Posts Tagged ‘Scientist’

Lipstick On My Lab Coat

Lesbian femme scientist pin-up girl from the I Heart Brooklyn Girls Calendar 2009. Awesome! Retro styled, femme woman presenting the sexy side of science. A bit of fun, not too serious. Could this be an image to use for getting lesbian women interested in science?

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From the OSTEM entry in the Partnering for Excellence: Innovations in Science + Technology + Engineering + Math (STEM) Education  competition.

 “Out in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (oSTEM), is a national student society that educates and develops lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allied (LGBTQA) youth across the United States. Altogether, the oSTEM society is a sustainable infrastructure that creates co-curricular STEM opportunities at public and private universities across the country. As oSTEM grows, we plan to bring our programs to high schools and community centers. We provide students with resources, professional opportunities, and mentorships, and the national board encourages each chapter to focus on developing their local STEM communities. The growth of oSTEM depends on the national board and student leaders throughout the country. Everyone is welcome to participate and benefit from oSTEM.”

What a great organistation. There should be an organisation such as this in Australia.

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When asked to name a female scientist who springs to mind?

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Dana Scully

Image via Wikipedia

I was watching the X-Files movie last night on television, and it took me back to my teenage years and my immense admiration and fascination with Dana Scully. She was a strong, intelligent, beautiful, professional scientist and FBI agent. She was my idol. I wanted to be a Forensic Pathologist like her. I wanted to solve crimes using science. She inspired me to want to study science. And watching the movie last night, viewing it from a more mature angle, l realised what a fantastic role model she was. Empowered, intelligent, tough, holds her own, a feminist (or close). And last but not least, as a redhead (not natural though) I thought it was so fantastic that this smart sexy scientist was a redhead! I certainly would use Dana Scully as an example of a good female scientist role model (and as redheaded role model too!)

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I am a proud woman, lesbian and scientist. I think it’s about time us gay lady scientists raised our collective voices and told the stories of our lives! If you want to share, please add your comments.

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Rosalind Franklin, co-creator of the single X-...

Image via Wikipedia

When I was undertaking postgrad studies in a microbiology and molecular biology lab I remember discussing Rosalind Franklin – a X-Ray Crystallographer who along with Watson & Crick determined the structure of DNA. We also discussed how she missed out on winning the Nobel Prize for this scientific break through. I was interested in her story! And given that she had conducted most of her work in the 1940’s & 50’s when there weren’t too many women in science this fascinated me even more!!

For a good biography of Rosalind Franklin have a look at Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosalind_Franklin.

This article also focuses on the controversy surrounding her role in the discovery of the structure of DNA, the lack of recognition of her role, prejudices she faced as a woman and the most saddest part of all – her death from complications from ovarian cancer before her role in this ground breaking discovery was recognised. And due to her death, according to Nobel Prize rules regarding nominating posthumously, she missed out on being awarded the Nobel Prize along with Crick, Watson, and Wilkins in 1962 (although as referenced in this article, the prize was for work on nucleic acids as well as the structure of DNA).

And as a woman and a scientist that has worked with DNA I think Rosalind Franklin is a true inspiration, and although the controversies surrounding her role in discovering the structure of DNA and the sexism and prejudices she faced can overshadow her contributions, I think more people should be made aware of her significant work.

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