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I have now posted 24 diaries concerning the contributions of women to science prior to the 21st Century.  These have been:

Barbara McClintock http://www.dailykos.com/...

Augusta Ada King Countess of Lovelace http://www.dailykos.com/...

Hypatia http://www.dailykos.com/...

Jeanne Baret http://www.dailykos.com/...

Margaret Ursula Mee http://www.dailykos.com/...

Jane Colden http://www.dailykos.com/...

Rachel Carson http://www.dailykos.com/...

Florence Bascom http://www.dailykos.com/...

Rosalind-Franklin http://www.dailykos.com/...

Henrietta Swan Leavitt http://www.dailykos.com/...

Florence Merriam Bailey http://www.dailykos.com/...

Edith Marion Patch http://www.dailykos.com/...

Maria Mitchell http://www.dailykos.com/...

Annie Jump Cannon http://www.dailykos.com/...

Alice Gray http://www.dailykos.com/...

Mary Davis Treat http://www.dailykos.com/...

Ann Haven Morgan http://www.dailykos.com/...

Arabella Buckley http://www.dailykos.com/...

Maria Sibylla Merian http://www.dailykos.com/...

Elizabeth Gifford Peckham http://www.dailykos.com/...

Lise Meitner http://www.dailykos.com/...

Cecilia Payne Gaposchkin http://www.dailykos.com/...

Beatrix Potter http://www.dailykos.com/...

Libbie Hyman http://www.dailykos.com/...

There are many more women in science and mathematics and I will continue to add to the list with such as Marie Curie, Irene Joliot-Curie, Mary Ball, Margaret Rae MacKay, Cynthia Longfield, Annie Trumbull Slosson, Maria Gaetana Agnesi, Doris Cochran, Anna Botsford Comstock, Caroline Herschel, Martha Euphemia Lofton Haynes, Mary Leakey, Marie Victorie Lebour, Margaret Mead, Ruth Benedict, and others.  It is indeed remarkable that so many women made a mark of some sort in science and/or mathematics before women were even recognized as competent in these areas. Fortunately this has changed (although we still have some vestiges of this attitude left) and the numbers of women in science have continued to grow. This is one reason I have limited my diaries to women in science and mathematics who died before 2000, as the numbers have risen almost exponentially and in some fields women are now more numerous than men.  Unfortunately my criteria preclude many very remarkable women scientists, including most of African descent. Being both female and black was a terrible burden and it is only recently that African women have had the opportunity to advance in science and most of these are still alive. One exception was the mathematician Martha Euphemia Lofton Haynes.

A few years ago I heard a speech by Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who with Anthony Hewish and several others, published the discovery of pulsars, but unlike Hewish, did not receive the Nobel Prize (even though she actually made the discovery and was second on the list of authors.) The Nobel Committee's decision was roundly condemned, especially by the astronomer Fred Hoyle. Some wag called Hewish's award the "No Bell" prize. Significantly the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Albuquerque, where I was a judge, scheduled her with several Nobel Prize Laureates.  Times do not change as rapidly as we would like, but at least such injustices are now more readily noted.

As for my own experience I can say that I have been at three institutions when they hired their first tenure-track female faculty members. In each case the inclusion of women enriched the community.  This is not to say that there have never been women, like men, who have been bad scientists (one of Lysenko's apologists in the Soviet Union is a good example), but only that women are generally as competent as men and that they often bring a different perspective that aids in understanding, especially in biology. Some are truly brilliant in a given area of study. I have worked with a fair number of women in research projects and had three women as successful graduate students, all of whom published at least some part of their work.  A forth female graduate student who quit because of financial reasons, had her research published after she left.  Female faculty members with whom I have collaborated were certainly the equals of male faculty with whom I have also published.

Perhaps I am also influenced by having two daughters and a foster daughter who have followed careers in applied sciences (various branches of medical science), but even before I married and had children I was influenced by reading publications by women (such as Eugenie Clark, the ichthyologist, who is still alive, and Alice Gray, the entomologist, who I have featured in a diary), as well as men, who wrote on scientific subjects. I perceived no real quantitive or qualitative differences in ability. It is, I decided, best to judge scientists by what they do, not who they are. Nobody should be given either a free ride or a deaf ear because they are of one sex or another, or for that matter, one class or another. To do so is perhaps to deny the insights that may lead to major breakthroughs, such as Barbara McClintock's controlling and jumping genes, Jane Goodall's original work on chimpanzee behavior, or Rachel Carson's understanding of the cumulative effects of pesticides on the environment. This would be a waste of potential knowledge and interpretation of that knowledge.

