Knack Writers Profile: Lee Constable

Lee grew up on a sheep farm in regional NSW and first came to Canberra to pursue her combined passions for science, arts and humanities. At ANU she did a Science/Arts degree majoring in a very mixed bag (Plant Science, Earth and Environmental Science, Sociology and Drama) and went on to do honours in Biology. Spending her days going from lectures to labs and from the theatre to the field, Lee was often asked ‘Why?’ and was told ‘These things just don’t go together!’
Lee currently spends her time whispering ‘THIS is why!’ under her breath as she combines her passions for science, society and the arts. She produces and hosts a weekly radio show on 2XXFM called SoapBox where she interviews people about their passions and projects which relate to social justice and environmental sustainability. Lee is also currently studying a Master of Science Communication Outreach at ANU which gives her the opportunity to be a presenter in the Questacon Science Circus, travelling around regional Australia performing science shows for schools and communities. Lee is always looking for new opportunities to combine her passions with purpose so who knows what’s next!

Why do you write?
I like to write to communicate with others on topics that are important to me.

 How would you describe your work?
I am in the process of figuring out what ‘my work’ is... At the moment most of my work is a part of my Masters program, learning different writing styles and uses of language to more effectively communicate scientific concepts to the public. I wrote a poem for Feminartsy this year around the theme of gender expectations, stereotypes and ‘looking like a scientist’- I had not written anything in that style since school but I enjoyed expressing an important issue in a new way. I’m in the process of writing some blogs on environmental issues for the Conservation Council too. The long and short of it is... I have no idea how to describe ‘my work’ but I hope in the future someone will say it’s ‘funny’, ‘thought-provoking’, ‘enjoyable’ or any combination of those things.

What's your party trick?
I’ve never tried it at a party but I can crack a stock whip pretty fiercely! Cracking two at the same time continuously in figure 8 formations (cracking behind and in front of the body) is probably the coolest thing I’ve done with them but I’m a bit rusty at the moment...

 What are you looking forward to in 2015?
Too many things! I’m looking forward to watching my radio show, SoapBox progress and turn it into a podcast with the help of my co-hosts. I’m always looking forward to learning new things from guests on the show. I’m also really excited about the many travels ahead with the Questacon Science Circus through remote and regional areas of Australia. Performing science shows to communities and school groups is a lot of fun and very rewarding!