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Posts tagged "women"

kenobi-wan-obi:

A Tribute to Dr. Beth A. Brown: Fallen Star

She lit up a room with her wonderful smile; she made everyone in her presence feel that they were important.

On October 5, 2008 one of our rising stars in Astronomy had fallen. Dr. Beth Brown was an Astrophysicist in the Sciences and Exploration Directorate at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Beth was always fascinated by space; she grew up watching “Star Trek” and “Star Wars”, which motivated her to become an astronaut.

Beth pursued her study of the stars more seriously at Howard University where she majored in physics and astronomy. Though learning that her nearsightedness would limit her chances of becoming an astronaut, Beth’s love for astronomy continued to grow and she graduated summa cum laude from Howard University.

Beth continued her education at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. There she received a Master’s Degree in Astronomy in 1994 on elliptical galaxies and she obtained her Ph.D. in 1998, becoming the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate in Astronomy from the University of Michigan.

After completing her graduate work, Dr. Brown came to NASA Goddard as a National Academy of Science/National Research Council (NAS/NRC) Post-Doctoral Research Associate. In 2001, she was appointed as an Astrophysicist Fellow in the NASA Administrator’s fellowship Program (NAFP) and was named a Visiting Assistant Professor at Howard University. Her most recent position was Assistant Director for Science Communications and Higher Education in the Science and Exploration Directorate at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Astronomy community mourns the loss of Dr. Brown for her contributions to the field of astronomy and her contributions in inspiring women and minorities to pursue careers in astrophysics. The Women in Astronomy and Space Science Conference 2009 is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Beth A. Brown (1969-2008).

The astronomical community lost one of its most buoyant and caring individuals when Beth Brown died, unexpectedly, at the age of 39 from a pulmonary embolism. (Obituary: Beth Brown (1969-2008) adsabs.harvard.edu)

classictrek:

Nichelle Nichols talks to a group of students at NASA Mission Control in 1977 and visits the Lewis Research center that same year.

In the mid-1970s, Nichols has given a speech that criticized NASA for not selecting women and people of color as astronaut candidates. The agency’s response was to hire her to find and recruit talented minorities and women, and she did exactly that. In her tenure as a recruiter, she helped the agency bring five women, three African American men and an Asian American male on board.

(via kenobi-wan-obi)

women-in-science:

The Australian Academy of Science has announced the new Nancy Millis Medal to recognise Australian women scientists.

The medal has been struck by the academy as a tribute to the late Emeritus Professor Nancy Millis, who introduced fermentation technologies to Australia and created the first applied microbiology course taught at an Australian university.

- See more at: http://lifescientist.com.au/content/life-sciences/news/new-medal-for-women-in-science-1349992889#sthash.KlVGKc0j.dpuf

(via kenobi-wan-obi)

neurosciencestuff:

Menstrual Cycle Influences Concussion Outcomes

Researchers found that women injured during the two weeks leading up to their period (the premenstrual phase) had a slower recovery and poorer health one month after injury compared to women injured during the two weeks directly after their period or women taking birth control pills.

The University of Rochester study was published today in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. If confirmed in subsequent research, the findings could alter the treatment and prognosis of women who suffer head injuries from sports, falls, car accidents or combat.

Several recent studies have confirmed what women and their physicians anecdotally have known for years: Women experience greater cognitive decline, poorer reaction times, more headaches, extended periods of depression, longer hospital stays and delayed return-to-work compared to men following head injury. Such results are particularly pronounced in women of childbearing age; girls who have not started their period and post-menopausal women have outcomes similar to men.

Few studies have explored why such differences occur, but senior author Jeffrey J. Bazarian, M.D., M.P.H. says it stands to reason that sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, which are highest in women of childbearing age, may play a role.

“I don’t think doctors consider menstrual history when evaluating a patient after a concussion, but maybe we should,” noted Bazarian, associate professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry who treats patients and conducts research on traumatic brain injury and long-term outcomes among athletes. “By taking into account the stage of their cycle at the time of injury we could better identify patients who might need more aggressive monitoring or treatment. It would also allow us to counsel women that they’re more – or less – likely to feel poorly because of their menstrual phase.”