This is why I took on this task, even though I am a male scientist. We are at a crossroad in our relationship with the earth's environments and we as a species need all the insights, breakthroughs, and applications that science can provide to solve the problems involved, if indeed they can be solved. To deny the potential of over half the world's people to aid in this great and imperative task is, I think, a great stupidity and indeed a great crime.    

Originally posted to Desert Scientist on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 06:13 PM PST.

Also republished by SciTech, Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism, J Town, Sexism and Patriarchy, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I was one of those "first woman hires" at UNM (9+ / 0-)

      and I have evidence of a positive effect on the thousands of undergraduate women who sought out my science classes over the years.

      With my 30+ male colleagues, not so much.

      So thanks ever so much for doing this, even if you were a "majority" hire.

      ;-)

      (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 12.6 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

      by argomd on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 06:48:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I really understand the problems ... (7+ / 0-)

        because it took me 25 years to rise from a post-doc- staff position to faculty!  In my case it was because of a prejudice against biocontrol and taxonomy and the political climate of the day, which was just coming out of the spray and count days pre-Rachel Carson.  A few years ago, with the help of a female scientist, a new department head and a new dean, the stars aligned and I was appointed to the faculty. Two years later I went through the P&T process and was awarded a full professorship, with unanimous decisions by both departmental and college P & T committees.

        Thus I well understand the problems, even if I am not female. I may not have been a woman, but then neither was I a good ol' boy and I hated to spend time in bars and pool halls breathing cigarette smoke, dealing with drunks, making crude jokes, and talking football and bird dogs, with the guys.  I guess I'll never understand some other members of my sex. There is nothing more pitiful in my mind than a smoke-filled poolhall in the late night!  These are my opinions and I am not necessarily disparaging people who enjoy such activities and places (and I've met a few women who seem at home in such venues), but it ain't my style.

        •  Twenty-five years??? Yikes! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Desert Scientist, ladybug53

          To have endured that wait even while your field was undergoing major evolution, with its standards in constant flux... I can't imagine having the strength for that.

          Now you don't need this astro person to tell you that it wasn't the alignment of stars but the sanity of good people who recognized your quality.  Take credit where it's due!  

          In all my astrophysical research, I don't think I ever connected stellar or planetary alignments to anything other than sleepy excitement in the telescope control room at 330AM.  

          Luckily for us, it was very tough to be a smoker and an astronomer (though at Palomar one could occasionally imbibe while observing at the 5m), and we were always socially-inappropriate geeks.  It was bad enough to spend 12 hours of dark time shut up in a control room with a vegetarian, if you get my drift.

          Thanks for your wisdom and for your skill writing about it.  Your empathy is well-earned, and you are spending it wisely.  

          (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 12.6 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

          by argomd on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 09:47:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks! I of course don't believe ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ladybug53

            that stars had anything to do with it, but I had given up on ever getting a faculty position when a certain dept. head made the mistake of promoting another staffer ahead of me.  This staffer was not well liked by the faculty and they quickly brought up the inequity.  He made a half-hearted effort to promote me and (as I found out later) the paperwork had disappeared into the dean's office.  However we got a new interim provost, a new dean, and a new dept. head and at least one female faculty member who was determined to get me promoted.  The new dept. head almost immediately sent the paperwork to the dean, who signed off on it and sent it to the provost, who within a month signed my appointment as a College Associate Professor.  Both the dean and the faculty member (bless her!) pushed me to formally submit my package to the P & T committees to get a full professorship and the rest is history.

            •  You were appointed directly to Associate? Wow! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Desert Scientist

              Unless in your institution it was the Full that gave tenure.  It is wonderful to know that sometimes, sometimes!! the right thing is done, through whatever twists and turns.

              Have you ever served on a P&T committee yourself?  I chaired one for a couple of years and it was an unalloyed nightmare.  Problems from the med school kept us busier than all the rest of the campuses put together.  It would have been a welcome relief to have been presented a case like yours.  And a delight.  And a quick decision.

              Again, many thanks for what you're doing.

              (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 12.6 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

              by argomd on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 04:48:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, tenure is a different matter! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                argomd

                But it did not matter in the end.  I still got a very nice retirement package and emeritus status, and I got to sit on several P & T committees (although I could only recommend promotion, not tenure).  It was on one of these committees that I signed off on the promotion of our first African faculty member (not African-American).  That was a great privilege.

