explore-blog:

This 1911 photo of Marie Curie in a roomful of dudes (including Max Planck, Henri Poincaré, Ernest Rutherford, and young Albert Einstein, lurking in the background, second from right) bespeaks so much both about the gendered state of science and about the enormity of cultural bias Curie overcame to become the “Martyr of Science,” the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and the only person to date to win a Nobel in two different sciences.

Also see Curie on science and wonder

micdotcom:

Watch: Female Russian cosmonaut is a boss, shuts down sexist reporter 

"Can you tell me more about your everyday life on the station? How are you planning to do your hair?"

That was an actual question asked of Yelena Serova at press conference about her upcoming trip to the ISS. Apparently only female cosmonauts can be asked about their hair and grooming routines, even if they’re about to make history.   

Her answer is amazing | Follow micdotcom

Posted on September 28, 2014

Reblogged from: Mic

Notes: 633 notes

"The Grand Prize went to a team of three 16-year-old girls from Ireland: Ciara Judge, Émer Hickey, and Sophie Healy-Thow. Their project, “Combating The Global Food Crisis: Diazotroph Bacteria As A Cereal Crop Growth Promoter,” explored different bacterial strains that could shorten the germination time of cereal crops like oats and barley. Growing food is becoming monumentally important, as climate change threatens food crops, and the increasing global population is becoming incredibly demanding.” - IFL Science

Always great to see teenage girls doing awesome things! 

The worst part is that this is a self-fulfilling prophecy: If men make an assumption that women aren’t great at tech, then those men won’t help mentor women. Women will then start believing they aren’t great at tech or feel alienated from the community. As a result, there will be no women in tech, which just perpetuates the stereotype and the cycle.

Last year, soon after I’d moved into a co-working space, I was working on yet another Saturday afternoon. A fellow founder in the space — a male, early forties — started chatting with me. He’d just started working on his own startup, and had a question.

“I see you in here every day working late, and on the weekends. I’m building out my own team and was just wondering how he keeps you motivated to work so hard?”

“What do you mean?” I asked. I was thoroughly confused. “Its my own startup. Of course I’m motivated.”

“Ohhh,” his voiced trailed off. “I just thought… well, I just assumed he was the founder.” The guy pointed at Marcin’s desk. Marcin just happened to be the only male on the team who worked in that office.

Nikki Durkin, “I’m tired of being a ‘woman in tech’” (via dailydot)

amandascurti:

Here’s my final for the Ladies of Literature zine project, organized by the wonderful Arielle Jovellanos. I chose Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley - the author of Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus at age 19.

Mary was the daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft, prominent feminist, and William Godwin, prominent anarchist. Quite a bit of those influences manifest in her works and letters, as she obsessively studied the works of both of her parents throughout her life.

huffingtonpost:

Are Nasty Comments Like These Keeping Women Out Of Science?

"It’s death by a thousand cuts. Every day you’re faced with some comment, some snide remark, some inability to get a name on a research paper. And with an accumulation of those experiences, women tend to walk with their feet."

Go here to read more infuriating stories about women in science. 

thatssoscience:

NIH Announces $10.1 Million Worth of Grants to Combat Gender Bias in the Lab

This week, the NIH announced grants worth around $10.1 million to combat gender bias in research. Traditionally medical research focused on male subjects. Even when working with animals such as mice and rats, researches still favored male specimens. When women make up more than half the population, why is Male still seen as the default? Scientists want the most clean-cut results possible.  Women are frequently seen as variables to be controlled for. Not only were young, white male, undergraduates readily available, males don’t have the pesky hormonal fluctuations that women do. Yet the belief that the estrous cycle needs to be controlled for or monitored is false.  

Dr. Janine Austin Clayton, associate director for women’s health research at N.I.H.  called for this bias to be addressed early this year in a commentary in the journal Nature. She said this bias has caused a huge gap in scientific knowledge, “we literally know less about every aspect of female biology compared to male biology”. Unfortunately, this bias for male subjects has lead to damage outside of the lab. 

