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'This is the tip of the iceberg': More than 8,500 women have joined the 500 Women Scientists database
The name 500 Women Scientists is a bit of a misnomer. Since the grassroots organization launched its searchable database of women scientists in January 2018, more than 8,500 researchers across the globe have shared their information so that journalists, conference organizers, and teachers can tap into their expertise. From ''manels'' to meetings with an abundance of Michaels, the leaders of 500 Women Scientists say the need for their database is clear. And now, they have data to demonstrate its impact. In a new paper published Tuesday in the journal PLOS Biology, the researchers behind 500 Women Scientists report that their platform has been accessed more than 100,000 times. And among 1,200 participants surveyed about their experience, 11 percent said they had been contacted as a result of the database for media interviews, peer review, panels, and other opportunities. The group has ambitious plans to keep expanding its reach. They're raising money to start a fellowship for women of color working to make science more open and accessible and they have already launched an affiliate group, 500 Women in Medicine.
Posted on 18 Jun 2019
A Woman Has Won the 'Nobel Prize of Math' for the First Time Ever
This year, one of the most prestigious mathematics prizes in the world was awarded to a woman for the first time. Karen Uhlenbeck, a mathematician and emeritus professor at the University of Texas at Austin, is now the first woman to win the Abel Prize for mathematics. The prize, according to New York Times, cites ''the fundamental impact of her work on analysis, geometry and mathematical physics.'' Modeled after the Nobel Prize, it is awarded by the king of Norway to honor outstanding mathematicians who have greatly influenced their field, and includes a cash prize of Norwegian kroner worth about $700,000. The award has been given out since 2003, but all previous winners have been men. Dr. Uhlenbeck is renowned for her work in geometric partial differential equations, gauge theory, and integrable systems. As the Times reports, she she helped pioneer a field known as geometric analysis, and among her most famous contributions were her theories of predictive mathematics, inspired by soap bubbles.
Posted on 18 Jun 2019
AnitaB.org Opens Call for Participation for Hopperx1 New York City
AnitaB.org opens Call for Participation (CFP) for Hopperx1NewYorkCity which will take place on November 4, 2019. Modeled after Grace Hopper Celebration, the event will bring together women technologists – along with leading companies from industry, academia, and research – to build relationships, learn, and advance their careers.
Posted on 23 May 2019
Why female innovators need a new deal
A recent government report shows that despite their growing presence in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines, women are largely absent on patents. A ''patent new deal'' for female inventors could help turn the tide, writes Ami Patel Shah in this opinion piece. Shah is a partner in a global, patent-focused hedge fund and holds degrees in law, and electrical and computer engineering. She is a global speaker on patent issues, particularly at the intersection of patents and finance. Prior to her financial services career, Shah ran the global wireless patent portfolio of an international chip manufacturer, worked at various law firms and started her career as a United States Patent Examiner. As dyed-in-the wool STEM professional women of all stripes know, much to our surprise a funny thing's been happening on the way to the patent office: Women are going missing as inventors. According to a February report by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), women are today's ''lost Einsteins.'' Indeed, one of the report's findings is particularly damning: ''Gains in female participation in science and engineering occupations and entrepreneurship are not leading to broad increases in female patent inventors (emphasis added).'' With so much recent progress in STEM, how can women still be the Hidden Figures of the patent office?
Posted on 23 May 2019
Electronic Glove Gives Robots Human-Like Sense Of Touch
A new paper in the Nov. 21 Science Robotics sheds new light on how robots could take a more human approach in the future. Chemical engineer and Stanford professor Zhenan Bao and her team at Bao Labs have developed an electronic glove with sensors designed to give robotic hands a sense of touch - theoretically enabling a human degree of coordination and pressure sensitivity. ''This technology puts us on a path to one day giving robots the sort of sensing capabilities found in human skin,'' Bao said in a statement. The gloves achieve this effect by simultaneously measuring the intensity and direction of pressure - and demonstrated a capability of touching and handling berries and pingpong balls without destroying them. Like human skin, which employs a complex layering system to sense and react to outside stimuli, the gloves were designed with multiple layers that work in concert.