              •  I should have noted that tenure was not .... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                argomd

                part of the deal, although after 25 years that hardly mattered (although it would have been nice).  The university had developed a "parallel" system of faculty (although they would deny that it was parallell.) They called it the "College System."  I thus retired with a College Professor ranking, making me eligible for emeritus status.  Still College Professor beat the heck out of Science Specialist.

                By the time I was appointed to the faculty I had fifty journal articles, over 100 non-journal articles, one book-length manual, and twelve book chapters, plus seven successful graduate students and had built a museum serving several thousand K-12 students per year, with a research collection of over 30,000 databased specimens and over 70,000 non-databased specimens.  

      •  I was a "first woman" hire but a token one (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        argomd, BachFan, ladybug53, whaddaya, offred

        The biology department at the University where I was originally hired was going to be denied an NSF program grant because there were no women faculty in the department.

        They "promised" NSF that they would hire a woman into their next opening and then proceeded to interview only women for the position.  I was the "lucky" hire.

        Come time for tenure I suddenly didn't measure up to their superior (made up) standards and was denied because I was deemed to be "ineffective" in research.

        It was the best thing that ever happened to me and now I have a successful career in clinical diagnostics with more prominent highly-cited research publications than most of the senior members (still male dominated) of that department.

        Thank you Desert Scientist for this series.  The education of others as to women's contributions to science can only help.

        •  My response has gone into the ether. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Desert Scientist, ladybug53, whaddaya

          But I'll try to reconstruct it.

          Your experience was more common than mine back then.  It was probably the then-chair of my department who hired me with 2 years toward tenure, connected me with tenured, process-astute women elsewhere on campus, ignored the bleatings of "she just slept her way into her (observing time,dissertation,PhD,post-doc, et al.), and thus helped me squeak through with tenure past colleagues who in the end seemed unwilling to go public with their preCambrian attitudes.  Daniel, if you're listening, thanks again, and say hi to Judith for me.

          But look at you!  You went on past your heavily encrusted past colleagues to excel in a field that is still heavily male-dominated, from what I read elsewhere.  You did that.  You.  I don't think I would have survived as you have.

          Kudos, MEL!

          (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 12.6 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

          by argomd on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 09:56:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Exactly, Desert Scientist. (15+ / 0-)
    We are at a crossroad in our relationship with the earth's environments and we as a species need all the insights, breakthroughs, and applications that science can provide to solve the problems involved, if indeed they can be solved. To deny the potential of over half the world's people to aid in this great and imperative task is, I think, a great stupidity and indeed a great crime.
    I hope that at least some girls who read your diaries are inspired to think about becoming scientists. Thank you so much for this series.

    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

    by nomandates on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 06:54:11 PM PST

  •  I have so enjoyed this series. (17+ / 0-)

    I was lucky to have parents who encouraged my interest in science, but was actively discouraged later on - this was in the early 60's - because, well, girls need to think about families, you know... and science is hard, you know... and there aren't many successful women scientists anyway, just so you know.....

    I do specialized lab management, a supporting role in the research world. It has been a satisfying niche. My group has two women faculty members and twelve men. Obviously, there's still a ways to go. However, for the first time since I started doing this I'm seeing a predominance of women students (undergrad and graduate) as well as post-docs in our group. A few of them are going to move into senior positions as elder scientists retire.

    I'm so pleased to be able to help these young women on their paths. Still, there's part of me that wishes I'd known PH when I started out. This would have been so helpful then. I had no clue.
     

    I came for the politics and stayed for the science.

    by bwren on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 06:58:00 PM PST

  •  Admiral Grace Hopper (18+ / 0-)

    Would be a great choice

    My late father often talked about the people who did groundbreaking work and then some other person with more skills at self-promotion get the credit.  Not always women who got the short end of the stick, but often.  He had several books about Rosalind Franklin and Caroline Herschel.

  •  Margaret Dayhoff (11+ / 0-)

    Any list of great women scientists is incomplete without mentioning Margaret Dayhoff.

    She practically initiated the whole field of Bioinformatics.

    Sequence Alignment, Protein modeling, the genetic basis of evolution - she was the pioneer and revolutionized the biological sciences, harnessing the power of computers to solve biological problems.

    Without her work, the human genome project could not have succeed.

    There is not a single biologist today who doesn't apply her theories.

