where it is predominantly Black people, then that can be the thing that sort of supersedes it.

00:12:32 Kemi               Yeah.

00:12:32 Craig               And that can be quite terrifying because you spoke about quite earlier with regards to how Black people will open up the doors for other Black people. But I’ve definitely found that sometimes there are some Black people who will be like, only a certain type of Black person can go through the door. And I’ve definitely experienced this in the field that I’m in and it’s one of those things that I don’t think it’s ever spoken about. I mean, what are your opinions on that?

00:12:58 Kemi               No, I think you raise a very good point actually. And also I think that this is something that happens. It’s quite commonplace in the workplace too. I think, especially if you’re one of few Black people in your field or in your research group, it can either [chuckles] it can go one of two ways. Can either be that you end up liaising with that Black person and, you know, you basically end up being like some sort of, I don’t know, like force of like two and you support each other. And you’re just like….

00:13:25 Craig               Yeah, she’s just like, “We’re going to struggle with this but getting together.” [laughs]

00:13:28 Kemi               Because, you know, you meet like—when you see a Black person in the same like group and you just go 00:13:33, “Oh, there’s a Black person. Like look how cool they are.” And you hear often like, “You basically like support each other because you are the only support that you have because you basically are the only ones that, you know, can understand other people’s—I mean, each other’s struggles.” You know, that’s something that I really love, but then also there is the off chance that alternatively if there’s like one other Black person there, they feel that they might—that they’re trying to hold them to that spot of being the only Black person in the group. And so it’s more of a competition thing as opposed to there being any solidarity and sometimes it can even end up worse because then they just end up doing something that’s just not really helpful or just makes you, you know, regretful even being there.

00:14:23 Craig               Yeah, I know. I’ve definitely experienced that in previous workplaces that I’ve been in. So I was in one place where it was a predominantly Black workforce, which for me was something that I’ve never really experienced since. What I found though is the fact that there were some Black people who I worked with who purposely were trying to push me down, or say that they were trying to humble me out. But what was interesting is that when you then looked at the top management it was mainly white people, and it was the fact that a lot of the Black colleagues were sort of like pushed at the bottom. All of these different experiences, all of these different identities can then all intersect and that’s why it’s very complicated. And then say, “Well, I know what it’s like to be Black because I’m queer because actually when you are both it can—your experience and the way in which you engage in spaces is going to be totally different because you are within that intersect.

00:15:18 Kemi               Exactly. And to be honest, I feel like even up until recently it is something that I’ve started to notice too. Like, I’m aware of the fact that—even though I’ve not experienced this myself, I’ve heard from friends the fact that, you know, them being either like, you know, Black fem or a Black woman or a Black queer person and feeling like they have some sort of beef with, you know, a particularly like Black men, for instance, like they always find some way to put them down or be like, “Oh, you’re not—you know, you’re not one of us. Like, we’re not the same,” like, you know, it is just really sad. But I think I’ve noticed from being in mostly Black spaces recently that I do sometimes feel very different from, you know, my Black, straight, you know, friends or like people. Like, I just feel very sort of disconnected sometimes compared to when I’m surrounded by Black queer people. Even just queer people. So yeah, there can be that as well. I do recognize that.

00:16:16 Craig               Why do you think there’s a disconnect, out of curiosity?

00:16:19 Kemi               I mean… I don’t want to say homophobia, but lowkey homophobia sometimes. I think a lot of people especially don’t recognize that even if they’re not openly being like homophobic or queerphobic, that there are certain attitudes that they have or things that they say that, you know, slide onto the radar unnoticed. And they don’t know consciously that they’re being that way. So there’re some small things that, you know, make you feel—can make you feel very uncomfortable sometimes. Like for me it’s being misgendered sometimes or in regards to having pet names and nicknames, I’m quite liberal. Like, I don’t mind, like, being called sis, like, bro or, like, girl. Like, whatever. Like I’m cool with that. I’m cool. But I notice, especially with Black straight people, I think sometimes there’s a certain way that they acknowledge me in a way that sort of erases my gender identity or, you know, the way that I personally identify. I feel sometimes I can’t be my true self, which it feels weird because you shouldn’t really be that way around like your own people, but.

