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The X-Gals

Now that is definitely a title. It is not one, however, that I would recommend googling on while at work. The results are definitely not work place friendly. The X-Gals themselves are. They are "a group of nine female biologists who began meeting weekly over a few beers in 2000" as several of them wrote up their dissertations. Their name is "a double-pun on the X-Men superheroes and on X-Gal, a laboratory chemical sometimes used in biology."

The X-Gals are writing a series on the personal and professional challenges of life in academic science beginning this week in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Their start is depressingly accurate. "Women in biology earn roughly half of the Ph.D.'s awarded annually by American universities yet are progressively more underrepresented in postdoctoral, tenure-track, and tenured faculty positions. We all know that. We also know that women with families are less likely to earn tenure than our childless peers." I am hoping that they'll have some good news as well and lots of strategies to deal with the challenges.

Unfortunately on-line access is limited to Chronicle subscribers, but I am hoping that those of us without subscriptions have friends who will share.


The Catalyst section of the Chronicle is free. So anyone can get at this article.

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