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Our Dreams for a Better, More Equitable Society

This month’s Scientiae Carnival is about our dreams for a better, more equitable society. A piece of my dream was realized earlier this week when the first legislation signed by President Obama was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, especially when he said he signed it in honor of Lilly Ledbetter, his grandmother “who worked in a bank all her life, and even after she hit that glass ceiling, kept getting up again” and his daughters, “because I want them to grow up in a nation that values their contributions, where there are no limits to their dreams.”

There are no limits to our dreams. acmegirl writes powerfully about choices, real choices, “not just new compulsory roles masquerading as choice.” “More choice”, she explains, “seems really simple, but it would actually require a lot of restructuring of our current version of society. Or maybe not. Letting other people live their lives the way they want to may very well mean the end of the world as we know it. But if everyone in the world woke up tomorrow and realized that it could also mean the beginning of an even better one, the work would be done in short order.” I was all teary when I got to the end of this post, acmegirl gives us both hope and direction!

Mrs. Comet-Hunter agrees, saying that Acmegirl “wrote a fantastic post that pretty much sums up how I would answer this question in a general sense.” She then goes on to show how those choices could work out in her life, realizing that as is the case for so many of us, “these days my dream life seems to be changing on a daily basis. I guess that's what happens when your future is unknown, but there are many options.”

Ecogeofemme from the Happy Scientist, (hmmm a Happy Scientist—that is a dream in itself. Sorry I digress) has “the same visions that many others have -- freedom to have the type of family you want with good, affordable childcare and access to any kind of job with no discrimination.” She reminds us that this is about women AND men. All I can say in response to her conclusion “If there is no men's work and women's work, then there can't be any discrimination related to work. Even science.” is YES! Sciencewoman agrees. Her comment that she fervently hopes “that there could be a better way than having a woman work a "man's job" (in my case, science professor) and then come home and work a second "woman's job" (mother, cook, housekeeper)” was a major reason why I suggested this theme for the carnival.

Journeys of an Academic posts about her ideal world in science. She worries that “we hide behind the idea of "scientific objectivity" and do everything we can to remove ourselves from social and political consequences.” For her a more equitable science would have more people willing to listen, to have a meaningful conversation even though it means questioning their understanding of how science fits into society at multiple venues.”

Volcanista is a little discouraged, feeling that her dream for a more equitable society, particularly in science, is “kind of an impossible end goal.” But “it’s something we have to work towards nonetheless. Because even incremental improvement is real improvement, and it can really impact people’s lives in positive ways.” Confused at a Higher Level has become, well not discouraged, but less optimistic the longer she has persisted in Physics, but she still has her dreams. Reading them made me teary yet again.

Some of our dreams are happening now. Monkeygirl knows there are lots of problems and much to worry about but still is happy and “so so close to living the life of my dreams.” It is, as she says “pretty awesome.” I’m saving this post to reread during bad days.

And on these bad days, I’m also going to go back to Physicienne at Lightly Scattered’s post where she gives us some things we can do to move toward that better, more equitable society. She reminds us of the importance of “being aware of what you are doing, why, and how your actions affect those around you on a more local level” as well as “being aware of what is happening on a global scale and understanding your connection to current trends or conflicts, including how they can impact your life.” PodBlack Cat also gives us hope that are dreams are coming to fruition by telling us about so many of the cool things that are happening in Australia. You gotta check out The Gravity Discovery Centre, especially the sound track!

I’ve been honored to host this Carnival. It has given me great hope for the future. Thank you all.

PS I’m pleased to let you know about a new carnival, the Diversity in Science Carnival. For its first edition, you are asked to write about a person who is a pioneer and/or innovator in any of the amazing fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), how this person impacted STEM and/or inspired you and why his/her story is interesting. The deadline Friday, February 20th.


For what it's worth, I fear that a completely equitable society is unlikely, but a more equitable one is possible. :)

Thanks for hosting! It's great to read about the dreams we all have.

Great carnival.

Where are my manners? Thanks so much for hosting! Loved the topic!

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