International Day of the Girl is celebrated in October and celebrates and highlights opportunities for girls across the globe. Over 47% of the workforce is women, and we all need to be celebrated! Women in STEM fields should be particularly celebrated, as they are underrepresented and often face discrimination working in STEM fields. Teza technologies has provided CauseScience with the infographic below to draw attention to women in STEM fields during the month of October, take a look!
The Woman Who Saved the U.S. Space Race (And Other Unsung Scientists) – Reactions
One saved the U.S. space program, another invented a better treatment for leprosy, and a third spawned an industry in the American Midwest. Mary Sherman Morgan, Alice Ball and Rachel Lloyd all had amazing accomplishments in chemistry, but their work was nearly lost to history. Celebrate their work with us in the latest episode of our sub-series, “Legends of Chemistry”. Don’t forget to subscribe for more legends and chemistry fun: http://bit.ly/ACSReactions
Huge thanks to Raychelle Burks, Ph.D. for her work on this project.
Scientific American is celebrating science from 2014!
Check out the Scientific American readers’ top 10 stories of 2014.
Also, don’t miss the Maia Weinstock’s In Memoriam post about 10 Notable Women Scientists we lost in 2014.
Looking back on the year that was, science mavens may notice that tributes to those who’ve passed on in the preceding 12 months are far more often filled with stars of stage, screen, politics and sport than with the pioneering women and men who have bettered our society through discovery and invention. This is especially true of women, whose contributions to the sciences are often overlooked or underappreciated. The following list of 10 women in science who left us in 2014 offers a nod to individuals whose tireless work made the world a better place, both in their lifetimes and for years to come.
President Obama, speaking to the Senior Executive Service, recognized Julie Kramer White, Orion’s chief engineer, for the successful Orion flight test. He also noted the spacecraft’s mission, saying that “when a human is the first to set foot (on Mars), they will have Julie and her team to thank and at that point, I’ll be out of the presidency and I might hitch a ride.”
President Obama Speaks to Senior Executive Service
President Obama recognizes Orion Chief Engineer Julie Kramer White during remarks.
Today I posted that the European Space Agency’s landing of Philae on Comet 67P made science history. But, I was wrong. The Philae Lander and Rosetta Spacecraft Mission has made history for HUMANKIND!!! The Philae lander is a huge step forward for space technology and science! It is also just plain exciting!
ESA (@esa) November 12, 2014
One of the coolest parts about the ESA Rosetta Mission, is that the team of scientists and engineers in charge of the Comet Landing included WOMEN! Compare this to the team of NASA scientists and engineers that sent astronauts to the moon (JoAnn Hardin Morgan was the single woman engineer at NASA during Apollo 11). However, the Rosetta Mission is not the first time women have contributed to amazing things in space. Check out Beverly Wettenstein’s long list of incredible contributions women have made in space!
The ESA Rosetta Mission included at least four women who are listed as team members, but I would guess there are many more who contributed but are not listed!
It takes hundreds of people — machinists, engineers, scientists, and many others — to get a spacecraft from the planning stages to its destination in outer space. The people in this gallery represent just a few of the folks who make space exploration ideas a reality.
Let’s celebrate Claudia Alexander (U.S. Rosetta Project Scientist), Margaret Frerking (Co-I with MIRO instrument), Lori Feaga, (ALICE Co-I with University of Maryland), Marilia Samara (ScRI, EIS instrument), and the many other women who contributed to the Rosetta Mission. CauseScience applauds all of these women for their amazing success today, and over the last decade of the mission. These women are the best at what they do, and break down barriers for girls and women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math!! CONGRATS!!
Max Mutchler (@maxmutchler) November 12, 2014
ConneXions (@ConneXionsGCI) November 12, 2014
Please inform CauseScience if you know other women that were part of ESA’s Rosetta Mission so we can add their names!
Add Professor Monica Grady to the list of Rosetta women!!
You may have read about shirtgate, and how Rosetta Project Scientist Matt Taylor has been ridiculed on twitter for his sexist and embarassing choice of clothing. While it is certainly important to draw attention to his harmful behavior, celebrating the amazing women that contributed to the history of HUMANKIND is much more important!!
Buy this great cover of ‘She blinded me with science‘ and support ScienceGrrl!! I love everything about this!! A terrific cover of a song we all love, a fun video featuring women scientists, support for women in science, mashup of pop-culture and science…. What’s not to love?
ScienceGrrl is a grassroots network supporting women in science and engineering. Your donations will help us inspire the next generation and build our community. Thank you!
