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Science

Women in Science: Reflecting with Dr. Joan Feynman

Dr. Feynman fought an uphill battle—she had the smarts and the ability, but she was living in a world that wasn’t able to support or encourage a woman in science. Realizing the realities of the academic culture, she relegated her ambitions to being an assistant to a male physicist. Luckily for all of us—and for the field of theoretical physics—the support of her brother helped her set her goals at being a “high-medium physicist.”

Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science?

Being a woman in science isn’t an easy accomplishment. It’s a hard field to break into, and it’s a hard field to shine in. I reached out to a few of my friends who make their living through science, and they all agreed—this subject is tricky on so many levels. It’s hard to navigate, and the politics that get in the way end up being both external and internal. The article in the New York Times wasn’t a groundbreaking discovery—no one is shocked to hear that girls have it tough in the world of science. But it’s good to keep the conversation going—and to remind ourselves that we have shoulders like Gertrude Elion’s to stand on.

Friday Social Media BliNtz (Week 2)

Welcome to week two of the Friday Social Media BliNtz— like a blitz but tastier.

Remembering Judith Resnik, the first Jewish American woman in space

Judith Resnik never showed any particular interest in space travel – but when NASA began recruiting women and minorities, she decided to apply anyway.

Can a girl have an Oscar and a Bunsen Burner too?

The first thing I thought when I read this article in Monday's New York Times was "How cool! All these women are scientists?!" What immediately followed was the thought "Too bad." Too bad I never knew that Winnie from the Wonder Years loves math. Too bad I never found out that Blossom totally digs science. Too bad I had no idea that Queen Amidala was a super science nerd in high school, or I might have found the Star Wars prequels more interesting.

Girls in science, sure. But what about engineering?

I got my copy of Ms. Magazine yesterday and in it, and was excited to see an article called “Girls Love Robots, Too,” about a group of girls in San Diego who started their own robotics team and have won honors in national robotics competitions. It talks about how it’s a big thing for girls to have their own team, since men outnumber women in engineering 73 to 27, and emphasizes that the girls are defying the stereotype that only boys like science and math.

Gertrude Elion: In a Class of Her Own

The 2007 Nobel Prize laureates in Physics were announced this week—Albert Fert from France and Peter Gruenberg from Germany, both credited for the first successful applications of “nanotechnology” to radically reduce the size while radically increasing the storage of computer hard-drives. With their impressive credentials, Fert and Gruenberg seem to fit the mold for this award in a profession in which male + Ph.D is a likely pairing. But following the announcement, I was pleasantly reminded of chemist Gertrude Elion, a 1988 Nobel Prize recipient, who most certainly did not fit this mold, and who didn’t think much of it: “Women in chemistry and physics? There’s nothing strange about that.”

From self-help to no help

I’ve never met Lorraine Rothman, a women’s health activist and inventor of the Del’Em menstrual extraction kit. But I came to know her work through my dissertation research, and so I was deeply saddened to hear that she is dying.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

With the flowering of autumn Jewish holidays consuming our attention, it’s unlikely that many of us have tuned into September as  National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. I wasn’t aware of it either until I listened to NPR yesterday for the first time in several days. Ovarian cancer—often called the “silent killer”—seems to garner less attention than breast cancer whose awareness month is assigned to October, awash with pink ribbons, walks, fundraisers, and other benefits.

Summer Greening for Hadassah

In keeping with the theme of Jewish eco-friendliness, it’s worth mentioning that Hadassah, the women’s Zionist organization of America, has recently gone green! An increasing number of Jewish organizations and synagogues are becoming more environmentally responsible by making commitments to energy conservation, renewable energy programs generated by wind,

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Science." (Viewed on October 21, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog/science>.

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