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Science

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Laila Goodman

Sexism, Spirituality, and Science: The Story of Laila Goodman

by Eden Olsberg

Laila Goodman isn’t your average high school biology teacher. Her class is regularly filled with personal anecdotes from her life, and her office is regularly filled with students seeking advice. One of my most memorable interactions with her was talking about her experiences as a doula, and then later looking at an album of birthing photos.

2016-2017 Rising Voices Fellow Maya Jodidio Pipetting DNA into a Gel

Whoever Said Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend Never Saw a Girl Doing Science

by Maya Jodidio

High school boys often try to explain physics or calculus problems to me in a way that clearly implies they think I have no idea what I’m doing. Sometimes a classmate asks me a science question and almost immediately a male peer nearby says, “Don’t worry! I can explain this if she can’t!” In addition to mansplaining, jokes about feminism and subtle sexist comments occur on a daily basis at my high school, so I’ve become used to it. 

Vera Rubin / Sheyna Gifford

Astro-Scientists

Expanding Our Universe

Episode 1: The Pilot's Pilot

Our pilot episode is about … pilots! Elynor Rudnick and Zohara Levitov grew up on different continents: one in America, one in British-ruled Palestine. In the 1940s, they were both young Jewish women with pilot's licenses. During some of the most turbulent years in modern Jewish history, their stories were woven together—not by fate, but by flight. Plus, Deb Dreyfus, a modern day Jewish woman pilot, takes our host Nahanni Rous for a spin in her four-seater Cessna.

Irene Caroline Diner Koenigsberger

Irene Caroline Diner Koenigsberger discovered the molecular structure of rubber but refused to patent her work, making her discovery available to all.

Women in Science: Reflecting with Dr. Joan Feynman

by  Jordyn Rozensky

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.”

Excerpt from Gertrude Elion's College Chemistry Notebook, circa 1930s

Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science?

by  Jordyn Rozensky

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.

Topics: Science
Gertrude Elion Medal, 2011

Gertrude Elion inducted into the Jewish-American Hall of Fame

by Jewesses With Attitude

JWA Woman of Valor Gertrude Elion has been chosen as the 2011 honoree to be inducted into the Jewish-American Hall of Fame. Dr. Gertrude Elion joins nine women previously inducted into the Jewish-American Hall of Fame: Henrietta Szold (1976), Golda Meir (1978), Rebecca Gratz (1981), Emma Lazarus (1983), Ernestine Rose (1984), Barbra Streisand (1997), Ida Straus (1998), Bess Myerson (2001), and Lillian Wald (2007). Biographies of all the honorees can be found here.

Topics: Science, Medicine
Judith Resnik in Space, September 8, 1984

Remembering Judith Resnik, the first Jewish American woman in space

by  Kate Bigam

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

Topics: Science, Technology
Debbie Friedman

The Lives They Lived: Jewish women to remember in 2011

by  Leah Berkenwald

“[Debbie Friedman] emphasized the value of every voice and the power of song to help us express ourselves and become our best selves. As she wrote for JWA's online exhibit Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution: 'The more our voices are heard in song, the more we become our lyrics, our prayers, and our convictions.' The woman who wrote the song that asks God to 'help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing' herself modeled for us what that looks like.”—Judith Rosenbaum.
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Remembering Dr. Rosalyn S. Yalow, Nobel Prize winning scientist and mother

by  Leah Berkenwald

“A Jewish woman whose father-in-law is a rabbi, who keeps a kosher home, who invites her lab assistants to Passover seders, and worries about them catching colds is not the typical image of a Nobel Prize winner,” Emily Taitz writes in Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. “But it is the image of Rosalyn Yalow, the first woman born and educated in the United States to win a Nobel Prize in a scientific field.” Rosalyn S. Yalow passed away Monday, May 30, 2011, at the age of 89.

Natalie Portman at the Toronto International Film Festival, 2010

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

by Etta King Heisler

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.

Topics: Education, Film, Science

Girls in science, sure. But what about engineering?

by From the Rib

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.

Jewish women and the Nobel Prize

by  Leah Berkenwald

As the 2009 Nobel prizes are being handed out, many are fussing over Obama's Peace Prize -- does he deserve it, will this affect his approach with Iran, etc.  Important questions, certainly, but don't let them distract you from the real story this year: 2009 is a record year for women Nobel Prize-winners

Only 40 women have ever won the prestigious Nobel Prize, 5 of whom were awarded the prize this year, one of whom is Israeli Jewess Ada Yonath, winner of the Chemistry Prize.

Topics: Science

Challenger space shuttle explodes with astronaut Judith Resnik on board

January 28, 1986

The Challenger space shuttle exploded on January 28, 1986, just seconds after taking off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Judith Resnik

The second female American astronaut to travel into space, Judith Resnik is remembered for her death in the tragic Challenger explosion. Her career accomplishments include biomedical engineering with the National Institutes of Health, working for NASA as a specialist in spacecraft engineering, and operated a solar sail during her first space flight with the shuttle Discovery.

Clarisse Doris Hellman

Clarisse Doris Hellman was born on August 28, 1910, in New York City. The daughter of obstetrician Alfred M. and Clarisse (Bloom) Hellman, she was raised in a family that had a special appreciation for the sciences. After graduating from the Horace Mann School, she attended Vassar College, where she studied mathematics and astronomy with such distinction that she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated with honors in 1930. She then went on to Radcliffe College as a Vassar College Fellow and received one of the country’s earliest advanced degrees in history of science, a master’s degree, in 1931. From Radcliffe, she returned to New York, where she received a prestigious Columbia University Fellowship and went on to complete her Ph.D. at Columbia in 1943.

Sulamith Goldhaber

Sulamith Goldhaber and her husband, Gerson, studied for their Master's and doctoral degrees together, and then went on to become one of the most respected American teams in the art and science of nuclear emulsion technology.

Gertrude Scharff Goldhaber

Gertrude Scharff Goldhaber was above all a dedicated physicist.

Rosalind Elsie Franklin

Although best known for being the British physical chemist whose crucial experimental data enabled James Watson and Frances Crick to solve the structure of DNA as early as 1953, she received no gracious mention from either of them during their Nobel Prize speeches.

Academia in Israel

Women faculty members in the higher education system in Israel share with their sisters in other Western developed countries characteristics regarding proportions, promotions, and positions. They constitute a small minority of the total tenure-track faculty, with somewhat larger minorities in the humanities and social sciences, and very small minorities in the physical sciences and engineering.

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