00:17:28 Craig               So now when I think about sort of like representation and, like, you know, lack of representation in these spaces, the question then becomes: Why do people that want to engage in these spaces as opposed to going, “Oh yeah, we don’t have enough BME people, so we are just going to put more money into the situation,” [inaudible 00:17:46] doesn’t fundamentally fix the problem.

00:17:48 Kemi               Right.

00:17:49 Craig               Have you found that the lack of representation has affected your journey within STEM?

00:17:55 Kemi               I don’t know. I feel like even [chuckles] My journey into STEM has definitely not been linear at all. In fact, it’s been very rocky and off and down. For the longest time, to be honest, even, you know, similarly to you, when I was at school I did have Black people in my class in my year, but I think because there were Black straight people as well I just would just never seem to connect which is why I just ended up having mostly white friends until I went to uni and then I found a lot of Black people there, and then, you know, also Black people on my course as well, in chemistry. So I think it was a slow sort of transition into it. So after—you know, some of these people that I actually met at uni as well who were also in sciences or in my course, they definitely are still some people who are still—they’re definitely in my life up until this point. Like, you know, I’m really close with them. I don’t know. I think in some ways the support of people and friends that I know, like Black people in STEM, not necessarily queer people but Black people in STEM that I know, they’ve sort of helped me find my place in STEM and we’ve definitely relied a lot on each other. But similarly, I think there’s just been a lot of crossovers. Like there’s been, you know, white, queer people in STEM that I know, but also Black people just generally in STEM that have basically helped me, I think, come to where I am currently in STEM. I think it’s interesting because right now I’m literally in a space where I feel like I’m quite comfortable in STEM now and being a scientist, being a chemist, but also acknowledging that I also have creative parts to me as well and I can also do like art and stuff.

00:19:55 Craig               So I guess my question from that is then: when did you become comfortable with the idea of that? Because what I gathered from that statement is the fact that it wasn’t so much that the lack of representation affected your journey into STEM, but it was more the fact that the reason why you became comfortable in the idea that you could do STEM is because you surrounded yourself with a support network that allowed you to be your true self, essentially. Is that—that’s what I’m gathering from what you’ve just said.

00:20:23 Kemi               Yeah, basically. I think I’ve just been very lucky to have people around me that have helped me. I think having a really strong support system is what’s helped to be honest. But then again, you know, I think in recent years, like being on the internet, I’ve met so many people who’ve had similar experiences to me and, you know, also feel underrepresented. So I feel like that’s helped a lot.

00:20:50 Craig               I mean, obviously we’ve kind of dotted a little bit about your creative backgrounds.

00:20:54 Kemi               [laughs]

00:20:55 Craig               Oh yes. This is a nice segue into like our next question.

00:20:57 Kemi               [laughs]

00:20:58 Craig               Could you go into a bit more detail about what you actually do?

00:21:01 Kemi               Yeah. So primarily actually, probably before I started my chemistry and forensics course, I did a foundation diploma in Art and Design and I wanted to go into fine art. So I’m actually trained in the more traditional arts, so like painting and, you know, and doing—like working with, like, charcoals and, like, pastels, like, illustration, that sort of thing.

00:21:25 Craig               Ooh!

00:21:26 Kemi               But yeah, for the past two years I’ve been more focused on digital art. So producing—I just produce a lot of my art on a tablet. So it is really just using like computer programs, like Photoshop and whatnot, you know, to create these pieces. So… yeah. It’s interesting because a lot of people think I’ve been doing this digital art thing for a lot longer than I actually have. I’ve literally only been doing it for like two years. For me, I think it’s a medium that is very applicable, so you can do so much with it. I really like the idea of also merging science and art together as well.

00:22:12 Craig               Yeah. In the UK education system, it’s that you go down the sciences or the arts, you can’t do both.

00:22:19 Kemi               Right.

00:22:19 Craig               And I was just there like, “But I want to do music.”

00:22:22 Kemi               [laughs]

00:22:23 Craig               And then they were like, “Yeah. Well, if you do music you can’t do triple science and then fine art.” “I’ll just do music and double science then.” And that was it. Do you think that there will be a space to be able to use art as a way to uplift Black queer people who are within STEM?

