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“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Fresh Reads from the Science 'o sphere!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Scientist, Programmer and Prostitute

The year was 2003.

PhD student Brooke Magnanti was living a double life. In the midst of making corrections to her thesis, she was unable to find a job in science and running out of money to pay rent.

So she became a part-time computer programmer... and prostitute.

For 14 months she worked as a high-class call girl in a London escort agency. She wrote about her sex work experiences as an anonymous blogger in the "Belle de Jour" blog, which led to a series of successful books and even spun off a TV show.

Today, she is a research scientist in developmental neurotoxicology and cancer epidemiology at St Michael's Hospital in Bristol.

Until two days ago, practically no one knew of the true identity of Belle de Jour.

Why is Fresh Brainz interested in this story?

Apparently she was also an experienced science blogger before she turned to prostitution. So boys and girls, what did we learn today?

1. Science blogging is not enough to pay rent.

2. Part-time computer programming is not enough to pay rent.

3. Sex work is enough to pay rent.

4. Science blogging + Sex work = Sex blogging

Crystal clear.

Would you like to know more?
- Belle de Jour: Diary of a London Call Girl
- British scientist unmasked as call girl Belle de Jour (Reuters)
- Belle de Jour blogger unmasks herself as 'big mouth ex-boyfriend' looms (Guardian)