Women in Science. Dispeling the myth

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The talk can be found here: https://vimeo.com/69409118

We will present the social reality and difficulties that the female pioneers of modern science had to face. Lise Meitner, Chien-Shiung Wu, Jocelyn Bell o Rosalind Franklin should be as well known names as Max Planck, Max Born, Robert Oppeheimer, James D.Watson o Francis Crick, however, they sound very unknown, even for a physics student. Lise Meitner was the one who discovered, understood and explained nuclear fission.; Chien-Shiung Wu proved parity violation; Jocelyn Bell measured the first Pulsar and Rosalind Franklin discovered the double helix of DNA. Without their contributions, science would not be at the same stage of development as it is today. Because of being females, these great scientists had to face extra difficulties and none of them was properly recognized. The lack of female role models is still nowadays a barrier between women and scientific career and therefore it is important to claim their contribution in history.

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Women in Science. Dispeling the myth

  1. 1. Women in science. Dispelling the myth Berlin 18th May 2013
  2. 2. Pedro Miguel Etxenike The DNA double helix was discovered thanks to the experiments of Rosalind Franklin Lamia Were they few or just unknown ?...
  3. 3. Women as a group did not have access to Academies of Science They were denied access to University till Switzerland 1860 UK 1895 Cambridge 1948, Oxford 1921 France 1880 EcolePolytechnique1972 Germany 1900 Spain 1910 Royal Society (Londres 1662) 1945 Academie des Science (París 1666) 1979 AkademiederWissenschaften (Berlín 1700) 1964 Real Academia de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales (Madrid 1847) 1988
  4. 4. Women’s struggle did not begin in the mid-late XIX century • Margaret Cavendish 1623-1673 • MaryAstell 1666-1731 • Daniel Defoe 1660 –1731 • Olimpia de Gouges 1748-1793 • MaryWollstonecraft 1759-1797 There were individual calls by many people since XV century Real progress began with the first-wave feminism movement THE LANGHAM GROUP •High and equal education for women • Employment opportunities • Suffrage for women • Reform of the law regarding married women
  5. 5. • North LondonCollegiateSchool 1850 (Frances Mary Bus) • Cheltenham Ladie’sCollege 1858 (Dorothea Beale) HIGH EDUCATIONWASTHE KEY GIRTON and NEWNHAM: A college like Man Emily Davis: only if women succeeded in subjects held to be prestigious for men would their educational achievements recognize as equally valid. ‘Different’ would automatically mean ‘inferior’. •Girton 1869 (Emily Girton) •Newnham Hall 1875 (Eleanor Sidgwick) •LondonSchoolof Medicine forWomen 1874 (Sophia Jex Blake) Mathematics could not be undertaken by women, brain work energy could be diverted from their reproductive system. Philippa Fawcett in 1890 of Newnham beat the top male student.
  6. 6. • University of London 1878 (excluded form studying science) • Oxford 1921 • Cambridge 1948 Full member of Universities till WW I: first graduate women were doctors •Gain access to university studies • Graduate • Practice the profession ? i) Rapid increase of women (general feminization was feared) ii) Objection of men student to the attendance of women iii) Women need a peculiar education (Reason in nature)
  7. 7. molécula compuesta de sólo cuatro bases representadas con las letras A,T, G y C por adenina, timina, guanina y citosina Percentage of women enrolled in Mathematics in US Universities PNAS vol. 106, 8803 (2009) WW II ColdWar
  8. 8. molécula compuesta de sólo cuatro bases representadas con las letras A,T, G y C por adenina, timina, guanina y citosina Percentage of women enrolled in Mathematics in US Universities PNAS vol. 106, 8803 (2009) WW II ColdWar
  9. 9. molécula compuesta de sólo cuatro bases representadas con las letras A,T, G y C por adenina, timina, guanina y citosina Percentage of women enrolled in Mathematics in US Universities PNAS vol. 106, 8803 (2009) WW II ColdWar
  10. 10. molécula compuesta de sólo cuatro bases representadas con las letras A,T, G y C por adenina, timina, guanina y citosina Percentage of women enrolled in Mathematics in US Universities PNAS vol. 106, 8803 (2009) WW II ColdWar
  11. 11. Conclusion:There were few in every country and time period, but more than are known or thought to have been. Marie Curie (NP,NC) Irene Joliot-Curie (NC) GertyTheresaCori (NM) MariaGopert-Mayer (NP) Dorothy Hodgkin (NC) RosalynYalow (NM) BarbaraMacClintock (NM) Rita Levi.Montacini (NM) Gertrude Elion (NM) Christiane Nusslein-Volhar (NM) LiseMeitner (P) Chien-ShiungWu (P) Rosalind Franklin (C) Jocelyn Bell Burnell (P) Emmy Nöther (M) Mileva Maric (P) Martha Chase (C) Daisy Roulland-Dussoix (C) Esther Lederberg (M) Caroline Herschel (P) Lynn Margulis (M) Women through their participation became the agent of change. ( Bonilla et al. 2005)
  12. 12. Lise Meitner and the nuclear fission ▪ 1878 Vienna, in a Jewish family. ▪ During the XIX century women were excluded from Universities by law.The need for medical doctors for Muslim women opened the doors. ▪ In 1901 she starts university and meets Ludwig Boltzmann. ▪ In 1906 she is awarded a Doctor title in Physics, fascinated by research she decides to move to Berlin and continue her career.
