This tumblr's for all the great men and women of science for whom we owe our current understanding of the natural world; their achievements, their failures, and even their quirks, we celebrate them all.
For Science. For Inquiry. For Humanity.
“German biologist Hilde Proescholdt Mangold (1898-1924), shown here with her baby, worked under the German biologist Hans Spemann, renowned embryologist. She studied embryonic induction, the process by which the embryo, known as the ”organiser,” causes other parts of the embryo to differentiate, becoming specific tissue and organs. Mangold discovered the location of the organiser in amphibians. The results of their experiments were documented in a paper Mangold and Spemann wrote, which became Mangold’s thesis for her doctorate. Unfortunately, as the paper was published, she was killed (aged 26) when a heater in her kitchen exploded. In 1935, Spemann won the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the organiser. It is one of only a few Nobel Prize’s awarded for work based on a doctoral thesis. However, since the prize cannot be awarded posthumously, she was ineligible to receive it.”
Excited to find this new Tumblr: Gender and Science. An important subject, and a great blog to celebrate and inspire.
“The fascination of any search after truth lies not in the attainment, which at best is found to be very relative, but in the pursuit, where all the powers of the mind and character are brought into play and are absorbed in the task. One feels oneself in contact with something that is infinite and one finds a joy that is beyond expression in ‘sounding the abyss of science’ and the secrets of the infinite mind.”
- Florence Bascom
Minimal Posters - Six Women Who Changed Science. And The Word.
I want these in my room.
We can do better. We must do better.
It’s not a secret that women (and pretty much any minority group) have uphill battle after uphill battle facing them when it comes to succeeding in math, science and engineering fields. Some of these are explicit (like the tilted playing field of the tenure system, which could take 100 years to level out), and some are more obscured (like the quiet social pressures that push them away from science). But what is clear is that it does not have to be the case.
I was really struck by this infographic’s ability to capture how quickly and precipitously women drop out of many fields of science once social pressures begin to take over.
I hope that projects like ScienceCheerleader, IAmScience, DoubleXScience and This Is What A Scientist Looks Like (<- bonus points if you can find me on that one) can continue to make this image a relic of the past and not a picture of the future.
Ten Historic Female Scientists You Should Know
Read: Smithsonian Magazine
A must-know list, but it needs more Grace Hopper (she was a firecracker).
Wouldn’t it be cool if we just celebrated them, like, all the time and didn’t wait for random commemorative days like today?
Jennifer was an extremely talented undergraduate, majoring in mathematics and engineering. Her grades and test scores were nearly perfect; her professors saw a bright future for her as an engineering professor and encouraged her to pursue a doctorate. In graduate school, she continued to excel, accumulating high-quality publications, fellowships and awards. She landed a premier postdoctoral position and was headed for a first-tier professorship. But she never applied for a tenure-track academic job. As a 33-year-old postdoc, she could not imagine waiting to have children until after tenure at age 40, nor could she imagine how she would juggle caring for a young family with the omnipresent demands of an assistant professorship. The harried lives of the two tenured mothers in her department convinced her that such a path was not for her. Jennifer made the choice to have a family and teach mathematics part-time at a local community college.
Although it’s not hard to find evidence of women professors’ many successes in the academy, scenarios like Jennifer’s are all too common.[…]
If we are to truly equalize the professional opportunities in science, a field where “expertise” takes in the neighborhood 10 years of post collegiate training, we must provide ample and fair support for young families. Fathers too, sure, but the stigma of motherhood and the false conflict that has been built between having children and being able to compete for jobs in professional science. It seems like Sophie’s Choice, only between doing what you love or creating something you love.
It’s about more than the dangers of having kids later in life and creating a real-life Idiocracy. It’s about continuing to rid sexual bias from a world where it has been deeply rooted for decades. Has anyone had thoughts or experiences about this fork in life’s road?
We’re flooding people with information. We need to feed it through a processor. A human must turn information into intelligence or knowledge. We’ve tended to forget that no computer will ever ask a new question. — Grace Hopper
Yesterday we focused on Nobel-an eponym that has entered the world of science courtesy of the man who invented dynamite (only one of hundreds of patents he held) and whose will created the prize that bears his name.
Today, however, we turn away from the eponym and focus on the opposite effect. Today is the birthday of Annie Jump Cannon, known variously as one of ‘Harvard’s Computers’ or one of ‘Pickering’s Harem’. She is credited along with Edward Pickering as the creator of the Harvard Classification Scheme which remains the foundation of today’s stellar classification system.
One of a dozen women hired by Pickering to do the hard work of identifying, classifying and cataloging hundreds of stellar objects, Cannon distinguished herself as the brightest of the bright and rose finally to a full professorship before her death in 1941. While no eponym celebrates her name, her contribution (along with the remaining group at Harvard) as well as the countless women throughout history to impact science, math, politics and all human endeavor, today we remember and say Happy Birthday. A true pioneer, gone but not forgotten.
Image curently in the public domain courtesy New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper.
Today’s post is for hb.
Women of science, unite!