Boripat Lebel is a research coordinator at the Unit for Social and Environmental Research, Chiang Mai University. He’s also the author of free ebook “A Vomit of Diamonds.” You can find Boripat on Linkedin or visit his blog Boripat.com for articles on culture, humor, style & science.
Early life and education
Boripat Lebel was born on July 28, 1993, in Songkhla, Thailand. He was born to a Thai mother and an Australian father. He has one younger sister. The family’s last name, Lebel, is of French origin.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
In 1999 the Lebels moved to Chiang Mai, where they rented a house in a gated community. Boripat attended school at Dara Academy. His dream was to become an astronomer and work at NASA.
Helena College, Perth
In 2007 Boripat consulted his parents about moving to Australia to receive a better education and improve his future prospects. He was fourteen. Later that same year his father enrolled him in Year 10 at Helena College; a short drive from his grandparents house. He attended Helena College for three years, from 2008 to 2010.
The Australian curriculum was very different from the Thai education system. Boripat found himself memorizing less yet understanding more. Overall, Maths was his best subject and Physics his worst. At the 2010 graduation ceremony Boripat was awarded Dux of Sciences.
The Australian National University, Canberra
In 2011 Boripat commenced his undergraduate studies at the Australian National University. He decided to study Physics; on the one hand, because he was still interested in astronomy, and on the other hand, because it was his worst subject in high school and this challenge inspired him. Unfortunately he never quite mastered the field; his marks remained as low as they were in high school. Nevertheless, Boripat graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science; majoring in physics, and theoretical physics. General relativity was his favorite topic; though he will be quick to admit to not understanding the minutiae of Einstein’s field equations.
Besides the required courses to obtain his majors, Boripat also enrolled in some electives. Science in Popular Fiction was one such elective course that he really enjoyed taking; his article “Battlestar Galactica versus Star Trek Voyager” was selected by the lecturer for online publication on the science communication blog.
Reading and writing
French and Russian literature
It was while living in Perth when Boripat began reading French and Russian literature; his grandparents collected a small library of worthy titles in their house. The first classic he read was “The Idiot” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky; recommended by his father. To this day, Boripat continues to prefer novels written before the 20th century. “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy is his favorite book, and author Honoré de Balzac his literary idol.
High school English
Though a good reader, Boripat was weak at writing; his education in Thailand did not provide much beyond basic grammar, which he didn’t really understand anyway. Thus, he struggled from Years 10 to 12 to catch up with his Australian classmates. Suffice it to say here, he did not enjoy writing essays; finding the formula tedious, the execution difficult, and the analysis extravagant. It wasn’t until university when his writing began to show significant signs of improvement; at which time, not coincidentally, he began to apply lessons learnt from years of reading classics.
Towards the end of his second year at the ANU, Boripat began contributing articles to the student newspaper, Woroni. His early submissions were satirical in nature; encouraged by a compliment from the course convener of Creating Knowledge, who told him that his writing style reminded her of David Sedaris.
Around mid-2013 after watching the documentary “The September Issue,” Boripat penned a profile piece about the film’s star, Anna Wintour (editor-in-chief of American Vogue). Soon after submitting the article, Woroni’s Life&Style editor offered him the position of fashion columnist. He accepted the role despite having very little knowledge about fashion at the time.
Later, his passion for science and improved writing skills galvanized him into writing the free eBook “A Vomit of Diamonds”; based on his experience attending astronomy camp during the semester break of first year.
On the eve of 2017 Boripat launched boripat.com as a platform to publish, archive, and showcase his written work.
After graduating Boripat returned to Thailand, feeling somewhat disillusioned. He was not sure how to proceed; uncertain about what he wanted to do with his life. Given his doubts, an internship seemed like a good idea. With the support of his parents, Boripat moved to Bangkok. He completed two internships: communications at the Stockholm Environment Institute; and online marketing at Syndacast. It was while working with the Content and Optimization team at Syndacast that Boripat began to develop a participatory interest in the online world.
Boripat currently works at the Unit for Social and Environmental Research, Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University. His previous positions here were Research Assistant and Communications Specialist. He presently holds the title of Research Coordinator. Part of his job includes editing peer-reviewed journals; a responsibility he enjoys doing very much. For more details please refer to his Linkedin profile.
Boripat’s interests are varied, but his greatest joy comes from attempting the difficult.
My continuing passion is to explore strange industries, to acquire new knowledge and ask many questions, to boldly learn something I did not know before.