  13. 13. Lise Meitner: Berlin ▪ She attends classes of Max Planck ▪ Emil Fischer and Otto Hahn ▪ In 1908 she is allowed access to the laboratory ▪ In 1913 she becomes an assistant scientist and earns her first salary ▪ Actinium, Protactinium ▪ In 1919 she receives a permanent position at University ▪ In 1920 she becomes the director of her laboratory
  14. 14. Lise Meitner: Berlin ▪ 1920-1930 Physic’s golden years ▪ 1932 Chadwick discovers the atomic nucleus ▪ 1933 Lise measures a positron and wants to look at Uranium ▪ Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP) rises to power ▪ Hahn is forced to fire Lise and she loses her nationality
  15. 15. Lise Meitner: Fission ▪ In 1938 she escapes from Germany ▪ Otto Fritz Strassmann ▪ In 1939 she discovers the nuclear fission ▪ In 1942 refuses to participate in the Manhattan Project ▪ 1944 Otto Hahn receives the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
  16. 16. LiseMeitner: Womanoftheyear ▪ In 1946 she receives the honour of "Woman of theYear" ▪ In 1947 she receives the Award of the City ofVienna for science ▪ In 1949 Max Planck Medal ▪ In 1950 Otto HahnAward ▪ In 1960 WilhemExner Medal ▪ In 1966 Enrico Fermi Award ▪ The element 109 : Meitnerium (Mt)
  17. 17. Chien-Shiung Wu “Thefirst Lady ofPhisycs” ▪ Shanghai in 1912, one year after the Chinese revolution started ▪ Her father created a clandestine school for her to study in ▪ In 1930 she leads a demonstration for women to gain access to universities in Nanjing ▪ She acquires her degree in 1934 and moves to Shanghai ▪ In 1936 she emigrates to the US to start a Ph.D. In Physics
  18. 18. Chien-ShiungWu:firststeps ▪ She gets her Ph.D. In Physics under the supervision of Ernst O. Lawrence and Emilio Segré ▪ Fermi and Oppenheimer referred to her as “the authority” and coin the phrase “Ask Miss Wu”. ▪ After the bombing of PH she is haunted by xenophobia which forces her to work at a College in Northampton ▪ Finally she receives a temporary position in Princenton ▪ After the war she receives a permanent position at Columbia university ▪ She makes relevant contributions on beta decay
  19. 19. Chien-Shiung Wu : Thediscoveryofparityviolation ▪ 1956 Lee andYang published a theoretical article where they questioned the parity violation on the weak interaction ▪ Wu proves with a simple and elegant experiment that the parity is not conserved under the weak nuclear interaction ▪ 1957 Lee andYang received the Noble Prize in Physics
  20. 20. Chien-Shiung Wu: Worldwide recognition
  21. 21. Rosalind Franklin: DNA structure ▪ She was born 1920 in London to a Jewish family ▪ She studies at Newnham ▪ She receives her Ph. D. degree from Cambridge on the porosity of coal ▪ She moves to Paris where she is recognized as an expert ▪ In 1951 she goes back to King’s College to work in the group of MauriceWilkins on the molecule of DNA
  22. 22. Rosalind Franklin: scientificscenario ▪ It was known that the DNA was the genetic messenger ▪ 1944 Schrödinger writes “What is life” DNA has a crystal structure! ▪ The race on discovering the atomic structure and how the genetic inheritance is transmitted begins:THE SECRET OF LIFE
  23. 23. Rosalind Franklin: photo 51 ▪ In 1951 Rosalindtakesthemostbeautifulpicture in History ▪ Watson andCrick (Cavendish) entertherace ▪ In January 1953 Linus Pauling proposes 3 helixforthe DNA structure ▪ In February 1953 Rosalindwrites in her notebook “Structure B: evidencefor 2- chainhelix ?” ▪ InApril 1953Watson andCrickpublishedtheirmodel
  24. 24. Rosalind Franklin: Tobaccomosaic virus (TMV) ▪ In 1953 she moves to Birbeck and begins the happiest period of her life ▪ She is invited to the USA where she meetsAaron Klug ▪ Together they publish more than 10 articles in 2 years, 8 Natures ▪ In 1958 Rosalind passes away due to ovary cancer, she was 37 ▪ In 1968Watson, Crick yWilkins receive the Nobel Prize in medicine
  25. 25. Rosalind Franklin: late justice
