Briefings

Dear Colleagues, 

I am pleased to include another issue of RFS Briefings with some timely and encouraging updates on women in science.

Please continue to share important news and opportunities with us so that we may share it with you, and others who are committed to supporting the careers of exceptional women in science. 

Stay safe and sound

Karla Shepard Rubinger
Executive Director
Rosalind Franklin Society
www.rosalindfranklinsociety.org
 

Katalin Karikó: The sacrifices and successes of immigrant scientists.

 

Hungarian-born biochemist Katalin Karikó receives the 2022 Vilcek Prize for Excellence in Biotechnology for her scientific leadership. The award is bestowed on Karikó for her pioneering research into the development of mRNA therapeutics, including the development of mRNA vaccines for COVID-19. Read more.  Katalin Karikó was also a featured speaker at our GEN/RFS Women in Science Series. You can access the presentation here.

A Conversation with Janice Chen.
Janice Chen is very inspiring. At the age of 30, she has not only completed a PhD. with recent Nobel prize winner Jennifer Doudna at the University of California, Berkeley, but co-founded Mammoth Biosciences together, where she serves as its CTO. She recently spoke about her inspirations, challenges she has overcome, and her hopes and plans for Mammoth and CRISPR gene editing in the future. She also spoke at our recent virtual RFS conference. Read more.

Two Sloan Kettering Institute researchers named 2022 Kravis Women in Science Endeavor (WiSE) Fellowship grant recipients.

 

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) announced that two Sloan Kettering Institute (SKI) researchers have been named 2022 Marie-Josée Kravis Women in Science Endeavor (Kravis WiSE) fellowship grant recipients. “This year’s symposium, featuring these stellar researchers and extraordinary speakers, highlights how critical it is that the scientific and medical communities expand opportunities for women at all levels and in all endeavors. We all benefit when we are all welcomed to the table,” said Ushma Neill, PhD, Vice President, Scientific Education and Training. Read more.

The queen of crime-solving.

 

Forensic scientist Angela Gallop has helped to crack many of the UK’s most notorious murder cases. But today she fears the whole field – and justice itself – is at risk. Over almost 50 years as a forensic scientist, Gallop has seen enough grisly cases to fill several lifetimes. Name a famous crime that took place in Britain since the 1980s and there is a good chance that Gallop was involved in the investigation. Read more. Photo: David Levene, The Guardian.

Holberg winner Jasanoff pioneered study of interplay between those fields, societal influences, biases, law. 
Sheila Jasanoff, the Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology at HKS, has been awarded the 2022 Holberg Prize for her pioneering role in Science and Technology Studies (STS). The award, funded by the Norwegian government and administered by the University of Bergen, is given out annually to a scholar who has made major contributions to the humanities, social sciences, law, and theology. Read more.

‘We are turning a corner.’ Acting White House science director moves to calm troubled office.

In her first interview since being promoted from deputy director for science and society, Alondra Nelson spoke with ScienceInsider about a wide range of issues, including the recently enacted 2022 federal spending bill, President Joe Biden’s ambitious science agenda, and the division of labor between her and Francis Collins, the recently retired director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) who is now serving as the president’s science adviser. Read more. Photo: Dan Komoda, Science. 

Apply now for the Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists, an annual prize awarded to early-career scientists.
As a winner, you will have your essay published by Science, receive up to 30,000 USD and be invited to Sweden where you receive your award, present your research and meet with leading scientists in your field. The award banquet is held in the Hall of Mirrors at Grand Hôtel, the original venue of the Nobel Prize. Read more.

Women are creating a new culture for astronomy.
In 1999 women were about 16 percent of the assistant and associate professors of astronomy; in 2013 they were around 22 percent. In 1999 women were 7 percent of the full professors; in 2013 they were 14 percent. These changes in numbers, Meg Urry says, drove changes in policy and practice. Read more.

A STEM-focused addition to the #1 New York Times bestselling She Persisted series.
Throughout history, women have been told that science isn't for them. They've been told that they're not smart enough, or that their brains just aren't able to handle it. In this book, Chelsea Clinton introduces readers to women scientists who didn't listen to those who told them "no" and who used their smarts, their skills and their persistence to discover, invent, create and explain. Read more.

The Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology acknowledges the increasingly active and important role of neurobiology.
The winner of the Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology is awarded US$25,000 and publication of his or her essay in Science. The essay and those of up to three finalists are also published on Science Online. The award is announced and presented at a ceremony at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. Eppendorf provides financial support to help enable the grand prize winner to attend the meeting. Read more.

When women – and Jews – were forced out of sciences, this Nazi-era pioneer persisted.
Gertrude Goldhaber fled the Holocaust to become a renowned US researcher and women’s rights activist. Her son is gifting a treasure trove of documents to NYC’s Leo Baeck Institute. Read more.

Markita del Carpio Landry: Representation and responsibility in STEM.

A nanobiotechnologist and an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Markita del Carpio Landry grew up in Quebec, Canada, in a multicultural household helmed by her Bolivian mother and French Canadian father. As a young, Latina professor, del Carpio Landry is also critically aware of how important diversity and representation are in science. She is passionate about her role as a mentor, and her ability to have a positive influence on the next generation of scientists. Read more.

Anne Beaumanoir, activist and clinical neurologist, dies at 98.
Anne Beaumanoir, a French resistance fighter who aided Jewish people fleeing the Nazi occupation of France during World War II and later became a groundbreaking clinical neurologist and epilepsy researcher, died in her home in Quimper on March 4 at the age of 98. Read more.

Bigelow impact report.
From phytoplankton in sunlight surface waters to microbes in darkness beneath the seafloor, Bigelow Lab scientists work to make discoveries and create solutions. Here's a snapshot of some of the ways their bold ocean science has made an impact. Bigelow Labs, led by Deb Bronk,  is an important member of the RFS Council of Academic Institutions. Great work in ocean science!

Adriana Hoffmann, botanist who fought for Chile’s forests, dies at 82.
Adriana Hoffmann, a botanist who roamed Chile deciphering its flora and who as a scientist, activist, author and policymaker tirelessly sought to protect her country’s vast forests from big-business exploitation, died on March 20. Read more.

Celebrating women breaking barriers in STEM.

Five 2022 Science Talent Search Finalists pose with a statue of a Society for Science competition alumna, as part of the Smithsonian's If/Then She Can exhibit. Courtesy of Society for Science. Read more. 


Marianna Limas, Social Media Manager
Nilda Rivera, Partnership and Events Manager

 
 

Dear Colleagues, 

Happy Women's History Month! 

In recognition of Women’s History Month, we are excited to feature a new initiative highlighting women in science: Lost Women of Science. It’s mission is to raise awareness of the pivotal role women have played in scientific discoveries and innovations, and to promote interest in STEM education and careers.

The founders, Katie Hafner and Amy Scharf, bring incredible experience, substance and curiosity. Katie is an accomplished writer, healthcare and technology reporter for the New York Times, and an Executive Producer for the new podcast series. Amy is a bioethicist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, also an Executive Producer for Lost Women of Science.       

“For every Rosalind Franklin, Hedy Lamar, or Katherine Johnson whose story has been told, there are dozens more whose stories remail untold to the public at large, or even to  contemporaries in their field…We believe it is imperative -now more than ever- to tell the stories of women who have shifted our understanding of the world around us but  have been lost to history.”

Learn more about Lost Women of Science from the founders as they are interviewed by Julianna LeMieux, senior science writer at Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. Available here.

Please continue to share important news and opportunities with us so that we may share it with you, and others who are committed to supporting the careers of exceptional women in science. 

Stay safe and sound

Karla Shepard Rubinger
Executive Director
Rosalind Franklin Society
www.rosalindfranklinsociety.org
 

 
A blossoming interest in STEM? These spots will inspire a love of science.

“#IfThenSheCan — the Exhibit” features 120 life-size statues of leading women in STEM around the National Mall as the centerpiece of Women’s Futures Month. The Smithsonian calls it “the largest collection of statues of women ever assembled together.” The Washington Post wondered where these women had been inspired to pursue a career in science — especially the ones who grew up in the D.C. area — and asked those who have lived and worked here if they’d tell them about their favorite STEM-related museums or places. Read more. Photo by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades for The Washington Post.

Women’s history month: 5 groundbreaking researchers who mapped the ocean floor, tested atomic theories, vanquished malaria and more.
Here are five profiles from The Conversation’s archive that highlight the brilliance, grit and unique perspectives of five women who worked in geosciences, math, ornithology, pharmacology and physics during the 20th century. Read more.