She Blinded Me With Science
Featuring The Violet Transmissions, Orphan Black and ScienceGrrl and supported by Thomas Dolby, ‘She Blinded Me With Science’ is a music video in support of Women in Science!…
Buy the track (www.sheblindedmewithscience.org) to help support Women in Science! – ALL PROCEEDS GO TO SCIENCEGRRL! (www.sciencegrrl.co.uk)
Visit sciencegrrl.co.uk to watch the full interviews of featured ScienceGrrls Roma Agrawal, Ceri Brenner, Suzi Gage, Suze Kundu and Lia Ying Li!
Film produced by Ben Roper Films (www.benroperfilms.com)
Science Nobel Prizes must change to remain relevant in the 21st century
By Benjamin Burke, University of Hull
The Nobel Prizes in the sciences have been announced to much celebration around the world. And this year, unlike most years, controversies were largely avoided. And yet, the relevance of the Nobel Prize in the modern world can be questioned.
Since 1901, the Nobel Prizes have been awarded in the categories of Chemistry, Physics, Medicine, Literature and Peace, with the subsequent addition of Economics. The winners have included notable people such as Marie Curie, Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Ernest Hemmingway and Linus Pauling. Although such esteemed figures and contributions to society have unprecedented worth, are the Nobel Prizes in their current form the best way to celebrate academic and literary achievements?
Most often the criticism of Nobel Prizes is that either the achievement doesn’t warrant the commendation or the individual awarded should have been someone else. Although I sometimes agree with this notion, especially in undervaluing a particular individual’s role in an achievement, this reproach is subjective. These are topics we should argue about in the pub, rather than suggesting a format change.
The lack of representation of prize-winning females – less than 5% of all prizes have been awarded to them – has demanded a lot of attention across the years, most notably in situations in which it is widely believed that the contribution of male laureates in a particular award is at least equalled or surpassed by a female colleague who was overlooked.
The most famous example being the omission of Rosalind Franklin from the award for DNA structure determination. This issue is certainly not specific to the Nobel’s and is a much wider societal issue. That is why the solution to the problem will come not from the Nobel Foundation alone, but the research community as a whole.
The prize is currently limited to a maximum of three Nobel laureates per award. A situation which is rarely questioned when speaking of the peace or economics prize. The question is, as modern science has developed more towards collaborative research, how can only three be selected as worthy and others not?
The situation of science is completely different from when the prize was setup according to Alfred Nobel’s will. Since then, individual scientists or small teams making big breakthroughs have nearly entirely disappeared. This has happened because the organisation of science has changed, with overlapping teams of collaborating principle investigators. Why is that only supervisors deserve the award and not the PhD student or post-doc? This obviously comes down to intellectual contribution. Who decides between these when few people are aware of others’ inputs?
The three-person laureate limit leads to a system whereby people miss out. but what is the alternative? If we remove the limit entirely, the problem is only moved down the line rather than solved. Should all of the thousands of researchers at the Europe’s largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider which is part of CERN, have won the Physics prize for the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2013? We are no closer to a solution. It seems to me that the “rule of three” is the strongest contested and most antiquated in relation to the modern systems of research and although having the rule so rigid causes controversy, it avoids absurdity.
The five original prizes (chemistry, physics, medicine, literature and peace) are certainly in the remit of Alfred Nobel’s will to bestow “prizes to those who … have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind”. Does this mean that there is nothing outside of these areas which fulfils this criteria?
The economics prize – officially called the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel – was only introduced in 1968 because the central bank of Sweden believed economists having a great benefit for mankind. Is it now time to expand again?
There are a range of candidate disciplines which are currently unrepresented including, but not limited to, mathematics, biology, environmental science and computer science. Could any of these areas be labelled as not conferring great benefit on mankind?
After introducing the Economics prize, the Nobel Foundation seems less than keen on the introduction of new prizes. They seem stubbornly regimented on their attempts to stick to both Nobel’s will along with non-will based tradition. It seems to me that this is to their detriment. The Nobel Prizes have a long tradition in celebration of developmental achievements with unprecedented prestige but if they refuse to move with the times, they are at risk of looking out of step with the modern world and their reputation may wane.
Others have launched prizes to upstage the Nobel Prize. The Fundamental Physics Prize by Yuri Milner, an internet entrepreneur, and the Breakthrough Prize, again by Milner but with a few other internet entrepreneurs, are attempts to ensure that a wider range of sciences benefit from recognition. Old prizes such as the Turing Prize or the Fields Medal are already considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for computer science and mathematics respectively.
Will the Nobel Prizes ever be superseded or sink into obscurity? I suspect not in our lifetimes, and nor do I want them to. Public celebration of achievements for societal good is something which should be increased rather than ridiculed or downplayed. But the Nobel Foundation could ensure that their relevance remains large by making some important changes.
Benjamin Burke does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.
Do Periods Actually Make Women Moody? Ft. iiSuperwomanii
Menstruation is amazing and we explain why!