Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Late spring cleaning: Interviews and Profiles of Woman Scientists

Here are a few interviews and biographies of women and science I've collected over the past month or so:

Aminollah Sabzevari writes about the pioneering Women in Medical Physics for the Science Creative Quarterly, including Marie Curie, Harriet Brooks, and Rosalind Franklin.

Inkling magazine interviews Margaret Wertheim, physicist by training, science communicator by training. She is the writer and host of the PBS series Faith and Reason (see also her commentary "Numbers are Male, Said Pythagoras, and the Idea Persists" ) and, in her spare time, has crocheted a coral reef that is exhibited as part of the " 6 BILLION PERPS HELD HOSTAGE! Artists Address Global Warming" exhibit at the Warhol museum in Pittsburgh.
Inkling magazine also has an interview with geophysicist Marcia McNutt, currently president of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). She talks about her research, her background and women in oceanography:
Have you ever felt that you were being treated differently than if you were a man in the same role?
I guess very early on when I was a graduate student I probably noticed that there were awkward moments. Especially when I’d go out on research vessels when women rarely did. But I’ve been in oceanography for so long now that many of the people at other institutions were students or shipmates with me. I don’t think they even think of me in a gender role anymore. It’s just a zero issue now. Young women starting out in oceanography don’t face any of the issues that I did. Students in many of the sciences are at least 50 percent female today. But there’s attrition going up the ranks. By the time you get to institute director there are very few women.
Read the whole interview for more.
ScienceBlogs official blog Page 3.14 has an interview with science blogger Sandra Porter of Discovering Biology in a Digital World.
Zuska notes the induction of engineer Eleanor Baum to the National Women's Hall of Fame and her nominator, past president of the Society for Women Engineers, Jill Tietjen.
John Noble Wilford profiled Jane Goodall and current research on chimpanzees in the New York Times in "Chimpanzees: Almost Human, Sometimes Smarter" (registration required)

Jane Goodall, a young English woman working in Africa in the 1960s, began changing perceptions. At first, experts disputed her reports of chimps’ using tools and social behavior. The experts especially objected to her references to chimp culture. Just humans, they insisted, had “culture.”

“Jane suffered early rejection by the establishment,” Richard Wrangham, a Harvard anthropologist, said. “Now, the people who say chimpanzees don’t have emotions and culture are the ones rejected.”

Also check out his sidebar on Goodall, "With a Founding Mother in the Filed of Primatology" (TimesSelect subscription only).

Manasee Wagh writes about "Beatrix Potter, scientist" for The Scientist. (via easternblot)
What is impressive about her work is that despite Miss Potter's lack of scientific training, she was one of very few Victorians engaged in experimental observations on fungi," says Nicholas Money, professor of botany at Miami University.

"She was an exceptional botanist when women weren't allowed to be," says Linda Lear, author of Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature, published in January this year. "And she had the pluck to stick to her theories, even when the professionals dismissed her."
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