Women reportedly suffer more severe side-effects of new drugs, the effects on women weren’t discovered until after the drug hit the market. Recent studies of the sleep aid Ambien showed that women metabolize the drug differently than men. The drug stayed in their bodies longer and had greater potential for next-day impairment. The drug had previously been tested mostly in males.   After being on the market for a decade, the FDA finally recommended that women should reduce their dose by half.

Even the gender of researchers can have an unnoticed effect on studies. Rumors that the gender of researchers affects the lab animals existed for years. A study published early this year gave credence to such whispers. Researchers from the Mcgill University in Quebec found that mice and rats reacted differently to pain based on who was in the room with them. They showed elevated blood levels of the stress hormone corticosterone when men were in the room or even when the scent of a male was present in the room. The presence of women seemed to counteract this effect. It was suggest that in future studies the gender of the researchers should be published. 

The bias affects the way we understand diseases too. Did you know that women experience heart attacks differently than men?  Symptoms for women include, chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, nausea, and jaw pain. Tons of other diseases are more prevalent in women, depression, thyroid, migraines, etc. and lacked proper research for decades due to the ingrained gender bias.

Sex is a biological variable, but one that shouldn’t be ignored. With women making up more than half the population on this planet, its essential drugs get tested in everyone (and I mean everyone, not just those that fit into a binary of male/female). It’s essential that we know how diseases affect people differently depending on sex. These recent grants from the NIH are a huge step in the right direction.  But it makes you wonder, how has this skewed results for decades of research?

womeninspace:

Today the Mars Orbiter Mission, better known as Mangalyaan, was inserted into a Mars orbit. The successful insertion makes India the fourth nation to reach Mars after the US, the Soviet Union and Europe. In the pictures are ISRO scientist and engineers celebrating its success.

Congratulations to ISRO and its scientist and engineers!

Images sources: x, y

culturalandhistoricalvibes:

Walter S. McAfee is the African American mathematician and physicist who first calculated the speed of the moon. McAfee participated in Project Diana in the 1940s - a U.S. Army program, created to determine whether a high frequency radio signal could penetrate the earth’s outer atmosphere. To test this, scientists wanted to bounce a radar signal off the moon and back to earth. But the moon was a swiftly moving target, impossible to hit without knowing its exact speed. McAfee made the necessary calculations, and on January 10, 1946, the team sent a radar pulse through a special 40-feet square antenna towards the moon. Two and a half seconds later, they received a faint signal, proving that transmissions from earth could cross the vast distances of outer space. Official news of this scientific breakthrough did not include McAfee’s name, nor was there any recognition of the essential role he played. But Americans could not have walked on the moon had it not been for Walter S. McAfee and his calculations.
Click to see source:

culturalandhistoricalvibes:

Walter S. McAfee is the African American mathematician and physicist who first calculated the speed of the moon. McAfee participated in Project Diana in the 1940s - a U.S. Army program, created to determine whether a high frequency radio signal could penetrate the earth’s outer atmosphere. To test this, scientists wanted to bounce a radar signal off the moon and back to earth. But the moon was a swiftly moving target, impossible to hit without knowing its exact speed. McAfee made the necessary calculations, and on January 10, 1946, the team sent a radar pulse through a special 40-feet square antenna towards the moon. Two and a half seconds later, they received a faint signal, proving that transmissions from earth could cross the vast distances of outer space. Official news of this scientific breakthrough did not include McAfee’s name, nor was there any recognition of the essential role he played. But Americans could not have walked on the moon had it not been for Walter S. McAfee and his calculations.

Click to see source:

No matter how sincere the goal setting, merely caring about diversity is not enough.

Victoria Plaut, 3 Myths Plus a Few Best Practices for Achieving Diversity

(Scientific American, October 2014)

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