jump to navigation

Shout out for Cancer Research, and an awesome name- Dr. Suetonia Palmer August 24, 2012

Posted by The Raise Project in Award Winners, Featured Prize, Women in Science.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Shout out for cancer research. How do platelets help or hinder the process of treatment?

Read the Original Here.

University of Otago researcher Dr Suetonia Palmer is one of three recipients of a $25,000 L’Oreal For Women in Science Fellowship, awarded in Melbourne on Tuesday.

The other two are a Melbourne researcher who battled leukemia as a teenager and a scientist recognized for her work in nanotechnology.

Dr Palmer received the award for her work in chronic kidney disease.

Working from temporary facilities as Christchurch rebuilds, she is guiding doctors and policy makers across the world as they attempt to make the best decisions for their patients.

The fellowship will take her work further and help her study what information people receive when their kidney disease worsens and they have to go on dialysis.

That usually requires four hours a day, four days a week in hospital. However, in Christchurch most people have dialysis machines at home.

Dr Palmer will determine what is best practice.

She is also a senior lecturer in the Department of Medicine.

Dr Kylie Mason from Melbourne’s Walter and Eliza Hall Institute will investigate ways to reduce the side-effects of new cancer drugs and explore the role of platelets.

She has previously researched ways to extend the life of platelets, the cell fragments that manage blood clotting.

Cancer patients often need platelet transfusions but supply can be a challenge for blood banks because the cells only last five days.

Her work could pave the way to increase the blood bank life of platelets as well as helping cancer patients.

Her battle with leukemia sparked a lifelong interest and career in medicine and research.

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute director Dr Doug Hilton said Dr Mason’s personal battle with cancer had not only fueled her passion for medicine and research, but given her a unique perspective as a cancer patient, haematologist, scientist, and mother.

Melbourne scientist Dr Jia Baohua from Swinburne University of Technology was recognized for her role in developing low cost solar energy using nanotechnology to create thin-film solar cells.

RAISE in the news again August 9, 2012

Posted by The Raise Project in Career.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

Thanks to Under The Microscope for the feature in their Summer Science Stories series! Supernaturally superb!

http://www.underthemicroscope.com/stories/summer-science-stories-raiseing-women-in-stem 

cupcakes_sarah_chu.jpg

I am documenting my time running the RAISE project this summer. RAISE, whose acronym (Recognizing the Achievements of women In Science, technology, Engineering, math, and medicine) does great work in making sure the accomplishments of women in these fields does not go unnoticed.

The good news: more and more women and girls are entering STEM fields. But wait: why do they receive such a low percentage of awards, honors, and prizes? This is what I am studying–and trying to change!–this summer.

Part of the gap is that women are less likely to tell others about their accomplishments, so they get nominated less frequently for awards. RAISE has a program to encourage women to apply. Even nominate yourself! This is totally acceptable practice for most awards. Another aspect is that gendered language can be secretly embedded into male and female writing styles. Men often use more action-oriented words, while women are less direct. People giving awards can unconsciously react to these writing styles, favoring the bolder approach.

RAISE has fun in the office, too. We love reading up on the cool new things in the STEM world. Do you like oranges? Vijayakumari Narukulla, a scientist in India, just cultivated a new disease- and virus-resistant one, so we’ll have more around the world. How about solar cells? Gcineka Mbambisa of South Africa is working on a more efficient design. Both of these gals won awards for their work.

The bottom line is: always be proud of your work! If you have worked hard, apply for an award, prize, honor, or scholarship. You never know what could come of it! And even if you don’t win, other scientists will be interested to find out about what you’ve done.

And now, off to another awards dinner to cheer on my fellow STEM rockstars!

Caption Information: Recognition can be informal, too! Pic of me (right) and my roommate, acupuncturist Laura Wong, celebrating her great work in the field of immunology. Cupcakes help the immune system, right?

About me: I am 27, getting my M.A. in international affairs at American University in Washington, D.C. I run the RAISE Project under the umbrella of the Society for Women’s Health Research.

Among Doctors, Too, Women Are Paid Less July 3, 2012

Posted by The Raise Project in Career, Women in Science.
Tags: , , , , ,
2 comments

Chosen because of their similarity to one another in professional interests, aptitude and ambition, the doctors in the study each had received a highly prestigious research grant early in their careers and worked in academic medical centers.