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin: the woman who found hydrogen in the stars.
In this piece for Physics World, Sidney Perkowitz delves into the work and life of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, from her stellar astronomical findings to a career-long struggle with bias against women in the early 20th century. Read more.

Want to promote diversity in science? Offer better support.
“Growing up in Patna, India, I imagined that there would be a better representation of women in physics in the United States. But after arriving at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to begin my graduate studies in 1988, I was sorely disappointed to learn that I was the only woman in a class of 36 PhD students,” writes Chandralekha Singh in a piece for Nature. Read more.

Using science and celtic wisdom to save trees (and souls).
At a hale 77, Diana Beresford-Kroeger is a medical biochemist, botanist, organic chemist, poet, author and developer of artificial blood. But her main focus for decades now has been to telegraph to the world, in prose that is scientifically exacting yet startlingly affecting, the wondrous capabilities of trees, writes Cara Buckley for The New York Times. Read more.

Gender equality will enhance research around the world.
Addressing diversity in a range of contexts benefits everyone in tangible ways, and scientists’ perspectives can help to address complex, real-world problems. For example, a better understanding of sex-based differences in immunity is helping to advance cancer immunotherapies. Read more.

Why are female scientists wearing purple? #DressForSTEM!

Now in its seventh year, the annual “Dress For STEM” event encourages women in science, and anyone else who would like to join in solidarity, to wear purple to celebrate female STEM pioneers, those active in the field and encourage the next generation of female scientists. Read more. Image: Meteorologist and journalists (Ashley Cafaro, Nicole Sommavilla, Iris St. Meran and Kate Thornton) at NewsChannel 9 in Syracuse, N.Y., wear purple for #DressforSTEM on Monday. (Courtesy of Nicole Sommavilla for The Washington Post)

Using data science to uncover the work of women in science.
"We know from interviews and writings that some women didn't think that their papers were notable enough to save and share with archives," says Dr. Elizabeth Harmon, a digital curator at Smithsonian Libraries and Archives.  "Additionally, historians have argued for decades now that women's records are harder to find in historical collections because museums, libraries, and archives have been slower to collect records about women. And when they do, information about women is often scattered across various collections or hidden behind the work and records of male colleagues and relations." Read more.

Start-ups create career opportunities for scientists.
Chief science officers in industry used to fit a predictable profile: middle-aged, male and battle-hardened from many years at the bench. But the template is changing: scientific start-ups are now creating opportunities for a much wider range of researchers around the world, writes Chris Woolston in a piece for Nature. Read more.

How the ‘First Lady of Seaweed’ changed science.

Isabella Abbott was a prolific researcher who changed our understanding of seaweed and discovered hundreds of new species. Image: Chuck Painter/Courtesy Hopkins Marine Center/Atlas Obscura Read more.

Queen of carbon, champion of women in science.

Mildred Dresselhaus’ trailblazing research into the fundamental physics of materials such as graphite and carbon nanotubes in the second half of the twentieth century, and her advocacy of equality in science, saw her dubbed queen of carbon. Read more. Professor Dresselhaus was a true legend and we were honored to have her speak at our 2012 RFS Board meeting. Image: Mildred Dresselhaus lecturing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.Credit: MIT Museum.

The Lasker Foundation 2022 Essay Contest Is Now Open!
The Lasker Essay Contest engages early career scientists and clinicians from the US and around the globe in a discussion about big questions in biology and medicine and the role of biomedical research in our society today. The Contest aims to build skills in communicating important medical and scientific issues to broad audiences. Deadline March 30, 2pm EDT. Read more.

The 30-year-old female founder at the forefront of a billion-dollar bet on CRISPR gene editing.

While not high profile like her gold medal-winning, ice skating brother — or Mammoth co-founder Jennifer Doudna, who won a Nobel Prize in chemistry for her work on CRISPR — Janice Chen’s bioscience work in gene editing technology is in the forefront of medical discoveries from identifying bacterial and viral infections to early cancer detection. Read more.

The 2022 SDG Gender Index sounds the alarm on global progress towards gender equality and unveils a blueprint for change.
The 2022 SDG Gender Index finds little progress on gender equality at the global level between 2015 and 2020. If current trends continue, the global score will reach only 71 out of 100 by 2030, the deadline for the achievement of the SDGs. And even this projection could be seen as optimistic, given the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has already had on the well-being of girls and women worldwide. Read more.

