Category: STEM

Marie Curie: The Quest to Know, Polish/French (1867-1934)

“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.” ~Marie Curie Marie Curie discovered radioactivity. This is a simplified and reductionist sentence but still, you should have that association in your mind with this woman because her work is that important. Though many focus on the love affair between her and her husband and sometimes, the more illicit love affair with a married man later in life as a widow, the real love affair was between her and the elements she isolated—polonium and radium—and the mysterious glowing substances they produced. I think probably what she was really in...

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Katalin Karikó: The biochemist who persisted!

I happened to stumble onto the story of this incredible woman whose resilience and persistence have yielded such a relevant contribution to science and medicine, one that we all will benefit from, now and in the future. We need to learn from her story. Yes, she is extraordinary, but what she endured is unacceptable. We can and must do better. “Usually, at that point, people just say goodbye and leave because it’s so horrible,” said Katalin Karikó(FRANCE 24). What if she had thrown her arms up in the air and walked away? And what about those who do just say...

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Representation Begets Representation: Susan Goldberg’s Legacy as Editor-in-Chief of Nat Geo

Susan Goldberg is the first female editor-in-chief of National Geographic in its 130-year history. The November 2019 issue is a good illustration of what can happen when women are represented at top positions and use that representation to shine the light on other women. The issue is titled “Women: A Century of Change” and is about women worldwide, their lives and achievements, fears and dreams and includes only articles written by women and photographs taken by women. The November 2019 issue on women is part of a yearlong project marking the centenary of U.S. women winning the vote and...

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Trotula of Salerno: Alleviating the Suffering of Women, Italian (11th Century) by Theresa C. Dintino

Because there are many women who have numerous diverse illnesses—some of them almost fatal—and because they are also ashamed to reveal and tell their distress to any man… to assist women, I intend to write of how to help their secret maladies so that one woman may aid another in her illness and not divulge her secrets. ~Trotula of Salerno, 11th century Italy. Trotula was one of the most famous physicians of her time. Her work was devoted to alleviating the suffering of women. Trotula taught at the school of Salerno, a famous university of the time, and first...

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Alice Catherine Evans: “I Went Beyond the Realms of Your Perceptions” (American 1881-1975)

“In the poverty of your imagination it is easier to believe that the printed word is gospel truth. I went beyond the realms of your perceptions”(Burns 56). In an infuriating assault on her work and discovery, Microbiologist Alice Catherine Evans was asked repeatedly to explain why, if her findings were true, hadn’t anyone else discovered them. What can we infer from this grossly unfair question? That someone else meant a man? Why hadn’t a man discovered it. If it was so obvious, a man would have surely already thought it, discovered it. Not a woman. A woman couldn’t think...

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