The study controlled for specialty, publications, academic rank, hours worked and leadership positions…

Result: a man *still* made an average of $12,000 more annually than a woman.

Read the original here.

Dr. Pauline Chen

Brilliant and hard-working, my younger colleague had just returned from delivering one of the main talks at a national medical meeting. All of us viewed the invitation to speak as an acknowledgment of her great potential, so when I asked her about the conference, I expected her to bubble over about the accolades she’d heard and the plum job offers she’d received from competing medical centers.

But she hardly smiled as she recounted her experiences.

“During the question-and-answer session I kept falling back on phrases like ‘maybe,’ ‘perhaps’ and ‘I guess so,’ ” she said. Though she had the experience and data to rebut even the most aggressive or erroneous challenges from doctors in the audience, her tentative manner seemed to leave her vulnerable to doubts and even more questioning.

What’s more, she added, she had noticed that many of the other female speakers responded to their audiences as she had, with wavering and hesitant replies, while most of the men answered “with such confidence and bravado that we women looked pretty amateur in comparison.”

The experience had shaken my colleague’s quiet confidence. “I always thought the strength of my work was all that mattered in medicine,” she said. “Now I can’t help but wonder if other factors are involved.”

This was not the first time I had heard a colleague speculate on how her sex might affect the way others treated her professionally, but we all thought medicine was one of the few careers in which men and women working the same hours and producing comparable results in similar specialties would be paid and promoted equally. While some studies found income disparities between male and female doctors, researchers chalked up their findings to the fact that fewer women worked in higher-paying specialties and more men worked longer hours.

But a study published recently in The Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that medicine may not be so meritocratic after all.

Researchers analyzed the professional trajectories of almost 2,000 midcareer physician-researchers. Chosen because of their similarity to one another in professional interests, aptitude and ambition, the doctors in the study each had received a highly prestigious research grant early in their careers and worked not in private practice but in academic medical centers. The researchers examined a wide range of career factors, including the number of hours worked, professional achievements, leadership positions, marital status, parental status and salary.

As in some earlier studies, the researchers found a difference in income, with a male doctor’s annual salary averaging just over $200,000 and a female’s averaging about $168,000. And like previous researchers, they found that the female doctors tended to be in lower-paying specialties, have fewer publications, work fewer hours and hold fewer administrative leadership positions.

But when these researchers ran the numbers again, this time adjusting for differences in specialty, publications, academic rank, hours worked and leadership positions, they found that the expected average salary for women still fell behind that of their male colleagues. The male doctors made over $12,000 per year more than the women. Calculated over the course of a 30-year career, the income gap based on sex alone amounted to over $350,000.

“We really didn’t expect to find such a substantial unexplained difference,” said Dr. Reshma Jagsi, lead author and an associate professor of radiation oncology at the University of Michigan. “In Michigan, that amount buys you a house, your kids’ education or a nice nest egg for retirement.”

There may be several reasons for this income difference. A previous study by a group of psychologists, for example, showed that when presented with identical résumés, one from a man and one from a woman, employers of both sexes were more likely to hire the man. A similar unconscious bias is likely to exist among doctors, influencing how much female physicians are paid and promoted. “It’s not like the medical centers or the department heads are evil,” Dr. Jagsi said. “The problem is that sometimes in medicine we think we are immune to these pervasive biases.”

Male and female doctors may also interact differently with their superiors when talking about payment and promotions. Women in other fields have been shown to negotiate less aggressively than their male peers. In medicine, that would mean women are less inclined to ask for more money and less likely to leverage offers from competing institutions or practices.

While the current study looks at only one small and homogeneous subset of physicians, the findings are probably applicable to many more doctors. “The men and women we studied were the go-getters,” Dr. Jagsi said. “You have to worry that if you see such disparities among this group, you will see at least the same, if not more, differences among other groups of physicians.”

Dr. Jagsi believes that greater transparency would decrease, and even eliminate, the income differences. Currently, it is difficult for most doctors to know if they are being paid fairly “since most institutions don’t have clear policies on how to determine salaries,” she noted. But standardizing the process of compensation and career advancement would make everyone involved more accountable for such decisions and “allow men and women to be paid as much as the work they are doing is worth,” she said.

“Society makes a huge investment in every medical trainee,” Dr. Jagsi said. “If we make that kind of investment, we need to ensure that compensation and advancement are fair.”

She added, “It comes down to a matter of basic fairness.”