How Oni and Uché Blackstock, doctors, spend their Sundays.
Oni and Uché Blackstock, 44, are twin sisters and Harvard-educated doctors who have been on the front lines of the pandemic. Both run businesses that address racial inequity in health care. And both are divorced parents of sons. Read their story here.

She Persisted in Science: Brilliant Women Who Made a Difference.
In this book, Chelsea Clinton introduces readers to women scientists who didn't listen to those who told them "no" and who used their smarts, their skills and their persistence to discover, invent, create and explain. Read more.

Barrie R. Cassileth, who transformed cancer care, dies at 83.
Barrie R. Cassileth, whose efforts to bring treatments like acupuncture and massage into mainstream cancer care helped countless patients weather the pain of chemotherapy, radiation and terminal illness, died on Feb. 26 at an assisted-living home in Beverly Hills, Calif. She was 83. Read more. 


 Marianna Limas, Social Media Manager
Nilda Rivera, Partnership and Events Manager

 
 

 

 

 

Dear Colleagues, 

Happy Women's History Month! 

In recognition of Women’s History Month, we are excited to feature a new initiative highlighting women in science: Lost Women of Science. It’s mission is to raise awareness of the pivotal role women have played in scientific discoveries and innovations, and to promote interest in STEM education and careers.

The founders, Katie Hafner and Amy Scharf, bring incredible experience, substance and curiosity. Katie is an accomplished writer, healthcare and technology reporter for the New York Times, and an Executive Producer for the new podcast series. Amy is a bioethicist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, also an Executive Producer for Lost Women of Science.       

“For every Rosalind Franklin, Hedy Lamar, or Katherine Johnson whose story has been told, there are dozens more whose stories remain untold to the public at large, or even to  contemporaries in their field…We believe it is imperative -now more than ever- to tell the stories of women who have shifted our understanding of the world around us but  have been lost to history.”

Learn more about Lost Women of Science from the founders as they are interviewed by Julianna LeMieux, senior science writer at Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. Available here.

Please continue to share important news and opportunities with us so that we may share it with you, and others who are committed to supporting the careers of exceptional women in science. 

Stay safe and sound

Karla Shepard Rubinger
Executive Director
Rosalind Franklin Society
www.rosalindfranklinsociety.org
 

 

2022 Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists by The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.
The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health invites your nomination for the 2022 Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists! This prize recognizes the contributions of early career clinician-scientists whose work has the potential to innovate or has led to innovations in patient care. Read more.

Girls need more moms as STEM role models.
“Seeing my mother’s hard work and success as a physician, I dreamed of being an engineer when I was in high school. I was inspired by the success of my family members who are well-recognized and decorated for their research in the field of medicine,” writes Bhuvan Mittal. Read more.

How supposedly scientific arguments for the inferiority of women support gender discrimination.
Throughout the history of science, well-established theories supposedly explained why women are inferior to men and thus why it is justifiable to exclude them from activities that are traditionally regarded as masculine, including scientific practice itself, writes Vanessa Seifert, a researcher in the philosophy of chemistry. Read more.

How ‘Spam’ helped women in STEM to top Colombian Twitter for days.

Andrea Guzman-Mesa, a PhD candidate in Astrophysics at the University of Bern, Switzerland, wanted to use a hashtag for a good cause: overflow Twitter with female Colombian scientists and their contributions to science as a celebration of the UN International Day of Girls and Women in Science." Over the course of three days, that's what happened: women in STEM from the Colombian academic diaspora all over the world, Colombians based inside the country and other Latin American scientists all posted photos of themselves and their work, in fields from astronomy to biodiversity to geology. Read more.

Female scientists in Africa are changing the face of their continent.

Female scientists in Africa are entrepreneurial and resourceful. They are finding innovative solutions to problems that affect their communities, and many are actively seeking to engage others in their work. For example, Chemist Veronica Okello (pictured above) at Machakos University in Kenya is urging younger researchers to be less timid, air their views and approach professors for professional opportunities. Image Credit: Esther Sweeney for Nature. Read more.

Mikaela Shiffrin stumbled. What happens next matters more.
Olympics 2022 may be over, but the lessons we can learn from it aren’t going away. Thanks Sian Beilock⁩ President of Bernard College in N.Y., for reminding us to be kind to ourselves. “…remember to play your whole movie — not just the clip of your latest stumble on repeat.” Read more.