Posted on 01 May 2019
Facebook nominates Peggy Alford, first African American woman, to its board of directors
Facebook will nominate prominent technology executive Peggy Alford for election to its board. Alford would be the first African-American woman and second African-American to join the board of the social media giant. Her nomination at the company's annual meeting on May 30 would mark a major step in diversifying its nine-member board. Last year, Facebook named former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault to its board. The move came after years of pressure from the Congressional Black Caucus and civil rights leaders such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson to add black executives to its board as part of the company's efforts to reverse decades-long patterns of exclusion in the high-tech industry, which mostly employs white and Asian men. Alford is being nominated to Facebook's board at a particularly turbulent time in the company's history as it faces intensifying scrutiny of its business practices after months of scandals.
Posted on 22 Apr 2019
Researchers say bias in AI a crisis, linked to lack of tech diversity
The questions surrounding bias in artificial intelligence are urgent and the answers lie in diversifying tech workforces, researchers say. A yearlong look at the issue, which included poring through 150 previous studies, found that ''bias in AI systems reflects historical patterns of discrimination,'' a new report being released Wednesday says. The report finds that such technology is being created by large tech companies and a few universities, mostly by wealthy white men who benefit from such systems, which can harm people of color, gender minorities and other under-represented groups. Only 15 percent of AI research employees at Facebook and 10 percent at Google are women, according to researchers at AI Now Institute at New York University, which published the report. The overall numbers of black workers at tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft range from 2.5 percent to 4 percent. Taken together, that constitutes what the researchers call a crisis, especially as AI is being used in determining loan or insurance approvals, who gets interviewed for a job, who gets bail, and in predictive policing and more.
Posted on 22 Apr 2019
10 Women In STEM To Know About For Women's History Month 2019
Despite its reputation as a male-dominated field, STEM - science, technology, engineering, and mathematics - is filled with inspirational women who are putting in the work to change the world as we speak. Some of them are starting young, others are breaking boundaries further through their careers, but all of them are making new discoveries and chasing the future. Women's History Month is often a time to look at the women of the past who shook things up, but it's also a great opportunity to look forwards - and these women are going to be among the ones history remembers. Women in STEM need good role models and mentors; it's science. Research by Microsoft found that the amount of girls interested in science doubles when female STEM role models exist in their lives - because those figures help them imagine the realities of a STEM career kicking ass and taking names, whether it's in a lab, in space or out in the field. In 2019, every area of STEM research and practice has outstanding women setting new standards for the next generation. From quantum computing to sanitation, electrical engineering to the stars, these are ten women worldwide who are changing the world right now - or, in one case, building a new world on another planet.
Posted on 31 Mar 2019
NASA Says An All-Woman Spacewalk Is Happening & It'll Be Out Of This World
Today, NASA astronaut Christina Koch will take off from Earth to join fellow astronaut Anne McClain in space to prepare for history's first all-women spacewalk later this month. A spacewalk generally takes five to seven hours and usually involves an astronaut conducting repairs, tests, or experiments outside of a spacecraft. In addition to the two female spacewalkers, the crew will be guided by female flight directors, flight controllers, and ground support specialists. Learn more about this exciting moment and mark your calendars for March 29th to watch NASA's live broadcast!
Posted on 14 Mar 2019
The Women Who Contributed to Science but Were Buried in Footnotes
In a new study, researchers uncovered female programmers who made important but unrecognized contributions to genetics. In science, the question of who gets credit for important work - fraught in any field - is set down on paper, for anyone to see. Authorship, given pride of place at the top of scientific papers, can advance reputations and careers; credits buried in the rarely read acknowledgments section do not. Over the past few years, a team of students led by Emilia Huerta-Sánchez from Brown University and Rori Rohlfs from San Francisco State University has been searching through two decades' worth of acknowledgments in genetics papers and discovering women who were never given the credit that would be expected for today’s researchers. They identified dozens of female programmers who made important but unrecognized contributions. Some were repeatedly thanked in the acknowledgments of several papers, but were never recognized as authors. They became literal footnotes in scientific history, despite helping make that history.
Posted on 14 Mar 2019

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