Seven Scientists Win Kavli Prizes June 4, 2012

Posted by The Raise Project in Award Winners, Featured Prize, Women in Science.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Read the original here.

Seven scientists whose work spanned the outer reaches of the solar system and penetrated the inner workings of brain circuits and nanotubes were named winners of the 2012 Kavli Prizes on Thursday. The $1 million awards, sponsored by the physicist, businessman and philanthropist Fred Kavli, are given every two years by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters for work in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience, “the biggest, the smallest and the most complex,” in the words of Mr. Kavli.

Mildred S. Dresselhaus, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, won the nanoscience prize for her research on carbon nanotubes, the chicken-wire wonder cylinders of pure carbon, and how they conduct heat and electricity. She is known around M.I.T. as “the queen of carbon,” according to her colleague Angela Belcher, who noted that she had been working on carbon fibers since the 1960s and had been able to predict the properties of nanotubes, which can be formed by rolling or twisting a sheet of carbon atoms only one atom wide, before they had been discovered in the lab.

Cornelia Isabella Bargmann of Rockefeller University, Winfried Denk of the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany, and Ann M. Graybiel of M.I.T. will split the neuroscience prize for work aimed at elucidating how the brain processes information from the environment. Dr. Bargmann has unraveled some of the logic of the neural circuits of C. elegans, a worm with only 300 nerve cells that is used in genetic research. Dr. Denk developed microscopy techniques that allowed researchers to make three-dimensional maps of the internal wiring in brain tissues.

Dr. Graybiel is an expert in the basal ganglia, structures in the forebrain that control movement and have been implicated in diseases like Parkinson’s and addiction. Her work, the academy said, shows how patterns of neural activity change and reorganize themselves as animals develop new skills or habits, both good and bad.

At a ceremony at New York University on Thursday morning, Dr. Bargmann was asked why we should study such a primitive worm. “The worms are our partners and collaborators,” she answered, adding that their systems are simple enough that “you can really try to understand the whole system at once.” Her research had shown, she said, that the brain has innate pathways that link certain signals to certain behaviors. For example, she said, “children are born knowing they like sweet things and reject bitter ones.”

The winners of the astrophysics prize will also split $1 million for exploring a hitherto unknown facet of the architecture and history of the solar system: a cloudy disk of ice and rock known as the Kuiper Belt. It looms outside the orbit of Neptune and contains at least 70,000 objects left over from the formation of the planets. David C. Jewitt of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Jane X. Luu of M.I.T.’s Lincoln Laboratory discovered the Kuiper Belt in the form of a slow-moving (meaning it was very far away) object in 1992.

The third winner of the astrophysics prize, Michael E. Brown of the California Institute of Technology, has discovered a series of massive bodies in the Kuiper Belt, including, in 2005, Eris, which is more massive than Pluto. His work led to a worldwide debate on the definition of planethood, which resulted in Pluto’s being dumped from the roster of planets and designated, like Eris and others, a dwarf planet.

The awards were announced by Nils Christian Stenseth, president of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, as part of a World Science Festival event. John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and President Obama’s science adviser, spoke about the administration’s efforts to cultivate a climate of innovation, citing the trip of the private Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station.

Sky Blue, Water Wet, Achievements of Female Scientists Continually Ignored by Men May 14, 2012

Posted by The Raise Project in Women in Science.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

Over the last two decades, women have made inroads into the male-dominated fields of science, technology, engineering, and medicine. But you wouldn’t know it if you asked the men who tend to chair scientific awards committees, who award research-based science awards to men 95% of the time. If a glass ceiling breaks and no one is around to notice, is it really broken?

The depressing statistic is brought to you by a 20-year survey of awards given out by 13 different STEM societies. Researchers found that even though awards given to female scientists increased 78% between 1991 and 2010, most of those awards were given in the areas of teaching or service. The “hard science” awards were still given to men, and they were especially given to men if the chair of the awards committee was also a man.

It’s not that women weren’t being nominated for scientific awards, either; researchers concluded that the frequency with which they actually won wasn’t consistent with the frequency with which they were nominated for awards. So this isn’t a case of Ladies Be Hating The Science.

These and other findings regarding bias in the selection of scientific awards will be published in the journal Social Studies of Science (published by SAGE) this month.

Read it if you want to feel frustrated about something.