How these four women have made their mark in STEM.
OLAY is highlighting four remarkable women in STEM: 1) Raven Baxter, Ph.D., molecular biologist and STEM educator, past RFS speaker and on RFS Advisory Board; 2) Emily Calandrelli, executive producer of Fox's Xploration Outer Space and Netflix's Emily's Wonder Lab; 3) Keiana Cavé, entrepreneur and scientist, 4) Estefannie, software engineer. Here, they share their stories, passions, and insights into working in STEM. Read more.

Iwasaki is named a Sterling Professor.
Akiko Iwasaki, PhD, (a past RFS speaker) has been appointed Sterling Professor of Immunobiology and of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, effective immediately. A Sterling Professorship is considered the highest academic honor a Yale professor can receive! Read more. She was an impressive speaker at the RFS conference and you can view it here. 

The most definitive accounting of leaders and influencers in the life sciences.
There’s never been a better time to recognize standout individuals in health, medicine, and science. And although there are countless contenders to choose from, STAT selected just 46 — an homage to the number of chromosomes in human DNA. Read more.

Pioneering cancer researcher encourages Black students to study sciences.

Juliet Daniel came to Canada from Barbados in 1983 to study medicine, but decided to pursue cancer research after a personal tragedy. She now studies cancers that disproportionately affect Black women and is pushing for more diversity in STEM fields. (McMaster University). Read more.

Request for Information (RFI): Input on Clinical Whole Genome Sequencing for Low and Middle Income Communities.
If you were going to offer clinical Whole Genome Sequencing to the undiagnosed the world over, what would you want to build into the program? Tell the Genetic Alliance in response to their request for information. Read more. Led by Sharon Terry CEO, who was a past speaker at the 2014 RFS Board Meeting and you can watch it here.

Marie Maynard Daly was a trailblazing biochemist, but her full story may be lost.
Marie Maynard Daly is known as the first African American woman to receive a Ph.D. in chemistry, earned in 1947 from Columbia University. What we know about Daly comes primarily from her record of scientific publications. While working with biochemists Alfred Mirsky and Vincent Allfrey at Rockefeller Institute in New York City in the early 1950s, Daly found direct experimental evidence that protein synthesis requires RNA. Read more.

Caltech names Laurie Leshin director of JPL.


Laurie Leshin, president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), has been appointed director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and vice president of Caltech. Leshin will formally assume her position on May 16, 2022. The distinguished geochemist and space scientist brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in academic and government service to JPL.
Read more. Photo credit: Photo Courtesy Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Five women scholars awarded the Wolf Prize.
Congratulations to Pamela Ronald, Carolyn R. Bertozzi, Bonnie Bassler (an RFS board member), Anne L’Huillier, and Elizabeth Diller for receiving The Wolf Prize, awarded by the Wolf Foundation of Israel to outstanding scientists and artists from around the world for achievements in the interest of humankind and friendly relations amongst peoples. Read more.

Whitehead Institute director Ruth Lehmann receives the 2022 Gruber Genetics Prize.


Whitehead Institute Director Ruth Lehmann (an RFS board member) has been awarded the 2022 Gruber Genetics Prize – one of the most prestigious recognitions in the field of genetics. Working primarily with the fruit fly
Drosophila melanogaster, Lehmann made landmark discoveries regarding the composition, assembly and function of germplasm within the embryo. Her research has contributed to the first genetic framework for the specification of germ cell fate in any organism. Read more. Photo Credit: Gretchen Ertl/Whitehead Institute.

Dr. Julie Gerberding named Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.
A leading voice for patient safety and empowerment, Dr. Gerberding has created programs addressing antimicrobial resistance, infection prevention, and medical error reduction in healthcare settings. Her distinguished career has earned her global recognition and myriad awards. Read more.

Funding opportunity: Women in Enterprising Science at the IGI.
The HS Chau Women in Enterprising Science Program (WIES) at the IGI is now accepting proposals from aspiring entrepreneurs seeking to translate genomics research into impactful solutions to real-world challenges and advance the representation of women founders in biotechnology. Read more.

2023 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise.
The Vilcek Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2023 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise. Three prizes of $50,000 each will be awarded in each of two categories: Biomedical Science and Music. The deadline to apply is June 10, 2022. Read more.