    I would put her on the same level of Marie Curie (if not higher, and I'm a physicist....)

    Queror Ergo Sum. -- Rene Descartes Shakshuka

    by The Revenge of Shakshuka on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 11:40:15 PM PST

  •  thanks for all the good work (9+ / 0-)

    PLEASE donate to a global children's PEACE project: Chalk 4 Peace

    by RumsfeldResign on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 03:33:10 AM PST

  •  This is an excellent series (9+ / 0-)

    I am sorry it doesn't get more attention.  I was a bit worried when I saw the title that it meant you were going to stop.  Very glad to see that isn't the case.

    "To see both sides of a quarrel, is to judge without hate or alarm" - Richard Thompson

    by matching mole on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 04:49:53 AM PST

  •  As a female scientist, I give this series (15+ / 0-)

    two enthusiastic thumbs up! I encountered some obstacles (including a freshman advisor who told me not to go into any field of science, as I didn't "have what it takes") but thanks to my father who encouraged me and my own pesky tenacity, I went on enjoy a 37-year career.

    Please keep this series going - it's fascinating, inspiring, an a great reminder that the choices we take for granted today were much more difficult for the women who went before us.

    Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

    by cassandracarolina on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 04:59:38 AM PST

  •  Seems self-evident now, doesn't it (7+ / 0-)

    I mean, why wouldn't women be great scientists? It is brainwork and character, and they have a brain and character.

    We no doubt evolved as co-hunter/gatherers, which we were for 98% of our time as a species. Doubtless the prejudice against women in science started when they were saddled with childrearing responsibilities while the men worked the agricultural fields. To which of course, one must place a fair amount of blame on organized religion which constantly stressed a patriarchal heirarchy.

    An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

    by MichiganChet on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 05:52:10 AM PST

  •  Have you seen the current issue of Nature? (7+ / 0-)

    The current issue has a large section discussing ways to increase opportunities for women in science.

    Be radical in your compassion.

    by DWG on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 05:57:30 AM PST

    •  Here are excerpts from the editorial in Nature (4+ / 0-)

      It is an excellent summary of the issues.

      Whether female scientists will want to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March may depend on how far they look back in time. Things have changed, and if you talk in terms of decades, there are considerable victories to cheer about. But despite those victories, progress now seems to have stalled.

      That is clear from the package of articles in this week’s Nature (see nature.com/women) that exposes the dismaying extent to which sexism still exists in science. In the United States and Europe, around half of those who gain doctoral degrees in science and engineering are female — but barely one-fifth of full professors are women. Women are not invited in significant numbers to sit on the scientific advisory boards of start-up companies. A scientific conference at which half of the keynote speakers are women stands out simply because of that.

      It goes on to discuss political barriers (aka institutional and institutionalized sexism) and the need to increase profile. Your wonderful series is an example of why the profile needs to be increased.
      One useful tool is the online platform AcademiaNet (http://academianet.info), created by the Stuttgart-based Robert Bosch Foundation in Germany in cooperation with Spektrum der Wissenschaft, the German edition of Scientific American (which is owned by the Nature Publishing Group). AcademiaNet gives a web presence to high-achieving female scientists, making them visible to conference-programme committees seeking female speakers, journalists seeking experts to quote, head-hunters seeking board members and the like. The network will become even more important as work to address gender imbalance accelerates. With successful women being both fewer and less likely to push themselves forward than their male counterparts, they can be hard to find for even the most enthusiastic gender-balancer.

      Be radical in your compassion.

      by DWG on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 06:34:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There are so many ... (5+ / 0-)

    But my favorite is Maud Menten, of Michaelis-Menten fame (known to all biochemists).  A medical science pioneer equivalent to Marie Curie in physics at a similar time.

  •  Inge Lehman discovered the Earth's Inner Core (6+ / 0-)

    and Maria Goeppert-Mayer made key discoveries on the structure of the atomic nucleus, work which she received the Nobel Prize in Physics, 1963 http://www.nobelprize.org/...

    Two more for your list.  I has others.  :) dm me.

    "We must close union offices, confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison. We must reduce workers salaries and take away their right to strike.” -Adolf Hitler, May 2, 1933

    by bekosiluvu on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 06:23:28 AM PST

  •  I was fortunate enough to work (7+ / 0-)

    in a premier science facility (I am not a scientist) for 5 years.  I observed several discussions between physicists and high school classes where the physicists encouraged the young women to pursue physics and math.  Especially the engineers, because they told the classes that the women they had worked with brought a different perspective to projects that often saved the day or turned the project ideas in a new direction. One scientist said that as a male, he tended to charge ahead with a sort of tunnel vision sometimes and that the women scientists were better at broader views and anticipation of problems down the road.

