Featuring the Women Of Science #WomenOfScience

[ 3 ] Comments

Today I would like to share with you an idea for the International Women’s day on March 8 2013.  If you work in an institution, university, or non-profit related to science, have you taken note of the number of women around you? In astronomy and planetary science, it is not too bad even if it is not perfect, but some “hard” science groups, like physics or computer science, clearly have a low proportion of women in their ranks. I will not elaborate on the reasons for such lack of representation; instead, I propose to focus on the bright side.

Yes, there are more and more women in science, some of them even reaching the highest level of responsibility in their field.  One of the issues is that women are not as vocal as the men with a similar job. Is  that a secondary effect due to  years of being the underdog in a field, hence spending your energy fighting against stereotypes and nasty comments? Or it is simply because after getting the recognition of your peers, women enjoy their work and make the best of it? The main issue is that all kids need examples when they grow up, and highlighting  woman scientists could help girls think that they can also achieve their dream and become scientists, engineers, astronauts or a successful business woman.

This long preamble brings me to my idea. On Friday March 8, we should make sure that the women in our institutions enjoy a coffee or a lunch. Let them talk and exchange their thoughts, and take pictures to show the world that there are women in science, and sharing their experience on Twitter and Google+  (hashtag #WomenOfScience). They are here, not a majority, but they are an important part of scientific work and discussion.

I look forward to seeing pictures from your institution. SETI Institute will post pictures on their Twitter/Facebook/Google+ accounts as well.

Clear Skies

Franck M.



About Franck Marchis

Dr. Franck Marchis is a Senior Researcher and Chair of the Exoplanet Group at the Carl Sagan Center of the SETI Institute since July 2007. Over the past 19 years, he has dedicated his research to the study of our solar system, specifically the search for asteroids with moons, using mainly ground-based telescopes equipped with adaptive optics. More recently, he has been also involved in the definition of new generation of AOs for 8 -10 m class telescopes and future Extremely Large Telescopes. He has developed algorithms to process and enhance the quality of images, both astronomical and biological. His currently involved in the Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey, which consists in imaging exoplanets using an extreme AO system for the Gemini South telescope. This new instrument is capable of imaging and recording spectra of young Jupiter-like exoplanets orbiting around nearby stars.

3 Responses to Featuring the Women Of Science #WomenOfScience

  1. Kelsi Singer says:

    Thanks for posting this Frank! A friend forwarded it to me. Readers may also be interested in the following women in planetary science related sites :)


  2. Lawrence says:

    Perhaps…an even more useful idea would be to use all your creative professional abilities, jointly, on a Public project on the day. Rather than re-enforcing previous stereotype coffee or lunch dates. Believe it, (or not,) men wish to encourage. Long live Men+Women ;)

  3. […] 8. Post pics of women scientists in your life on SETI.org Do you like this post?Like this:Like Loading… This entry was posted in Advice to Myself, Letters, Nature and tagged acceptance, beliefs, career, employment, equality, famous women scientists, inequality, international women's day, job, march 8, Nature, resistance, science, segregation, sexism, unconscious sexism, women, women engineers, women in science, women in the workforce, women scientists, work. Bookmark the permalink. ← How I Approach a Scientific Paper […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>