Although media coverage tends to focus on concussions in male professional athletes, studies suggest that women have a higher incidence of head injuries than men playing sports with similar rules, such as ice hockey, soccer and basketball. Bazarian estimates that 70 percent of the patients he treats in the URMC Sport Concussion Clinic are young women. He believes the number is so high because they often need more follow-up care. In his experience, soccer is the most common sport leading to head injuries in women, but lacrosse, field hockey, cheerleading, volleyball and basketball can lead to injuries as well.

Sex hormone levels often change after a head injury, as women who have suffered a concussion and subsequently missed one or more periods can attest. According to Kathleen M. Hoeger, M.D., M.P.H., study co-author and professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, any stressful event, like a hit to the head, can shut down the pituitary gland in the brain, which is the body’s hormone generator. If the pituitary doesn’t work, the level of estrogen and progesterone would drop quickly.  

According to Bazarian, progesterone is known to have a calming effect on the brain and on mood. Knowing this, his team came up with the “withdrawal hypothesis”: If a woman suffers a concussion in the premenstrual phase when progesterone levels are naturally high, an abrupt drop in progesterone after injury produces a kind of withdrawal which either contributes to or worsens post concussive symptoms like headache, nausea, dizziness and trouble concentrating. This may be why women recover differently than men, who have low pre-injury levels of the hormone.     

Hoeger and Bazarian tested their theory by recruiting144 women ages 18 to 60 who arrived within four hours of a head hit at five emergency departments in upstate New York and one in Pennsylvania. Participants gave blood within six hours of injury and progesterone level determined the menstrual cycle phase at the time of injury. Based on the results, participants fell into three groups: 37 in the premenstrual/high progesterone group; 72 in the low progesterone group (progesterone is low in the two weeks directly after a period); and 35 in the birth control group based on self-reported use.

One month later, women in the premenstrual/high progesterone group were twice as likely to score in a worse percentile on standardized tests that measure concussion recovery and quality of life – as defined by mobility, self-care, usual activity, pain and emotional health – compared to women in the low progesterone group. Women in the premenstrual/high progesterone group also scored the lowest (average 65) on a health rating scale that went from 0, being the worst health imaginable, to 100, being the best. Women in the birth control group had the highest scores (average 77).

“If you get hit when progesterone is high and you experience a steep drop in the hormone, this is what makes you feel lousy and causes symptoms to linger,” said Bazarian. “But, if you are injured when progesterone is already low, a hit to the head can’t lower it any further, so there is less change in the way you feel.”

The team suspected that women taking birth control pills, which contain synthetic hormones that mimic the action of progesterone, would have similar outcomes to women injured in the low progesterone phase of their cycle. As expected, there was no clear difference between these groups, as women taking birth control pills have a constant stream of sex hormones and don’t experience a drop following a head hit, so long as they continue to take the pill.    

“Women who are very athletic get several benefits from the pill; it protects their bones and keeps their periods predictable,” noted Hoeger. “If larger studies confirm our data, this could be one more way in which the pill is helpful in athletic women, especially women who participate in sports like soccer that present lots of opportunities for head injuries.”

In addition to determining menstrual cycle phase at the time of injury, Bazarian plans to scrutinize a woman’s cycles after injury to make sure they are not disrupted. If they are, the woman should make an appointment with her gynecologist to discuss the change.

(via kenobi-wan-obi)

petribitch:

Black Women at M.I.T. (1994)

(via kenobi-wan-obi)

I’m a female chemist working toward my PhD. Like the previous respondent, I didn’t encounter much in the way of sexism during undergrad. Now I’m starting to notice it. I recently went to a symposium on industrial chemistry. All of the speakers and most of the audience were white and male. These speakers also demonstrated that the automatic generic pronoun in chemistry is still he/him/guys. Thankfully, the ratios in my research lab are much more balanced, but it was a rude awakening to find this kind of thing in the industrial side of the profession.

My sister majored in math and physics. Once, at a dance club, a European man tried to guess what she was studying. He began with English and languages, worked his way through the humanities, and finally edged into the sciences with increasing skepticism. He never did guess math, and was astonished to find that was the answer.

This kind of attitude inspires me to be a “loud and proud” female scientist, to resist the urge to downplay my intelligence and my accomplishments, and to encourage and praise my fellow women in STEM.

kenobi-wan-obi:

zombieflorence:

Roshini “Rose” Muniam has officially won & will go to space! I feel proud to be apart of tumblr & the fact that we can unite to kick mysogny in the balls & helped this amazing woman realize her dreams. 

