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The Promise of Science at RTI International
Tamara Terry started out at RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, as a telephone interviewer. Fast forward 20 years: she's RTI's Research Survey Scientist; Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Leadership Council Domestic Outreach Chair; and University Collaborations HBCU Relationship Manager. Read more about her impactful career - and her amazing advice.
Posted on 05 Jun 2022
Chien-Shiung Wu, the pioneering Chinese-American physicist who helped revolutionize the science of nuclear physics
Chien-Shiung Wu, the pioneering Chinese-American physicist who helped revolutionize the science of nuclear physics, was born on this day in 1912. Nicknamed the "First Lady of Physics" and the "Queen of Nuclear Research," Wu is best known for conducting the Wu Experiment, which disproved the hypothetical law of the conservation of parity. Although Wu devised the experiment which disproved this long-held theory -- and was lauded for providing the “solution to the number-one riddle of atomic and nuclear physics" -- she was overlooked when the 1957 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to two of her male colleagues, Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen Ning Yang, for their work on the theoretical aspect of the research. Having to overcome significant sexism during her long career in a heavily male-dominated field, Wu once mused at a 1964 symposium, "I wonder, whether the tiny atoms and nuclei, or the mathematical symbols, or the DNA molecules have any preference for either masculine or feminine treatment.” Wu was born in China and excelled throughout her academic career there, but at the recommendation of one of her graduate supervisors, she set off for the US in 1936 to attend the University of Michigan for her PhD in nuclear physics. However, when she learned that women weren’t allowed to use the front entrance at Michigan, she decided to attend the University of California, Berkeley instead. She completed her PhD in 1940 and was recruited for the Manhattan Project’s Substitute Alloy Materials Laboratories in 1944. There, she helped develop the process for separating uranium metal into uranium-235 and uranium-238 isotopes by gaseous diffusion. After WWII, she took a position at Columbia University, where she would remain for the rest of her highly productive career. Although she was passed over for the Nobel, Wu received many accolades for her pioneering work, including the first ever Wolf Prize in Physics. Wu continued to do research late into her life; she passed away in 1997 at the age of 84.
Posted on 05 Jun 2022
Succeed or Keep Trying: The Motto that Shapes My Perspective
Dr. Joyner Eke's career story is defined by determination - from engineering school in Nigeria, to a PhD from University of Kentucky, to her current work in life-saving scientific research at ThermoFisher Scientific. Read her story for many valuable lessons.
Posted on 30 May 2022
Seeing Milky Way's new black hole is 'only the beginning': US researcher
At just 33 years old, Caltech assistant professor Katie Bouman is already a veteran of two major scientific discoveries. The expert in computational imaging - - developing algorithms to observe distant phenomena - helped create the program that led to the release of the first image of a black hole in a distant galaxy in 2019. She quickly became something of a global science superstar, and was invited to testify before Congress about her work. Now, she has again played a key role in the creation of a groundbreaking image of the supermassive black hole at the heart of our own Milky Way galaxy - a cosmic body known as Sagittarius A*. Her working group within the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, which revealed the stunning image, was tasked with piecing it together from the mass of data garnered by telescopes around the world.
Posted on 30 May 2022
Scientific collaborations are precarious territory for women
By collaborating with other women, whether through informal mentorships and networks, building diverse lab groups or securing savvy co-authorships, female scientists can push back against the systemic barriers to female-led team research. Nobel laureates Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier first met at a 2011 conference in Puerto Rico, where both gave talks about a then little-known biological system called CRISPR–Cas9, which bacteria use as an immune defence. They immediately hit it off. “She was coming to CRISPR from a very different perspective than I was,” Doudna says. “And I liked her.” The two women began working together across fields and continents — Doudna is a biochemist at the University of California, Berkeley. Charpentier, a microbiologist, was at Umeå University in Sweden at the time. Over the next year, they adapted the CRISPR system to edit DNA in any species. The technique is now used to genetically modify organisms for everything from routine laboratory research to agricultural uses and cancer therapies. In 2020, Doudna and Charpentier became the first all-female team to win a Nobel prize, and only the second winning team to include more than one woman. Aside from winning science’s top medal, Doudna calls the collaboration with Charpentier “one of the great joys of my life”. Their complementary scientific expertise and commitment to the collaboration made the work enjoyable.
