« October 2009 | Main | December 2009 »

November 29, 2009

One last thank you for the weekend

Ah it has been a wonderful long Thanksgiving weekend. We at FairerScience did very little work, ok except for Tom who has been changing over our systems. I LOVE my new key board and having two monitors. I'm sure I'll complain at some point but for now-- I am a happy person. Of course that may be related to my taking a whole 4 day weekend off. I am so relaxed that when I went to the post office just to get stamps to send Christmas cards on Saturday; the folks at the post office (Hi Cheryl and Jonesie) were like" what's wrong with you; why don't you have any work stuff?" Blowing up stereotypes and expectations--always such a good thing to do.

And speaking of giving thanks and blowing off stereotypes I've been thinking about the early not-astronauts-- you know the women like Jerrie Cobb who, according to USA Today not only passed all the tests but "passed and far exceeded the average responses of the Mercury 7's team for flight time and endurance." No she didn't get to fly in space-- well you know that whole girls can't fly thing until ride Sally Ride.

So while I am thinking of the soooo many things I am thankful for; I would like to add to my thank you list those totally cool women in the 1950s-60s who trained to be astronauts and did damn well (68% of the women applicants passed the tests vs 56% of the men-- ok I know that's not la large effect size but heck...). They never got a chance to fly-- well you know that whole girls can't fly thing-- but in so many ways they helped the rest of us to fly.

Thank you all!

November 25, 2009

Being thankful, sort of

There are many reasons for us over here at FairerScience to be thankful this year. Family and friends are healthy and almost all are happy. And speaking of happy; FairerScience friend Seth Campbell-Mortman just sent his rendering of this year's Campbell-Kibler Associates Christmas card. I asked for happy and happy we got! (I'lll post the card in December-- no Christmas before Thanksgiving is a rule here).

While I'm not sure if thankful is the right word; I'm darn happy that the White House has begun their campaign to promote science and math education.

Some of the pieces of the campaign I totally love like that there will be discussions of the scientific method on Sesame Street. (Big digression: Cookie Monster as Veggie Monster may take some rethinking on my part.) National Lab Day looks like it has some real potential as well.

And heck, what's not love when the president says:

Scientists and engineers ought to stand side by side with athletes and entertainers as role models, and here at the White House, we’re going to lead by example. We’re going to show young people how cool science can be.

As excited as I am about all this; misquoting Abigail Adam's words but not her intent, I would like to say "remember the childcare". Am figuring that most of you have heard about the report on women in the sciences that found that

married women with children were 35% less likely to get a tenure-track position than married men with children and 33% less likely to do so than single women without children.

Gee you don't think that at least some of that might be related to such a lack of childcare, that good centers for infants have 18 -24 month waiting lists do you? Which when you do that math means you had better start making plans for childcare before you get pregnant--sigh.

November 22, 2009

Further proof I've always been a geek

Several years ago my high school math teacher sent me a copy of a poem I had written in, well yes, high school

You disintegrate my differential

You dislocate my focus.

My pulse goes up like an exponential
when ever you cross my locus.

Without you sets are null and void.

So won't you be my cardiod?

Thank you Mr. Feldner; you supported my math geekiness more than anyone

November 14, 2009

Do you know that song "I've been everywhere?"

Lately I feel like I've been living that song. I've been in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and ok- Miami and DC and NYC a couple of times. Cheryl at the Groton Post Office (who, of course, know about all of my travels) tells me to stop complaining because I love what I do and she is of course right. But while I've been immersed in work; I've been missing lots of interesting things that are happening.

One of my favorites is an interview with FairerScience friend Annalee Newitz .

Annalee describes it thusly:

Law nerd David Levine just had me on his podcast, Hearsay Culture, to chat about all kinds of things, including female geeks vs. male geeks. I had a lot of fun chatting with him. You can listen to the podcast here. I wound up being fairly rambly in places, and made judicious use of the fine word “um,” but I was excited to get a chance to talk about my theory of why hacker culture is so macho. And why female geeks worry so much about looking feminine – or not.

Some of my favorite parts:

Annalee describing her Io9 website as about the permeable membrane between science fiction and science.

Her rant about "pink robots".

Her advice to 12 year old geeks, girls and boys, about the need to find content related geekie communities with lots and lots of examples.

Best of all her advice to the parents of boys to keep girls and boys together-- to expose their kids to both genders and keep them in mixed groups. Annalee says and it makes a heck of a lot of sense to me, "the more that boys think of girls as their allies, as their comrades, as their co adventurers; the more that the adult men they become, will look at women as colleagues and not just as potential sex objects and alien creatures that they don't understand."

The interview starts slowly but keeps getting better and better. Just listen ok?