 ”I hope to reduce the gender-gap and to set a trend amongst our women, youth and the rest of the world, to put their dreams into action, and make it a reality. As an educationist, I want to inspire ordinary people to have extraordinary dreams.” -Rose

I don’t know if this is the sort of thing you are looking for, but here is my personal experience.

I am a female, attending my senior year in a small US high school.  Science has always been my passion, and I can’t imagine myself going in to any other field.  I am very excited to go on to college and get (at least) a B.A. in Biology.  I would like to minor in Journalism, and either go on to grad school or go into the working world as a Scientific Reporter.  That is only one option I have, but regardless of the major, I have no doubt that I will be in a STEM field. Again, I am very passionate about science, and will talk about my options to anyone who asks me about my college plans.  

My gender is always a problem when I tell people about my interest in STEM fields.  They tell me that I should have a backup plan, or that I should consider a different major.  Some are more subtle, and simply imply that my chosen major may be a little too difficult.  I have never witnessed my male classmates getting that sort of reaction.  It is as though my gender makes me ill-suited to the field, especially in the eyes of my teachers and parents.

It is easy to imagine the effects that their doubt has on me.  Knowing that my mentors do not support me makes me hesitant to talk about my love of science.  It also makes me worry that one day I will struggle to find a job, simply because of my gender.  I now doubt my worth in not only STEM, but in society.  Sometimes I think that going to college won’t be worth it, because a male will be picked over me in a professional situation.

This is a issue that hits very close to home for me.  It hurts to be discredited before I even have a chance to begin a career.

Thank you for bringing awareness to this issue, I wish you luck.

blackchildrensbooksandauthors:


African-American Women Chemists
Jeannette E. Brown
This book profiles the lives of numerous women, ranging from the earliest pioneers up until the late 1960’s when the Civil Rights Acts sparked greater career opportunities. Brown examines each woman’s motivation to pursue chemistry, describes their struggles to obtain an education and their efforts to succeed in a field in which there were few African American men, much less African American women, and details their often quite significant accomplishments. The book looks at chemists in academia, industry, and government, as well as chemical engineers, whose career path is very different from that of the tradition chemist, and it concludes with a chapter on the future of African American women chemists, which will be of interest to all women interested in a career in science.

blackchildrensbooksandauthors:

African-American Women Chemists

Jeannette E. Brown

This book profiles the lives of numerous women, ranging from the earliest pioneers up until the late 1960’s when the Civil Rights Acts sparked greater career opportunities. Brown examines each woman’s motivation to pursue chemistry, describes their struggles to obtain an education and their efforts to succeed in a field in which there were few African American men, much less African American women, and details their often quite significant accomplishments. The book looks at chemists in academia, industry, and government, as well as chemical engineers, whose career path is very different from that of the tradition chemist, and it concludes with a chapter on the future of African American women chemists, which will be of interest to all women interested in a career in science.

(via kenobi-wan-obi)

theatlantic:

The Brogrammer Effect: Women Are a Small (and Shrinking) Share of Computer Workers

In 1990, more than 30 percent of computer workers were women. Now it’s just 27 percent. 

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

(via gjmueller)

explore-blog:

Pioneering astronomer Maria Mitchell, born on August 1, 1818, on science and life.

(via astro-stoner)

But the female mind has demonstrated a capacity for all the mental acquirements and achievements of men, and as generations ensue that capacity will be expanded; the average woman will be as well educated as the average man, and then better educated, for the dormant faculties of her brain will be stimulated to an activity that will be all the more intense and powerful because of centuries of repose. Woman will ignore precedent and startle civilization with their progress.
Nikola Tesla

coolchicksfromhistory:

Justine Johnstone Wagner (1895-1982) appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies and was a called the most beautiful blonde on Broadway.  She also appeared in a handful of silent films before retiring from acting to attend Columbia University.  At Columbia she was part of the team to develop the first IV drip. Justine was third author after Samuel Hirshberg and Harold T. Hyman on the paper announcing this development in 1931.  Justine later had a personal laboratory built in her cellar where she researched endocrinology, cancer, and syphilis   

explore-blog:

Actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr was once called “the most beautiful woman in the world.” She also gave us the technology that laid the groundwork for Wifi and Bluetooth.