Friday, December 7

Fourth Annual Gathering of Women in Science

The Fourth Annual Gathering of Women in Science provided an opportunity for faculty and graduate students to discuss the challenges of life in scientific research from the perspective of women.

The recruitment of women into science academia is an issue with which Margaret-Ann Armour (pictured) is well acquainted. A founding member and past Vice-Chair of WISEST (Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science and Technology), Armour is a recipient of a Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case, a Member of the Order of Canada and Associate Dean of Science (Diversity) at The University of Alberta.

“Whenever I started saying I was concerned about the percentage of women faculty members, people would say, ‘Don’t worry, just give it time, there’s 50 per cent women in undergraduate science, there’s 35 per cent women in PhD programs, just be patient,’ ” said Armour.

“Well, see what being patient does? Nothing. …Now that I’m white haired I’m an awful lot less patient than I used to be and I’m not prepared to wait too much longer for this to change.”

FULL STORY: Western News
RELATED: Women in Science
RELATED: For the first time since the 1998 creation of the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology, the top honors have gone to girls. One of the two projects to take the $100,000 prize was the creation of a molecule to help block drug-resistant tuberculosis bacteria from reproducing. The other studied the bone growth in zebra fish.

Interesting tidbits: Three-quarters of the finalists have at least one parent who is a scientist. Girls outnumbered boys in the final round for the first time. Most of the finalists were from public schools. The most popular project was from three home-schooled girls who have conceived of a Burgercam, a system for monitoring the elimination of E. coli bacteria in burgers. (via nytimes)

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