Dr. Erinma Ochu


My ambition is to decolonise and reinvigorate the field of cultural neuroscience, extending human intelligence to better steward our local environments. I hold a Wellcome grant, Stewarding the Digital Commons, learning with 7 black artists and entrepreneurs innovating with digital technology to imagine socially just futures and to re-think the civic role of higher education through creative practice. I am Interim Director, Engaging Environments, a UK-wide platform to develop and inform equitable co-inquiry between diverse communities and environmental scientists with a joint stake in resolving the climate crisis. I am co-founder of Squirrel Nation, a design agency, with designer, Caroline Ward. We were recently awarded one of 4 Ada LoveLace/ Just AI creative fellowships around racial justice and Artificial Intelligence funded by AHRC. Previously we designed an urban farm considering the future of food under climate change. I am Senior Lecturer in Digital Media and Communications at MMU teaching and researching social media and digital networking, digital storytelling and transmedia and how that can apply to collectively reimagining how we live under the triple threat of mental health, climate crisis and rapid technological disruption, symptoms of imperial science and scientific racism. I hold a PhD in Applied Neuroscience from The University of Manchester and am an EAVE alumni of AudioVisual Production, years ago, working as executive producer at Black and Asian talent pipeline at B3 Media, more recently for five years as curator of The Exchange at Sheffield International Documentary Festival. I am a champion of open research and global ambassador for Figshare and Digital Science and excited to serve on the academic advisory board of new Research Centre for the Study of Race and Racism at MMU, the steering group of the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded research project 'Performing Leadership Differently' and the Brain Trust of US Open Environmental Data initiative building collaborative spaces for dealing with pollution. I have achieved very little without the collaboration, backing and support from amazing people. This includes sci-art fellowships and artist residencies with NESTA, Manchester International Festival/ Jerwood Foundation and INIVA/ Stuart Hall Foundation. I am an alumni of The Stuart Hall Scholars and Artists network. My publications and creative outputs span neuroscience, biology, decolonising STEMM, art and design and digital innovation

11:00 - 12:15 PM PST

March 20th Day 1

WOC in Stem Panel

The career fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are becoming more competitive than ever, and with each passing day, groundbreaking discoveries are being made by the greatest minds out there. News flash - that includes women, and especially women of color! The preconceived notion that these jobs are meant for men is harmful not only to female representation, but to STEM industries themselves. It’s time for these girl geniuses to spotlighted, appreciated, and recognized for all the work they have done.