Friday, June 22, 2007

Women in Science Friday Link Roundup

First off, Post Doc Carnival #5 is up at On Being a Scientist and a Woman.

On my other blog, I interview Canadian ecologist and science fiction writer Nina Munteanu about science, writing and science fiction.

Mindhacks takes a look at the neuropsychology research that Natalie Herschlag (aka Natalie Portman) published when she took a hiatus from acting to study psychology at Harvard.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair blog interviews Hadeel Masoudi of Amman, Jordan about her project on shark antibodies.

This week's "Citation Classic" at The Evilutionary Biologist is the so-called "Blender Experiment" of Alfred Hershey and Martha Chase that demonstrated that DNA (and not protein) is the genetic material.

Skepchick Rebecca has a report from her friend Evelyn who is on a research vessel on the Indian Ocean studying undersea volcanoes.

Zuska posts a report from this year's Women in Engineering Program Advocates Network (WEPAN) conference. She also links to an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education (behind a paywall unfortunately) about Harvey Mudd College president Maria Klawe, who commutes to work via skateboard.

Fortune & CNN Money columnist Anne Fisher responds in her "Ask Annie" column to a young women who asks whether women have a hard time getting promoted in IT. Annie suggests asking about and talking to women at job interviews, and seeking out a mentor.

The Austin American-Statesman writes about Project IT Girl, administered by Girlstart, a program for high school girls that "seeks to correct the low percentages of women in tech-related jobs."

Displaying a self-awareness impressive for her 15 years, Kelley Stidolph said, "I'm weird. I don't like dressing up or makeup or skirts or shopping."

What does she like? Math and science. This astonishes her classmates.

They are sometimes pressured — by teachers, by group projects — to accept her into their fold "even though I'm just so different and not at all like them," Stidolph says. "That pressure may cause them to exaggerate in their minds how different I am."

"I've always been good at math, and science has always just interested me," [Alexi] Ramsey said. "So many of my friends will complain about it, boys and girls. They say, 'Science sucks. When am I gonna use this?' I have to, like, cough and say, 'Uh, every day?' "

The father of one of the girls is a programmer at Symantec who claims to have met only two female engineers in his 20-year career. It sounds like he needs to step away from his computer more often. reports that there is a "Man drought hitting universities" in New Zealand. According to the article woman make up 59.3% of domestic graduates and 55.6% of international graduates. Only 33.2% of masters degrees and 42.4% of doctorates go to men.
Men still dominate in some subject areas with three times more than females in engineering, and maths and information science. However, there are significantly more women in biological sciences, commerce, health, humanities, social and behavioural science at bachelor orhonours degree level.
The Queensland (Australia) Business Review notes that nominations for the Smart Women- Smart State award for women in science, engineering or information technology close on June 29.
"Winning the Award was the highlight of my secondary schooling and clearly helped my application for a place in the competitive sphere of medicine at university," says 2006 Secondary School Students award winner, Zoe Brown.

2006 Research Scientist Award winner Professor Melissa Little agrees.

"Being a professional woman and a mother is a tough juggle but, when you get recognition for your efforts, it all seems worth it," Melissa says.
The Manila Bulletin Online reports on a speech by Dr. Amelia Ancog, "former Department of Science and Technology (DoST) undersecretary and now module director of the National Defense College of the Philippines" at the recent Gender Awareness Seminar for Women in Meteorology. Ancog noted the lack of female meteorologists at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), and pointed out that the department used to be dominated by women, most of who either went abroad or were transfered to other departments.

An article in the ThomasNet Industrial Market Trends reports on the "mirage of professional gender equity." It focuses on the pay gap between women and men in technical careers in the United States and Canada.

The Marietta Times reports on the Women in Sciences camp at Marietta college for middle school girls who primarily come from West Virginia and Ohio.
“We’ve already learned about astronomy, microbiology, digital photography and fun with math,” said Rictoria Schaad, 13, an eighth-grader at Marietta Middle School, while working on a chromatography project, learning about chemical separation by solvents. “And it’s really fun to meet all the other girls.”
[. . .]
“I got to see all the constellations I’ve never seen before,” said Elly Nau, an eighth-grader at St. Mary’s School. “I’m excited about everything. Science is one of my favorite subjects. There are always so many fascinating things.”

The Arizona Daily Star writes about the IBM Exploring Interests in Technology and Engineering (EXITE) Camp for middle school girls last week in Tuscon.
""I like technology," said Sara, who is in seventh grade. "It's interesting to see how complicated it is and how many things you can do with it."

Katie Dreeland, 18, was in the first group of students to attend the IBM camp.

"EXITE did change my life," she said. "It introduced me to the world of engineering."

The recent Cienega High School graduate, who attended the camp when she was a student at Old Vail Middle School, will enroll at Arizona State University in the fall and major in molecular biosciences and biotechnology.
The Hamilton Mountain (Ontario) News writes about the McMaster University "All Science Challenge" and "Let's Talk Science" program for local middle school students.

"We wanted to do something interactive to show kids that science is fun," said Diana Dregoesc, the McMaster coordinator for Let's Talk Science.

She is a graduate student in biology who helped organize the event along with 60 other undergraduate and graduate science students. "We also wanted to break the stereotypes that all scientists are grey-haired with a beard. They're men and women of all races. Science
is for everyone."

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