    •  Absolutely! (7+ / 0-)

      Two of my collaborators over the years have brought such a broad perspective to our joint projects.  Working with those two almost always resulted in accomplishment, while I have had a few male collaborators who were almost impossible to work with.

      I can say that my primary national scientific society always had a significant female membership and indeed our first president was a woman.  When I ran for president I was defeated by a young female scientist.  When I went up to congratulate her she said "How did this happen - I voted for you!" I replied that I had voted for her.  I have been a member of the society since its inception in 1972. It is the American Arachnological Society - so much for women being afraid of spiders!

  •  Bragging Here (9+ / 0-)

    My grandniece is studying to get her degree is nano technology. One proud Aunt here.

    "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." Oscar Wilde

    by michelewln on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 07:02:57 AM PST

  •  Female scientist here (4+ / 0-)

    Please keep the diaries coming! I really do appreciate them.

  •  Another female scientist (6+ / 0-)

    I am old enough that I was "steered" into social science because soft science was seen as better for women.  But, I specialized in medical applications and statistics.  I have had a successful career almost ready to retire.  I am often surprised by how little is put forth to young girls about all the female contributors to science and medicine.  

    Virginia Apgar, MD for example designed the Apgar test for babies and I never knew who "Apgar" was until recently.  Many of my younger female students have very misguided ideas about what it takes to "do" science.  More of us women need to show girls that they can be themselves and still be a scientist...not some nerdy, unemotional person shown in media without children.  We can be ourselves and do science too!

    Thanks for your enlightening series!

    •  As an aside, (0+ / 0-)

      Virginia Apgar was one of the rare people who achieved excellence in two completely unrelated fields. She also became an outstanding violin maker in her spare time.

      Her vocation and avocation intersected once: she stole a wooden shelf from a phone booth at New York Presbyterian Hospital to use as the back of a viola. The viola, shown here, was eventually donated to Columbia University along with two violins and a cello by Apgar.

  •  Please don't forget (8+ / 0-)

    how many of us are working in science without recognition.  I am a staff biologist for NOAA, working everyday to try and prevent the extinction of some remarkable organisms ..... but I still work in a "Good Old Boys" environment and watch my male co-workers with less education and less experience get rewarded and promoted before me.  I have seen several great women leave this work because of the atmosphere, and this is from men who consider themselves "enlightened".

    "Life is a tragedy for those who feel, a comedy for those who think" - Jean de la Bruyere

    by Tinuviel on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 08:44:20 AM PST

  •  Chauvinism almost derailed my career... (3+ / 0-)

    ...and I'm a guy!

    How did this happen?  To make a long, complex story short, it started with one of the first woman hires at a university not my own.  She was absolutely put through the wringer - she had to sleep around to get tenure.  That made her (with some justification!) incredibly bitter, and gave her an absolute loathing of male scientists.

    She then took the person that was to become my mentor into her lab, and trained her in her attitudes, including her attitudes toward me.  

    A few years pass, and her ex-postdoc, now an assistant professor, takes me on as her grad student, simply to get at my supplemental grant funding - I had a disability, and that gave me access to independent money.  The moment she had my grant, she started a campaign to get rid of me, which only ended when my program chair pulled me out of her lab and took me into his.  There were quite a few signs that this was due to her anti-male chauvinism, but it's not something that will ever be proven (and it is a moon point anyway).

    So what is the point of this whole tale?  The extreme chauvinism of the scientific community left a poisonous legacy - a legacy which doesn't just affect women trying to get into science, but us guys, too.  And I learned in those two years...chauvinism can cut both ways, and as the scales finally balance between men and women (as they should be!), you'll get unethical jerks of both sexes, too!

    •  Thanks to all the women scientists (8+ / 0-)

      listed in this diary and who are commenting on this diary, it has never occurred to my 18-year-old daughter that science is a male-dominated field of study and practice. She's not unaware, but is baffled by what the hell the problem is when she hears the stories.

      Compared to me, who simply expects sexism at every step in life in general and is prepared to do battle or walk away or cope or whatever each situation requires. Not saying all problems solved, but it's great to see the shift in attitude in our youth toward sexism, racism -- all the negative isms.  

