On April 29, the National Academy of Science announced their newly elected members, and 16 of the 72 inductees were women. The Chronicle of Higher Education points out that this is a significant increase over last year, when only nine women were elected, but still lower than the 2005, when 19 women were elected. The women who were honored:
- Frances H. Arnold: Dick and Barbara Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry, department of chemistry and chemical engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.
- Emily A. Carter: Arthur W. Marks '19 Professor, department of mechanical and aerospace engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, N.J.
- Maureen L. Cropper: professor of economics, University of Maryland, College Park
- Margaret T. Fuller:Reed-Hodgson Professor in Human Biology and professor of genetics, department of developmental biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif.
- Jane I. Guyer: professor of anthropology, department of anthropology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
- Evelyn L. Hu: professor, electrical and computer engineering department, University of California, Santa Barbara
- Nancy A. Jenkins: deputy director and principal investigator, cell cycle control, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Proteos, Singapore
- Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz: chief, section on organelle biology, cell biology and metabolism branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.
- Gail Mandel: investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and senior scientist, Vollum Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
- Claire E. Max: professor, astronomer, and director, center for adaptive optics, University of California, Santa Cruz
- Carol L. Prives: DaCosta Professor of Biology, department of biological sciences, Columbia University, New York City
- Lisa J. Randall: professor of theoretical physics, department of physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
- Anjana Rao: professor of pathology and senior investigator, Immune Disease Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston
- Johanna Schmitt: Stephen T. Olney Professor of Natural History, department of ecology and evolutionary biology, Brown University, Providence, R.I.
- Theda Skocpol: Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
- Elizabeth A. Thompson: professor, department of statistics, University of Washington, Seattle
- Anny Cazenave: senior scientist, Laboratoire d'Etudes en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiales, Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), Toulouse, France (France)
- Anne E. Cutler: professor, Institute for Cognition and Information, University of Nijmegen, and director, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Heilig Landstichting, Netherlands (Australia)
- Caroline Dean: associate research director, John Innes Centre, Norwich, United Kingdom (United Kingdom)
- B. Rosemary Grant: research scholar, department of ecology and evolutionary biology, Princeton University, Princeton, N.J. (United Kingdom)
- Janet Rossant: chief of research and senior scientist, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario (Canada and United Kingdom)
One of the favorite arguments seems to be that the percentage of women elected to the Academy is commensurate with the percentage of female science faculty members, so there must not be any discrimination. While it might seem reasonable, my biggest problem with that argument is that it assumes that if the percentage of women scientists elected to the Academy are representative this year, the numbers elected have always been representative. That simply hasn't been the case. According to the Membership Directory, in 1980 only a single women was elected, in 1985 there were only four, and in 1990 and 1995 only five*. In fact less than 10 years ago, in 2000, only 6% of the National Academy's members were women. Some of the recently elected women almost certainly were overlooked for membership in previous years. At the rate they are adding new members, they may never catch up.
* 1980: Eloise Giblett; 1985: Mary-Dell Chilton, Mildred Dresselhaus, Sandra Faber, Martha Vaughan; 1990: Gertrude Elion, Esther Conwell, Nina Federoff, Sarah Hrdy, Cathleen Morawetz, 1995: Clara Franzini-Armstrong, Lily Jan, Judith Kimble, Anne Krueger, Carla Shatz
Tags: women in science, National Academy of Sciences