Women in science

Celebrate Women in Science!

Photo via Mike Wall and Space.com shows Clara Ma, the originator of the Curiosity name


I came across a great article profiling some of the women involved with launching the Curiosity rover into space and landing on Mars. In particular, I love the following quote by Ann Devereaux, a flight systems engineer on the Curiosity team:

When she speaks about her job to young students, she tells them she hates math, according to a profile on NASA’s website. “Who ever said you have to like math to be an engineer?” she adds, understanding that a dislike of math keeps many kids from exploring STEM career. “What’s interesting are the cool applications you can do that need some math applied to them to make them work.”

It's not just about learning obscure, theoretical math - it's about applying math to real world solutions. This is something that I try to get across to the youth that I work with,  but especially young women that tend to be more easily deterred from math than young men.  Showing people the cool applications of math, instead of just problems and equations, is a much better way to get people excited about science.

#ScienceLooksGood Only When You Treat Everyone Equally


The above video is the sad attempt by the European Commission to promote gender diversity in the sciences.  What were they thinking? How about you just ... show normal looking women participating in science experiments? They don't have to be doing "cute" things like trying to be fashionable, analyzing makeup, or striking a pose every time the camera is on them. Support women by showing women.

Sometimes I think these marketing companies outthink themselves when they're trying to be creative and come up with a commercial that gains traction. Unfortunately, this particular commercial went viral for the wrong reason.  Whether it's gender diversity, racial diversity, age diversity, or any thing else - we just want to see people that look like us doing what we want to do. That's it.

For better examples of promoting diversity, see WiSE (Women in Science and Engineering) and NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers). Don't forget about Liu Yang, the first Chinese woman in space and a national hero?

Your move, European Commission.