Meet The Awardees of the 2021 Eppendorf and Science Prize.
Congratulations to the winner of the Eppendorf and Science Prize for Neurobiology, Amber L. Alhadeff. Her research investigates gut-brain signaling and its contributions to feeding and other motivated behaviors.  You can read her award winning research here. Read more.

New book celebrates trailblazing MIT physicist Mildred Dresselhaus.
In “Carbon Queen: The Remarkable Life of Nanoscience Pioneer Mildred Dresselhaus,” science writer Maia Weinstock describes how, with curiosity and drive, Dresselhaus defied expectations and forged a career as a pioneering scientist and engineer. Read more. Professor Dresselhaus was a true legend and we were honored to have her speak at our 2012 RFS Board meeting.

WHO scientist Mwele Malecela dies at 59.
Mwele Malecela, the director of the World Health Organization’s Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, died in Geneva on February 10, 2022, from complications relating to cancer, which she had been diagnosed with in 2019. She was 59. Read more. 


 Marianna Limas, Social Media Manager
Nilda Rivera, Partnership and Events Manager

 

Dear Colleagues, 

I am pleased to include another issue of RFS Briefings with some timely and encouraging updates on women in science. 

In honor of Black History Month we continue to highlight the leadership and contributions of Black women in science. Please take some time this month to watch several impressive presentations we have hosted in the past year.

Please continue to share important news and opportunities with us so that we may share it with you, and others who are committed to supporting the careers of exceptional women in science. 

Stay safe and sound

Karla Shepard Rubinger
Executive Director
Rosalind Franklin Society
www.rosalindfranklinsociety.org
 

 

Female scientists can advance by saying: ‘Yes, I’ll do it’

In this article, Pontsho Maruping, deputy managing director of operations and business processes at the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) in Cape Town, describes a career transition from mining to space, and how she juggles the expectations of male and female colleagues. Maruping’s career story is the fourth of eight in a series of articles in Nature that profiles female scientists in sub-Saharan Africa. Read more.

Fifteen articles to celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
Friday, February 11, 2022, was the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, and Orion Magazine staff pulled together fifteen of our favorite features on female leadership in the sciences. Read more.

Markita del Carpio Landry: Representation and responsibility in STEM.

“The strongest role model that I’ve had in my life is my mom,” says Markita del Carpio Landry. “She was born at a time and a place in Bolivia where careers—especially careers in cutting-edge technologies like computer science—were extraordinarily rare and completely unheard of for women.” Read more.

A day in the life of a CEO: Connecting with users while managing a business with Vlada Bortnik.
Vlada Bortnik is co-founder and CEO of Marco Polo, the popular video communication app that is changing the paradigm for millions of people about how we stay in touch. Read more.

President Terri Goss Kinzy named to National Academies committee.
Illinois State University President Terri Goss Kinzy will chair a national committee examining the long-term impact of the pandemic on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers for women. Read more.

Mathematician Bianca Viray invites everyone to the table.
Bianca Viray is a 2020 Simons Fellow in Mathematics. Viray is also an active organizer in the mathematical community, especially as a proponent against racial and gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the field. In 2022, she was named an Association for Women in Mathematics Fellow. Read more.

Nasal spray booster keeps COVID-19 at bay.
Akiko Iwasaki, a speaker at our year-end conference last year who works at HHMI, a member of our Council of Academic Institutions, developed a new vaccine strategy in mice that uses an mRNA coronavirus vaccine injection. This approach protected mice from disease caused by exposure to SARS-CoV-2. Read more.

Science & PINS Prize for Neuromodulation.
Apply today for the 2022 Science-PINS Prize for Neuromodulation! The winner is awarded US$25,000 and publication of their essay in the journal Science. Read more.

Woman- and POC-owned VC and private equity firms have hit an all-time high—but they still raise just a sliver of overall funding.
There were at least 627 private-equity and venture-capital firms majority-owned by women and/or ethnic minorities in the United States in 2021, up 25% from a year earlier and an all-time high, according to a new annual report published by Fairview. Read more.

Biden’s top science adviser resigns after acknowledging demeaning behavior.
Eric S. Lander, the president’s top science adviser, resigned after acknowledging that he had demeaned and disrespected his colleagues, behavior that prompted immediate questions about how he could keep his job given President Biden’s promise to fire any aide who disrespected others. Read more.

