Hi! I’m Ash, AKA “The Punk Scientist”. When I was a kid I told everyone I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up, until I discovered I was afraid of heights. That didn’t deter my love of science. My parents bought me a microscope and I figured out how to look at the spore prints of mushrooms and how to build a little chamber out of foam and glass slides that allowed me to look at live insects up close. I also loved art, and I began to feel torn between the two as I grew up. As a teenager I discovered that I loved all sorts of rock music and punk, goth, emo, and alternative styles. I’ve dyed my hair just about every color combination imaginable! I decided not to drop this style when I went to college, despite the pressures I felt to look more “professional” or “normal” to be taken seriously. I found that there are plenty of examples of awesome scientists out there who defy the stereotypes.
I graduated in 2015 (highest honors) with dual concentrations in environmental science and conservation ecology. I was one course short of a minor in chemistry. I also completed a research project on the effects of pesticides on spiders and I maintained my own blog about my macro photography of insects and spiders. The idea for Punk Rock Scientist came to me while I was still in school and I first launched the brand in December of 2013. I had created my own design contrasting the skull of a gorilla and a human, but wasn’t really happy with how it turned out in print. School took up too much of my time to focus on my business so I didn’t do much with it until after graduation. There was also a lot that I needed to learn about business, social media, and creating designs before I could really make things work. I took online courses in these subjects to get ready for relaunch in November 2015.
Now I’m going to be focusing on using this business to create the kind of designs that I’d personally want to wear. More importantly I want to help promote science and self expression. You don’t have to be a scientist to wear my shirts, or consider yourself a punk in the traditional sense. I think science is cool, and very important, and I think that we shouldn’t be afraid to have a style that is different from the accepted norm. I hope you’ll enjoy wearing my designs and I hope you’ll also enjoy the science content I’ll be sharing as part of the brand. I want to create a community where all the “Punk Rock Scientists” can come together!