00:22:38 Kemi               Yes. I do think. And I think that especially coming to a time now where intersectionality and, you know, being multifaceted is very much celebrated, so I think there’ll be people other than me who will be—because I know—I actually do know people in real life who are Black and queer in STEM and are also creative but they may not have as big a platform or actually choose to actively show that side of themselves. You know, online or in person. Which is entirely fine because, you know, not everyone likes to post their art online or to show it. Because for some people it’s very personal. They keep it for themselves. But yeah, I think we’ll definitely be seeing a lot of that. I think between 2020 and this year I’ve had a lot of insightful conversations with people who have been Black and queer in STEM, and they’ve had numerous creative outlets. And we’ve always discussed about how we wanted to create a space, you know, whether it be online or physical, to celebrate that. To celebrate the people, you know, who are Black and part of the LGBT+ community in sciences and, you know, and STEM as well.

00:23:57 Craig               I would love to be a part of that space. I’d just be like—

00:23:59 Kemi               You’re already a part of it. [inaudible]

00:24:00 Craig               —here’s like—I’ll just be like, “Here are my pies. Here’s my bread. Here’s my pies and bread, or a pie within a bread.” You know, I’ve really got all the ideas there. But sometimes whenever we talk about these issues or whenever we talk about representation or whenever we talk about like, you know, the barriers that are faced by Black people within STEM, it sometimes can come off as a bit of a doom and gloom. Sometimes we do need to acknowledge that there are barriers. We also do need to say, well, there are also times of celebration. And I think that art is such a powerful thing, especially for those who are feeling a bit lonely in STEM who do feel like they’re not being seen. By having that platform and by having a space where they can just be themselves, it allows them to then go, “Actually, I can be my true authentic self.” That’s one of the big things that STEM or academia as a whole need to be a lot more acknowledging about.

00:24:52 Kemi               One of the things that I’m very happy about, actually with my research group, is the fact that everyone is so supporting and happy about other people having different outlets and having interest other than science. Because for some reason, even up until now, I feel like people assume that if you work in science or if you’re a scientist that that’s literally the only thing you are interested in. Like all you do is just eat, live and breathe for science.

00:25:20 Craig               No, no. They eat, pray, love. [laughs]

00:25:22 Kemi               Eat, pray, love. [laughs] But yeah, like we actually do have other interests too.

00:25:29 Craig               Oh yeah.

00:25:29 Kemi               Like we’ve talked many a time about Drag Race.

00:25:34 Craig               Yes.

00:25:35 Kemi               That’s one of our shared interests.

00:25:37 Craig               I love Drag Race. I think for me, the—I mean there is—I do think that there is a way of getting shows like Drag Race and the idea of drag inter sciences. I mean, there’s science as a drag, there is that—

00:25:48 Kemi               Oh, yes.

00:25:48 Craig               —there’s a science communication project.

00:25:50 Kemi               I mean, to be fair though, there have been a few science influenced looks on Drag Race. I’ve seen it.

00:25:55 Craig               Yeah.

00:25:56 Kemi               I think Bimini did one—

00:25:57 Craig               Yes.

00:25:57 Kemi               —and she was [chuckles] Yes, where she was dressed as like a [inaudible 00:26:02].

00:26:02 Craig               Oh my gosh! Yes. And that’s was it.

00:26:03 Kemi               [scoffs] That was beautiful.

00:26:04 Craig               And this is why when people say that arts and sciences are two separate disciplines, I’m like, “They’re not.”

00:26:09 Kemi               No.

00:26:09 Craig               And actually, I think that in my mind if there is a way to increase representation of Black people within the sciences or Black queer people within the sciences, it’s allowing people to embrace who they really are.

00:26:23 Kemi               I also think like art as well is not necessarily doing something physically, even just expressing yourself as well can be very artistic. In the way that you dress and the way that you carry yourself. I think there’s so many different ways in which you can express creativity. And, you know, even just by being Black, like, I think there’s a lot of creativity in Black culture and Black people are just very—inherently very creative as well. Like, and especially in the way that we’ve been able to get by and, you know, sort of adjust to things like over time, I think we are creative by nature. So, you know, I think that’s also something that plays into being someone who is, you know, Black in STEM as well and being queer. Even being queer as well, just is being creative. There’s so many—I think there’s so much that, you know, sort of inter, like, links with each other.