Posted on 30 May 2022
Women Who Lead the National Science Foundation: Dr. Rosalyn Hobson Hargraves
With an annual budget of $8.8 billion, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) advances research at U.S. colleges and universities and provides opportunities for science education from the precollege to postgraduate level. NSF has had a longstanding commitment to programs that increase participation of people underrepresented in science and technology, including women. One of the Foundation’s most prominent contributions in increasing the representation of women in science is its cross-directorate program for the advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers (ADVANCE), in which it has invested over $270 million since 2001. The Foundation has made a parallel investment in the advancement of women among its staff. Although only two women have been appointed to the top leadership position (not including acting directors) since the first NSF director was appointed in 1951, women today occupy top leadership positions in five of its seven directorates in disciplines spanning geosciences to engineering and as its chief operating officer. In addition, women occupy key positions on its advisory National Science Board, including the current chairperson. One of them is Dr. Rosalyn Hobson Hargraves.
Posted on 09 May 2022
Women to Watch: Dr. Gauri Kulkarni
Dr. Gauri Kulkarni, a regenerative medicine scientist at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, aims to "be the change she wishes to see." She is president of AWIS-North Carolina and is passionate about outreach, mentoring, and STEM education.
Posted on 25 Apr 2022
Women with Impact: Growing Progress at Corteva Agriscience
In her role as Chief Human Resources and Diversity Officer and throughout her career at Corteva Agriscience, she has been privileged to work with some of the most innovative and inspiring women in the science, technology, and agricultural fields. Every day, she see's women who are passionate about the role of science in feeding, fueling, and securing the world, strengthening communities, improving the environment, and empowering millions of farmers with the support they need to run healthy, viable, and sustainable businesses. While Corteva is still a young company (they were spun off from Dow and DuPont less than three years ago), they are maturing and unifying behind a powerful “culture of belonging” that is foundational to fulfilling our innovation, diversity, and equity (ID&E) aspirations. Read about four of the leaders - women who are advancing our ID&E initiatives, enhancing science, innovating agriculture, and inspiring colleagues and peers the world over.
Posted on 25 Apr 2022
Women Making History in Cybersecurity: Anisha Patel
In September 2021, Girls Who Code partnered with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to develop pathways for young women to pursue careers in cybersecurity and technology. This partnership seeks to tackle diversity disparities by heightening the awareness of cybersecurity and technology careers and working with employers to build tangible pathways for young women, especially young women of color, to get hands-on experience in the private sector and the non-profit sector or government. Their first collaborative initiative is a series of features of women who work in the cybersecurity field, including the exciting work CISA employees are doing. In this article they’re spotlighting Anisha Patel, Director of Program Management at Raytheon Technologies, where she helps lead a 400+ person workforce and manages the activities associated with the software development and Operations Maintenance necessary to maintain the security of large scale networks in use by the US Government.
Posted on 28 Mar 2022
Designer Elements: How Irène Joliot-Curie's Nobel Prize-Winning Discovery Saved Millions of Lives
Radiation can be dangerous, even deadly - but it has also saved millions of lives thanks to Irène Joliot-Curie's discovery of artificial radiation! Joliot-Curie, the daughter of Marie Curie, the first woman ever to win a Nobel Prize, carried on her mother's legacy of scientific study. Joliot-Curie's groundbreaking research allowed scientists to produce 'designer' radioactive elements quickly and easily, making them widely available for use in research and medical treatment for the first time. This discovery won Joliot-Curie and her husband, Frédéric Joliot-Curie, the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1935, cementing her place in scientific history - and making the Curies the family with the most Nobel laureates to date.
Posted on 28 Mar 2022

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