My name is Sophie Buijsen. In 2007, aged 18, I moved from Eindhoven in the Netherlands to Brighton in the UK to start a degree in Human Sciences. After four years in which I did some stand-up comedy, some volunteering at Upstairs at the Three and Ten Theatre and the Brighton Science Festival and running a university radio show, I graduated. Don’t worry, four years is totally the normal amount of time for Human Sciences. The University of Sussex recognised that if you’re going to do a degree that incorporates Biology, Psychology, Anthropology, Philosophy and Linguistics, you probably need that extra year. However they didn’t recognise how cheap and vital the degree was and stopped accepting new students in 2009.
After graduation, and working at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2011 as part of the Ditto Productions street team, I was accepted at Imperial College London to study an MSc in Science Communication. I flat out refused to move to London and remained in Brighton, but that didn’t stop me from getting stuck in with as many science communication events as I could muster. I had some articles published in I,Science , Felix and London Student. I helped organising the social media for TEDxImperialCollege and volunteered for the Science Museum Lates in the LottoLab and also for the BBC World Service live broadcast of the technology program Click.
As part of the degree I learnt to edit in Photoshop and write HTML and CSS. With this knowledge I built the website Sophie Makes a Robot on which I detail the trials and tribulations of building my very first ever robot. I finalised the robot on the same day the discovery of the Higgs boson was announced, and with a surname that (when pronounced by English people) sounds a bit like ‘boson’, I decided to name the little guy Higgs Buijsen.
In September/October 2012 I worked on a placement at the BBC Science Radio Unit and specifically on the BBC World Service programme Science in Action.
In both my degrees I wrote dissertations about the role (superhero) comics can play in our perceptions of science, medicine and social perceptions of those two practices. I feel strongly that comics, due to their popularity, distribution and long history, are important historical texts that document the way attitudes have changed over the years. If you don’t believe me, get in touch and I’ll happily spend a few hours to convince you otherwise.
Additionally I’m a strident feminist, coffee consumer, animal lover and prosopagnosiast.