 

Original article found Here: http://jezebel.com/5908938/sky-blue-water-wet-achievements-of-female-scientists-continually-ignored-by-men

The Girl in Computer Science: a Google Success Story April 2, 2012

Posted by The Raise Project in Career, Women in Science.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

–Steve Rosenbaum The Huffington Post

There’s plenty of talk about the need to support women in tech, and in particular math and science education for girls as they move from middle school into junior high.

But for at least one high profile woman in technology — there’s a reasonable argument to be made that education should be ‘blind’ to gender.

To understand where this comes from, you have to hear her story.

Last week at the 92nd Street Y, Marissa Mayer kept a packed house glued to the story of how a young girl growing up in Wisconsin could be essentially a ‘geek’ while at the same time being on the dance squad.

Mayer grew up in Wausau Wisconsin, a city of 40,000 about 3 1/2 hours northwest of Milwaukee. She was one of the top debaters at Wausau West High School. But she joined the dance squad as well — a geeky teenager who wanted to show that cheerleaders could be smart.

But Mayer is quick to point out that all through high school, her achievements were never characterized as ‘good for a girl.’ In fact, she is quite sure that being treated as a student, even a very smart student, rather than as the unusual girl who’s good at math and science, was critical in her success.

She went from Wausau to Stanford University, thinking that her future was in medicine. But after returning home for a break, she compared her chem and bio class work with her peers, and realized she wasn’t getting anything different than they were in various pre-med programs. She went back to Stanford looking for something unique, where she could excel and get an extraordinary education. She found herself drawn to Symbolic Systems — and ended up getting both her B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University, specializing in artificial intelligence.

If being a girl in CS at Stanford was hard, Mayer says she didn’t really remember. In fact, it wasn’t until she read the student newspaper one day, that it became clear that others DID notice her for more than her brains.

“There was this columnist at The Stanford Daily that I really liked. One day she wrote this column about campus icons, meaning people you recognize but you don’t know their name, like the crazy guy in the plaza who yells at you when you bike past him. So she had this list, and I was reading through her column and kind of chuckling to myself about these people, and then there was someone on the list that was ‘the blond woman in the upper-level division computer science classes.’ And I was like, ‘Who is that?’ And then I’m like, “Oh, it’s me!” so I guess I realized at that point that I was somewhat unusual.”

So, for Mayer — looking at the world without the filter of gender was an important part of her excelling on her own terms. She says it may be better not to ask the question: is this student a girl or a boy.

“Asking the question, I worry, sometimes can handicap progress,” she said. “I lived in a bubble. I was really good at chemistry and biology [growing up]. No one ever said, ‘Wow, you’re really good at this for a girl.”

“If I felt more self-conscious about being a woman it would have stifled me more.”

That said, Mayer is clearly proud of the fact that Google has more female engineers than many of the companies in the Valley. More than 20% at this point. But she’s clearly not hiring based on a quota or a goal. At Google, she just wants the very smartest people who are will to work very very hard.

Read original post at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-rosenbaum/the-girl-in-computer-scie_b_1395408.html

Tech Jobs Up, Women Down April 28, 2011

Posted by The Raise Project in Career.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

Tech Jobs Up, Women Down 

Despite U.S. unemployment rates hovering around 9 percent, jobs in the technology sector are booming, according to a recent USA Today report. Additionally, 83 percent of startup companies in the technology sector plan to hire this year, up from 73 percent a year ago, according to a survey from Silicon Valley Bank.

The news is especially timely for soon-to-be college graduates, as now is the time of year when they hope to get their first real career job offers. Companies swoop in on these budding professionals, hoping to grab the brightest before the competition makes a better offer.

But there’s one catch: Women remain painfully underrepresented in technology-based jobs.

Gender gap: Selection bias snubs scholarly achievements of female scientists April 25, 2011

Posted by The Raise Project in Career.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

Analysis shows that female scientists win fewer awards for their research, more often for service and teaching

 Women scientists must confront sexism when competing for scholarly awards, according to a new analysis.Research funded by the National Science Foundation and sponsored by the Association for Women in Science found that female scientists win service or teaching awards in proportion to the number of women in the PhD pool for their discipline, says sociologist Anne Lincoln at Southern Methodist University. That’s not the case, however, for awards for their research, says Lincoln, one of three authors on the analysis, which was reported in Nature.

The number of women who win scholarly awards is far fewer, the authors report.