Hi readers! I’ve just joined the ranks of some of the most brilliant feminist critical-thinkers on Earth, so I’d like to introduce myself.
Some of you won’t have heard of me, while others will know me from my writing at Skepchick sister site Grounded Parents, my work at Genetic Literacy Project, and my general science advocacy on social media and various podcasts.
My first name is pronounced exactly like the word “coven,” but it’s a Tamil name that means “beauty.” Apparently, my parents had high hopes for their daughter. I’m a mom of an almost too articulate four-year-old daughter, and a 20-month-old son with hair coveted by grannies worldwide. I call them my “genetically vigorous kids” as my husband is half Jewish, and part Croatian and Native American, among other diverse stock. His gene pool blasted vigor into my relatively inbred Indian pool, resulting in the GVKs.
I primarily like to write on misconceptions and fear-mongering in the media related to genomics, genetics, medicine, and agriculture, although I also write on race, religion, mental health, and atheism, often interwoven with messages about parenting. I’m especially known for my pro agricultural biotech and genomic medicine views, and have been accused of being a Monsanto Shill, a “fake mom,” of poisoning my kids, and everything in between, with some of your typical MRA “man hater” allegations sprinkled in. I’m not a scientist by the traditional definition but I have a unique perspective afforded by the intersection of a solid working knowledge of genomics, genetics, and bioinformatics.
Here are some of my greatest hits and favorite posts on Grounded Parents:
“Go Home Little Terrorist” in which I discuss my experience with post 9/11 racism.
“OCD Quickies Part 1: Why I’m Excited for My Shiny New Diagnosis, and What is a GWAS?” in which I recount my official diagnosis, and explain how Genome-Wide Association Studies can benefit patients with OCD.
“Choosy Moms Choose GMOs” is one of my first posts breaking down the fear factor of GM technology. I’ve written extensively on this subject since.
“Good, Kindhearted Parents are Pro-GMO” in which I discuss the privilege inherent in the anti-GMO movement, and why the truly altruistic must be pro-GMO.
“Monsanto Shill Mom” Yep. On the fallacies inherent in “Shill Accusation Syndrome.”
“Conflicts With Atheism Part 1: From an Indian-American Mom Raised Atheist” in which I recount my experience being raised atheist by former Hindu immigrant parents.
“I Want YOU! (and Your Kids’ DNA): On Precision Medicine & Fear” in which I explain why I don’t fear how my genomic data will be used in a future where genomics will inevitably transform healthcare.
“Food Babe and Moms Across America: Stop Drinking Starbucks, Nobody Else Cares” Self-explanatory, right?
“Why This Mom Boycotts Organic and Will Never Shop at Whole Foods” Also self-explanatory.
“Nineties Song Closing Time Isn’t About the End of a Night Out” I wrote this as a tribute to my first-born child. Apparently when I write about science, people generally like it. When I write about the real meaning behind nineties music, it breaks the internet.
I also just started a monthly column called “Kavin Can’t Even” that I’ll split between Skepchick and Grounded Parents depending on the topic.
A big thanks to the Skepchicks for a warm welcome. I hope I can live up to your collective greatness, and I look forward to contributing!
All images © 2015 Kavin Senapathy