  26. 26. Jocelyn Bell Burnell: The Pulsar ▪ She was born 1943 in Belfast ▪ In 1956 she moves to York to a Quaker girls' boarding school ▪ She graduated from the University of Glasgow with a Bachelor of Science in Natural Philosophy (physics) in 1965 ▪ She obtained her Ph.D. degree from New Hall (since renamed Murray Edwards College) of the University of Cambridge in 1968
  27. 27. Jocelyn Bell Burnell: LittleGreenMen ? ▪ Radioastronomy ▪ She worked with Hewish and others to constructa radio telescope for using interplanetary scintillation to study quasars. Burnell made the cables by hand that provided the telescope with such a extreme sensitivity ▪ She analyzed the data by hand as well ▪ In 1967 she measured a weak and unknown signal with a very accurate periodicity ▪ Hewish’s first interpretation : intelligent life from space (LGM), she did not believe it
  28. 28. Jocelyn Bell Burnell : PULSAR ▪ She does more experiments that proves the radiatoin must have anothe origin ▪ In 1968 they publishd an article in Nature Magazine just showing the data, the origin is not clear yet. ▪ In 1968 she receives her degree and quits research ▪ In 1974 Hewish receives the Noble Prize in Physics ▪ Thomas Gold, considers it an unjustice
  29. 29. Jocelyn Bell Burnell: horizontal growth ▪ In 1968 she gets married and quits radioastronomy ▪ Her husband was a diplomat and she acompanies him everywhere ▪ During this period she works as gamma ray astronomer, X ray astronomer, infrared astronomer and submilimiter astronomer. ▪ Finally she obtains a permanent positios at Open University in 1991 ▪ In 2007 she is honouredDammeCommander of the Order of the British Empire
  30. 30. Bernie Poiesz “There are many different reasons why people associate Robert Gallo’s name as the discovered of HTLV, I can’t change how people perceive it, or how people presented it to the media.The only thing I can do is do my work. I spent many many nights in that laboratory. The moment of discovery was mine.” (Nature, P.A. Lawrence. 2002) “Existen muchas razones por las cuales la gente asocia el nombre de Robert Gallo al descrubrimiento del HTLV, no puedo cambiar la percepción popular, ni cómo los medios de comunicación lo han presentado. Solo puedo hacer mi trabajo. Pasé muchas noches en el laboratorio. El momento del descubrimiento fue mío. ”
  31. 31. Title and Content Layout with Chart 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4 ChartTitle Series 1 Series 2 Series 3
  32. 32. Two Content Layout with Table ▪ First bullet point here ▪ Second bullet point here ▪ Third bullet point here Group A Group B Class 1 82 95 Class 2 76 88 Class 3 84 90
  33. 33. Two Content Layout with SmartArt Group A • Task 1 • Task 2 Group B • Task 1 • Task 2 Group C • Task 1 ▪ First bullet point here ▪ Second bullet point here ▪ Third bullet point here
  34. 34. Referencias 1. Chien-ShiungWu: Pioneering Nuclear Physicist (Makers of Modern Science), Richard Hammond, Chelsea HousePublishers, NewYork (2010). 2. Present at the creation : the story of CERN and the Large Hadron Collider,Amil D. Aczer, Crow Publishers, NewYork (2010).
  35. 35. Nature 387, 341 (1997) ¿ Han mejorado las cosas? Indudablemente, pero queda mucho trabajo por hacer… Academia de Medicina Sueca -44% Ph.D. con honores -25% hacen postdoctorados -7% profesión -Menor motivación ? -Menor producción ? -Discriminación? El ratio de éxito de las solicitudes femeninas en Swedish Medical ResearchCouncil era la mitad que el de los hombres.
  36. 36. PNAS in press, June 2012 Primer estudio sobre la polarización de género en el mundo académico.
  37. 37. Agradecimientos ▪ Marta Macho y MarijeIrabien , UPV/EHU ▪ Pikara Magazine (www.pikaramagazine.com) ▪ Nora BengoaVergniory (CIC Biogune) y Elena Garcia Ramos ( Humboldt- UniversitätzuBerlin )
  38. 38. ETAN report 2000 Portugal topstheleaguefor womenprofessors !!
  39. 39. UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2012 p. 77