The pioneering women of stellar astronomy.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, a team of scholars at the Harvard College Observatory analyzed nearly half a million  photographs of the stars. These astronomers discovered the types of stars, created the first modern catalog of stars, and ultimately even discovered what stars are made of. They were all women. Read more.

Eunice Newton Foote’s long-forgotten climate-science discovery.
Born on 17 July 1819 in Goshen, Connecticut, Foote was an American amateur scientist, inventor and women’s rights campaigner, but for far too long her contribution to climate science had been lost to history. Read more.

Marcia McNutt re-elected President of the National Academy of Sciences.

During her tenure, McNutt has overseen many key initiatives and landmark reports on critical issues such as climate change, sexual harassment in academia, research integrity and excellence, strategic science in times of crises, and science education. She also has stepped up efforts to communicate science to the public and combat misinformation.Read more.

Women are indispensable to health and biotech. Yet, they’re still underrepresented.
“On average, women account for 47% of total employees at member companies,” according to BIO’s Right Mix Matters report. “While this overall data on gender representation seems to suggest the industry is approaching parity, a deeper look reveals that women become scarcer in the upper ranks. They make up less than a third (31%) of executive team members and only 23% of CEOs.” Read more.

5 pioneering women of color in STEM you might never have heard of.
In commemoration of International Day of Women and Girls in Science, on February 11, Global Citizen wants to introduce you to five incredible women of color who have shaped (and are still shaping) the course of history through science. Read more.

Sigal Barsade, 56, dies; argued that it’s OK to show emotions at work.
Sigal Barsade was a pioneer in what organizational psychologists call the affective revolution: the study of how emotions, not just behavior and decision making, shape a workplace culture. Read more.

Astia releases Astia Edge pilot findings: Our Failure To Invest in Black Founders, and What We Have Done About It.
These are the findings from a pilot launched when Astia uncovered racial bias within their own investment process. See what VCs can do to level the playing field for black Female Founders here. Read more.

Smithsonian honors female scientists with 120 bright orange statues.

The 3-D–printed figures honor a diverse group of women who have excelled in science and technology, from biologists that track endangered species to astronomers searching for extraterrestrial life. The project is a collaboration between the Smithsonian and If/Then, an initiative “designed to activate a culture shift among young girls to open their eyes to STEM careers.” Read more. Image by If/Then

Pandemic-related barriers to the success of women in research: a framework for action.
Women in academia have fallen behind with publications and grant funding during the COVID-19 pandemic and risk dropping out of the research workforce altogether, unless urgent action is taken by institutes and funders, according to researchers. Read more.

Katalin Karikó: Covid-19 vaccine pioneer urges more girls and young women to take up science.
The pioneering researcher whose work on messenger RNA technology formed the basis for both the Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines has urged more girls and young women to follow in her footsteps and forge a career in the sciences. Read more. Click here to view her RFS presentation.


Marianna Limas, Social Media Manager
Nilda Rivera, Partnership and Events Manager

 

Dear Colleagues, 

I am pleased to include another issue of RFS Briefings with some timely and encouraging updates on women in science. 

IT WAS TERRIFIC!
The perseverance of women in science has been on full display this past year: they have made seminal scientific discoveries, taken up new leadership positions, started companies, and led the charge in the fight against COVID-19.

The Rosalind Franklin Society celebrates these accomplishments, and many more, by recognizing, fostering, and advancing critical contributions from women in the life sciences and affiliated disciplines in the annual virtual conference Labs, Leaders, Critical Connections.

From groundbreaking research to prestigious awards and recognition, this event provided incredible access to emerging stars as well as those who continue to lead the way.

If you missed this event , it will be available for free on-demand beginning this week. We hope you will watch it (or watch it again!) and share it with your colleagues. 

Also, in honor of Black History Month we continue to highlight the leadership and contributions of Black women in science. Please take some time this month to watch several impressive presentations we have hosted in the past year. 

Please continue to share important news and opportunities with us so that we may share it with you, and others who are committed to supporting the careers of exceptional women in science. 

Stay safe and sound

Karla Shepard Rubinger
Executive Director
Rosalind Franklin Society
www.rosalindfranklinsociety.org
 

 

13 Black women in STEM you should know!

In honor of Black History Month, here are 13 African-American women, from yesteryear to today, who defied insurmountable odds and continue to pay the way forward for the girls who would succeed them. May we see more of them, may we be inspired by them, may we raise them. (Image: Aprille Ericsson-Jackson. Credit: Wikipedia). Read more.

