About me

Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to hearing from you and possibly working with you.

(Keep reading. I have hidden the surprise fun bits at the end of this page.)

This is me, on the left, at an Environmental Chemistry symposium in the Netherlands, shortly before I relocated to the UK. (The person raising his glass is Willem de Lange.)

For me, the purpose of life is learning. I don’t mean things like learning chess and Chinese (which are both fine with me, though), but developing new insights and growing as a person. Why is that important to me? Because it feeds into my drive to help make the world a better place and also into my inquisitiveness.

I am a late-bloomer in some ways and starting over a few times has enabled me to do many wonderful things. I went to university relatively late in life, got my Master’s, and moved to the United States to do a PhD. That fell apart when the research funding collapsed very unexpectedly, but I had already learned a heck of a lot in the US at that point.

I later got another shot at a PhD. I quit that when I realized that I was really enjoying running my own business and had matured much more through that than I had been aware of. As a self-employed person (trading as “SmarterScience”), I had been doing many of the things that university professors do too, for example.

So that’s when I let go of my old goal of becoming a full professor with my own cutting-edge research group (for which you need a PhD) and slowly started to evolve in a very different direction.

As you can tell from looking around on this website, my current interests revolve around bioethics and related issues, such as the drive for greater equality.

My primary background is in earth, marine, environmental and life sciences. I have worked in a wide range of fields and environments, however, and learned a great deal from all of that. I also have a knack for law.

Does that sound like a lot? Well, yes, I guess it is. I am highly curiosity-driven and have made deliberate choices in the past that freed up a lot of room so that I could pour it into professional pursuits. I’ve never had kids of my own, for example. All of this enabled geochemist Frank Beunk to say the following about me (before I let go of my dream to have my own research group):

“Ms Souren is unconventional in many regards, notably with regard to her versatility. I hardly know any other earth scientists who have broader scientific interests, and the matching experience. Also, Ms Souren is blessed with exceptional willpower and tenacity as well as with golden penmanship.”

If you need a label for who I am nowadays, then freelance writer, researcher and editor will probably do. I am also a coach, an advisor and an activist. A catalyst.

I used to be a fully trained and qualified geologist and a marine biogeochemist. I initially worked in tourism and hospitality in Amsterdam, then quit my job and enrolled in earth sciences when I was in my mid-twenties. Most women my age were starting to have babies or were already well into their careers.

I am a former board member of the Environmental Chemistry (and Toxicology) Section of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society as well as former editor-in-chief of its newsletter and yearbook, a former member of the board and various committees of NIMF (a Dutch foundation for women in science and technology), and former associate editor of the newsletter of the US-based international Geochemical Society.

I became self-employed in Amsterdam in 1997, initially working with an international network of associates for clients ranging from universities, mining companies and high-end consultancies to publishers and start-ups from all over the world.

At the end of 2004, my business and I relocated to the United Kingdom. One reason for my relocation was that the air in the UK is cleaner (depending on where you are).

I am also a Company Director, for a Company that isn’t active at the moment (Angelina Souren Ltd).

A fun fact about me? I flew an air plane long before I learned how to start a car.

I am also…

 

That’s me with my alto sax at a rehearsal in Bristol in 2009. I looked a lot better than I sounded! (And yes, I was already pretty grey-haired then too but not allergic to hair dyes yet.)