I am Neuroscience PhD, a humanist, skeptic, feminist, avid reader, science enthusiast, woolly-liberal über-nerd, and, as of October 2015, father to the Lykketroll.

I moved from England to Norway in January 2012 and live in Lørenskog with my wife, the Lykketroll, and our two aging rescue cats, Socrates and Schrödinger. 

I am on paternity leave from the 4th of July to the 18th of November. 

The job I am on leave from is as an  Associate Professor and Head of Studies at the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. My background is in child neurodevelopment (my PhD looked into the relationship between fatty acids like omega-3 and cognitive development in young children) but I now work on a hodge-podge of things roughly within the field of Universal Design of ICT 50% of the time, the other 50% of my time I am Head of the 'General' Studies (Allmenn in Norwegian) Unit, which is comprised of around 24 academics within a range of fields, including mathematics, physics, Norwegian, and technology and leadership.

In between working and doing the usual dad things,  I like hiking and running in the beautiful Norwegian outdoors, cooking and playing video games. 

If I believed in souls I would say that mine was born in Norway. 

I plan to sleep when I'm dead.


So #nomakeupselfies has been a thing this week, and it's been fascinating watching the whole thing unfold over the last couple of days. The odd photo kept popping up on my newsfeed on Sunday, with the hashtag and something nebulous about ‘raising awareness’. There was an immediate backlash, summed up pretty well by one of my friends on Facebook.

Last night: no make-up selfies. This morning: people moaning about no-make-up selfies. Lunch break: people moaning about people moaning about no make-up selfies. Just now: people moaning about people moaning about people moaning about no make-up selfies. You lot are hilarious. I guess I am now officially moaning about people moaning about people moaning about people moaning about no make-up selfies. WOAH, META.

My immediate reaction was one of cynicism, particularly as, up until Wednesday, I didn’t appear as if anyone taking part was doing anything to actually help fight cancer. As someone else memorably put it on Facebook, we are all *aware* that cancer is a thing, it’s what the fuck we can do to fight it that matters” (or words to that effect). On Wednesday, after articles like this one, calling out the trend for the narcissistic exercise that it was, things started to turn. 

Thankfully, it appears that what started out as a classic example of slacktivism has, because of the backlash, actually led to people donating money. Having recently lost my cousin to cancer just last week, it was heartening to see that CRUK have reported more than £1 million in donations over the last couple of days, as a result of a campaign that they actually had nothing to do with.

There are still downsides to the whole thing. As another one of my friends pointed out on Facebook: 

I get that it’s good for Cancer Research blah blah, but can a woman without make up not be such a gimmick/horrible sight that one would only publicise for money? It’s true that lots of pressure exists for women to look a certain way, but we just reinforce that by saying “Looking at this FUCKING DISGUSTING thing I did for charity - here’s my normal face.

I’m all for equality, and it goes both ways. So far the campaign seems to have focused soley on women. I thought I’d get in on the action with my #fullmakeupface contribution. Those that know me from my university days know that I’m not averse to a little makeup (or the odd short skirt and high heel). My university heydays are over - I spend very little time having to worry about putting on make up or how people will judge my naked face. 

I must credit my wife for her patience and skill with helping me put the makeup on (although I am more skilled with an eye liner pencil).



I have donated 500NOK to Kreftforeningen (Norway's Cancer Research UK) as well as £50 to CRUK as sponsorship for my mother, who is doing the 5km Walk for Life in July. If you’d like to support my dear hobbity mother, you can donate here. Friends of my cousin are running Do It For Donny, a fund-raising campaign for the all charities and organisations that supported him during his illness. I urge you to support them too if you can.

Bør kongedømmet (monarkiet) beholdes i Norge?

Recipe: Onion and potato curry