Dr. Carlotta Arthur named new executive director of Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education at National Academies.

Dr. Arthur comes to the National Academies from the Henry Luce Foundation, where she serves as director of its Clare Boothe Luce (CBL) Program for Women in STEM, which provides significant support for women in science, mathematics, and engineering in higher education and has made more than $200 million in grants since its inception. During her tenure, Arthur has expanded the national and global profile of CBL and the Luce Foundation’s activities to transform STEM systems and structures through the lens of equity and inclusion. Read more.

Celebrating Black Scientists.
From the great engineering feats of African Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids, to traffic lights, automatic elevator doors, and gas masks, contributions of Black innovators to society continue to be of astounding significance. The Pacific Science Center worked with the teens in their Discovery Corps program to create Path of Persistence, an exhibit honoring some of the Black and African American scientists whose passion, curiosity and determination led to scientific breakthroughs and inventions that enrich our lives. Read more.

Black History Month: Black trailblazers in science and biotechnology that you need to know.
Throughout Black History Month, Good Day BIO will be highlighting the accomplishments of Black trailblazers in science and biotechnology—here’s a list of 32 you should know. Read more.

Immersive video game explores the history of women at MIT.

A new video game, "A Lab of One’s Own," creates an immersive environment in which players discover archival materials that tell the stories of women from MIT’s history. “Our goal was to bring these materials into conversation through an engaging virtual space,” says Maya Bjornson. “We felt that by using new digital technologies we could make the archives accessible to a wider audience, and make research feel like play.” Read more.

Jacqueline Barton of Caltech honored by the American Chemical Society.
Jacqueline K. Barton, the John G. Kirkwood and Arthur A. Noyes Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, has been named the recipient of this year’s Theodore William Richards Medal Award by the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society. Jacqueline, who is on the RFS board, is receiving the award for her work on the chemistry of DNA, in particular, her use of transition metal complexes to examine DNA site recognition and reactions. Read more.

CZI and National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine launch science diversity leadership program to recognize and further accomplishments of outstanding science faculty.
“Through this new partnership with the National Academies, we hope to increase visibility and support for faculty of color in biomedicine, including Black, Latina/o/x, and Indigenous faculty, so they can continue to do some of the best science and mentor tomorrow’s leaders,” said CZI Co-Founders & Co-CEOs Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg. Read more.

Nancy Kanwisher wins National Academy of Sciences Award in the Neurosciences.

Nancy’s work over the past two decades has argued that many aspects of human cognition are supported by specialized neural circuitry, a conclusion that stands in contrast to our subjective sense of a singular mental experience,” says McGovern Institute Director Robert Desimone. “She has made profound contributions to the psychological and cognitive sciences and I am delighted that the National Academy of Sciences has recognized her outstanding achievements.” Read more.

Four women scholars who have been named to university dean positions.
Tejal Desai  is among four women scholars who have been named to university dean positions. Tejal was named dean of the College of Engineering at Brown University (a member of our Council of Academic Institutions) in Providence, Rhode Island, effective September 1. An expert in applying micro- and nanoscale technologies to create new ways to deliver medicine to targeted sites in the human body, Dr. Desai is a professor and a former longtime chair of the department of bioengineering and therapeutic sciences at the University of California San Francisco. Read more.

Florence Bell: the ‘housewife’ who played a key part in our understanding of DNA.
“Taking an X-ray image was not easy. It required ten-hour exposure times, working in a darkened room in close proximity to high electrical voltages and very hot X-ray tubes. But Bell’s skill and tenacity paid off and in 1938, based on the X-ray images she had taken, she and Astbury proposed an early model of the DNA structure. This model later gave James Watson and Francis Crick a vital foothold when they began their own work on DNA,” writes Kersten Hall. Read more.

Lisa Goddard, 55, dies; brought climate data to those who needed it.
“The types of hazards we worry most about with respect to climate change projections — such as droughts, heat waves, inundation events — are happening right now, and we can predict them with weeks to months of lead time, rather than merely projecting how their statistics may change in 50-100 years,” Dr. Goddard said in a 2021 interview for the Columbia Climate School website. Read more. 


Marianna Limas, Social Media Manager
Nilda Rivera, Partnership and Events Manager

 
 
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