      Yes, I know, not all youth, but I think the shift is significant and I hope more barriers crumble as it continues.

      Great series, by the way.

      •  Despite my experience... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Desert Scientist, GreenMother

        ...if I ever do end up running a lab (a sadly doubtful outcome at this point) I certainly am not going to be taking gender into account when I do my hiring.  Wouldn't have before, but being exposed to that particular P.I. sealed it.

        If someone's smart, competent and likes their field, they deserve a place in a lab, whether they have a Y chromosome or not!

        •  My comment was meant (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ArchTeryx, ladybug53, GreenMother

          to be a general comment on the diary and not a reply to your comment, which raises a valid point of view.

          Sorry if my mistake was misleading.

          I'm familiar with situations like yours and it is sad when women play the game that was originally used against them. Even sadder that hiring has ever been based on chromosomes.

          •  Nono, not at all misleading. (4+ / 0-)

            It was more of a general "on the record" statement.  I didn't want my one bad experience to hurt my general attitude.

            Really, my "Berzerk Button" is how precious few jobs there are these days in science, which hurts ALL of us, and tends to greatly exaggerate artificial divisions like gender.  The smaller the lifeboat gets, the more nasty the politics within about who gets to stay in it and who gets tossed out.

    •  This is a problem with treating others badly .... (4+ / 0-)

      it may come back on innocent people later.  Poisonous atmospheres affect everybody!

      •  And that is the moral of my tale. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Desert Scientist, ladybug53

        The cycle of hate can go on for generations, even in the workplace.  

        Though, to be fair, that particular P.I. was a real piece of work in general: after I left, she hired an East Indian (woman) postdoc, and proceed to drive HER out of the lab, too.  The only one that was ever safe from her attitude was her technician, whom she treated with kid gloves (and that fooled a lot of people).

        The corollary of that moral is that a corrupt environment allows the unethical to thrive and rapidly drives out the honest people.  And the whole "Good Old Boys Club" is the very definition of a corrupt atmosphere.

    •  This is a great comment that should be a diary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Desert Scientist

      Because everything you say is so incredibly true. It speaks well of you, to have the ability and the empathy to see why she acted as she did, even though it was terribly wrong to treat others that way.

      Traumatizing people like she was--and having to do that to realize your dream is a trauma, leaves indelible marks on a person. And they may never realize how well they learned those "lessons" as they inflict the same pain on others.

      Seriously, make this is a diary, I will be there with bells on!

  •  I love women in science! (3+ / 0-)

    Well, I love my wife, UTVoter, and she's a scientist.

    :)

    Obama, Emanuel, Geithner, Summers, Holder, Breuer. With principal-defeating pragmatism stacked that deep, no way in hell justice, the 99% and the just demise of supply-side economics had a chance. We were robbed, and not just by Wall St.

    by Words In Action on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 01:13:22 PM PST

  •  I'm forwarding this to my daughter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Desert Scientist, offred

    who is a physics major at the University of Texas, and who just got a summer internship at Sandia Labs in Albuquerque.  Hooray! I am a Yankee, but also a UNM grad (MBA) and delighted that another generation of the family is going to fall in love with New Mexico.

  •  My Ph.D. mentor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Desert Scientist

    Was a woman. I often thought of how difficult she must have had it to break into the field of cell biology and make a name for herself at the time that she did. Surely that contributed to her highly disciplined and tough-as-nails approach. She really set a good example for her students and, although we had our clashes, I am eternally grateful for her.

    Nowadays it's common to have female post-docs and colleagues-- in fact, they outnumber us guys in my department. Pretty cool, IMO, even though we all recognize there's some more to be done before true equality is attained.

  •  Hope you include Emmy Noether and Gertrude Rempfer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Desert Scientist

    Emmy Noether

    Noether's theorem is one of the most fundamental and deep theorems in all of physics.  Noether's theorem explains that conservation laws, like conservation of momentum and conservation of energy, are results of the symmetries of nature.  Link:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Gertrude Rempfer

    Gertrude Rempfer, inventor of the electrostatic electron microscope and Fellow of the Microscopy Society of America.  Links:

    http://www.oregonlive.com/...

    http://onami.us/...

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/...

    Thanks you for this series!

    •  Thanks. (0+ / 0-)

      I had intended to include Noether, but was unfamiliar with Rempfer.  There are so many (oddly enough, because only a few are mentioned in text books up until recently) that even restricting my time to those who died prior to 2000 is quite a task,

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