00:27:16 Craig               Yes.

00:27:16 Kemi               Like, if you know what I mean? I think—yeah.

00:27:19 Craig               I think it’s also this idea as well where if you don’t fit the societal norm, well, you need another way to kind of get around it. So therefore you have to—

00:27:28 Kemi               Yeah.

00:27:28 ITN                  —then be creative as a result.

00:27:30 Kemi               Exactly. Sometimes to even problem solve you have to be creative.

00:27:34 Craig               I really enjoy doing this. Like having this chat with you in every way. Like, it’s really nice to be able to hear your perspectives on these things. The question I have to ask, so obviously we’ve kind of alluded to like, you know, creative outlets being a way to improve representation. But if you could give us one solution for the academy or for STEM to—or for people who are listening to this to help improve representation of Black people in STEM, what do you think it would be and why?

00:28:04 Kemi               I honestly think we need to start opening our mouths a lot more. [laughs]

00:28:10 Craig               Like I already don’t do that. [both laughing] Like, I already didn’t do something that involved me just talking instead.

00:28:20 Kemi               No, but like for real I feel like honestly, like, closed mouths don’t get fed. So I feel like [both laughing] You know what I mean though? Like….

00:28:31 Craig               Yes. I know what you mean.

00:28:32 Kemi               [inaudible] you can’t just, like, hope that there’ll be some sort of movement or, you know, some sort of progression and, you know, just sit there and, you know, cross your fingers and just hope that something will happen. You actually have to be proactive in it and….

00:28:48 Craig               Mhm. And I am so glad that I’ve like being able to, like, work with you and become friends with you because of those spaces, and I think that’s something that’s really important. So this is a very beautiful message, I feel like, that we can end on.

00:29:04 Kemi               Yeah.

00:29:05 Craig               Yeah.

00:29:05 Kemi               This has been lovely.

00:29:06 Craig               Yeah. Again, thank you for coming along and chatting with me.

00:29:09 Kemi               Oh, it’s a pleasure.

00:29:10 Craig               So the final thing is, where can people find you?

00:29:14 Kemi               Well, if you want to listen to me talk nonsense on Twitter—because a lot of people [chuckles]—

00:29:20 Craig               Okay, listen….

00:29:21 Kemi               —a lot of people they follow me on Twitter assuming that I talk about science stuff or like, you know, my PhD work. A lot of the time I just taught absolute BS.

00:29:34 Craig               I mean, your most famous tweet is the fact that you talk about your iron level, so really you are a famous babes at that point. [both laughing]

00:29:40 Kemi               But yeah, if you want to hear me talk about my iron levels and stuff like that doesn’t matter, you can follow me at K X M O L O on Twitter. It’s actually the same for my art Instagram, so you can follow me on there as well. Oh! I know this isn’t to do with me, but for anyone listening you guys need to follow Craig’s [chuckles] you need to follow Craig’s Instagram Poku Bakes. It is absolutely amazing. I love it. It brings me so much joy, honestly. And we’ve used that recent chocolate egg review 00:30:20. Oh my God! Loved that. That makes—made my day.

00:30:25 Craig               [laughs]

00:30:26 Kemi               But yeah, Craig is a baby boy. Public service announcement, Craig is a baby boy.

00:30:33 Craig               Can I just say, thank you so much.

00:30:35 Kemi               [laughs]

00:30:35 Craig               I was not prepared for that. I would also like to thank Pride in STEM for providing us with the space for having these conversations, as well as to our lovely production team, Matthew Young, Alfredo Carpineti and Shivani Dave who have been brilliant in putting this podcast together and making it come to life. If you can, please rate your podcast wherever you get your podcasts. And finally, if you would like to find out more about Pride in STEM and the work that we do as an organization, you can follow us at Pride in STEM on both Twitter and Instagram. I’m your host, Dr. Craig Poku, and I hope to see you soon.