Tuesday, January 18, 2005

women scientist role models

Hello again, silent (and possibly nonexistent) observers.

Today I want to talk about aspiring to have, and do, things our role models could not.

As a woman in science, I don't have a lot of role models. Any woman scientist who garners the slightest approval from the field or the public wins my respect and admiration, if only because I know how hard it is. Even if she's an unbearable she-witch. (I'm working on my infinite compassion. Supposedly it's good for your brain. See this article if you haven't heard about this study with the Dalai Lama.)

I was thinking about this today while listening to NPR on the way in, the Talk of the Nation today was about Condoleeza Rice. I have to admit that I have no idea what to make of her. Part of me wants to admire her just for making it this far, even if she had to sell her soul to do it. Or did she ever have one? Or is she really that naive? I can't believe she's a complete moron...?

Anyway, today I was reading this page about Maria Goeppert-Mayer , who is a physicist I never would have heard of if she hadn't won the Nobel Prize.

The gist of the page is that she always worked with no pay (until the very end of her career). Her husband, of course, was a professor, and her family was wealthy, or she couldn't have survived.

Similarly, I read this book about Barbara McClintock called Feeling for the Organism , which basically tells the story of how poor Barbara, discoverer of many many useful biological things, drove around the country as a 'visiting scholar' for much of her career because she didn't have a Real Job, Much Funding or Lab Space.

Sigh. It just doesn't seem like a viable option nowadays, to work for no money in a field like science. In the Arts, sure, because you're supposed to have passion and you're supposed to be bone-thin, anyway. But you're supposed to be impartially passionate in science, something I've never really mastered.

Meditation... check on gel.... meditation... transfer gel... meditation.... finish western.

Hope for Enlightenment and World Peace.


At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A connection is made:


Tell us what you think of this blog.

At 3:26 PM, Blogger Ms.PhD said...

I think Living the Scientific Life is a great blog. It's literate, and relevant, and there is an audience for it. And it seems like it helps the author, too.

And you've given me an idea for my next blog, possibly appearing in the next few minutes...

At 3:29 PM, Blogger GrrlScientist said...

Wow, Ms PhD, this wasn't me sharing my blog URL ... I wonder who it was? I have never heard of you! But I am happy that this anonymous person connected us. (Thank you, whoever you are!)

I have so many questions to ask you, Ms. PhD, although I will only ask you one ... and no, I am not looking for your response in a this, a mere discussion section, I am looking for your full-blown lecture, complete with references and diagrams (well, if you are looking for blog entry topic ideas ... ) ... what do you think of the fearless leader of Harvard University's comments about women in science/math academics?

At 2:40 PM, Anonymous Allison Martin said...


My name is Allison Martin, and i am Science and Technology Studies grad student at Virginia Tech. I am also a writer for the association for women in science magazine, and i am working on a story on blogging - particularly women science bloggers. I'd very much like to ask you a few questions via e-mail to feature in the article. You can remain annonymous if you like. Please contact me at allison_meredith2004@yahoo.com letting me know whether you would like to participate. I think your comments and thoughts would be incredibly valuable. Best, Allison

At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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How would your friends describe your personality?
If you could put the greatest minds in the country together to solve a single everyday problem OF NO MAJOR SOCIAL IMPORTANCE (i.e. developing a theory of how to pick the fastest line at the supermarket), what would it be? And what out of the box approach would you use to solve it?
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The submissions, including the videos, become our property and will not be returned, and we can use the submissions, including videos, in any way we see fit, including, without limitation, in and in connection with any program and any advertisements, promotions and publicity, in any and all media, whether now existing or hereafter discovered.


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