Women's Impact On Science (And The AAAS)

February 03, 1998

PHILADELPHIA, PA, Feb. 12-17, 1998 -- On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a day-long symposium will be devoted to the impact of women in science. The program begins at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 14, in Philadelphia, PA. (AAAS Headquarters 215-574-8524)

Organized by the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) and Sigma Delta Epsilon-Graduate Women in Science (GWIS), the symposium, "Women in Science," will examine how the changing role of women in society, affirmative action, mentoring, and the move towards a more technology- and science-based economy in the last three decades have created unparalleled opportunities for women scientists.

"The role of women has changed not only in the work place but also within the AAAS itself," said Dr. Pat Shaffer, co-organizer of the symposium.

Women have been part of the AAAS since its earliest days with the first women members (Maria Mitchell and Margaretta Morriss) joined in 1850. But it was not until 1969 that the first AAAS woman president (Mina Rees) was elected. In the period since, women have taken a more prominent role in the governance of AAAS culminating with a string of four women AAAS presidents in the late 1990s (Rita Colwell, Jane Lubchenco, Mildred Dresselhaus, and M.R.C. Greenwood).

The morning session of "Women in Science" will present an historical review of women in science and assess the current status of women scientists in the marketplace. The afternoon session will address recruitment issues, remaining challenges to achieving full participation of women, and a global view of the future for women as scientists. The importance of this issue was noted by Helen Davies, who remarked, "The challenges of the new millennium will require the best minds in science, regardless of gender or race. We want to help ensure the diversity which is critical to science achieving continued success."

Sigma Delta Epsilon-Graduate Women in Science was founded in 1921 at Cornell University as a fraternity to secure housing for graduate women scientists and now has chapters throughout the US. For membership it requires a degree in science and research experience. The greatest benefits to membership are the fellowships for research awarded annually, travel awards to meetings, an annual meeting, a national directory, a quarterly Bulletin and, above all, networking possibilities.

The Association for Women in Science is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to achieving equity and full participation for women in all fields of science and technology. AWIS was founded in 1971 by a group of 40 pioneering women scientists and today numbers more than 6,000 members representing 76 chapters across the country, making it the largest multidisciplinary science organization for women in the United States. AWIS received the 1997 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring for its work. AWIS has headquarters in Washington, DC.
Symposium Outline

150th Anniversary Celebration of AAAS Founding in 1848 in Philadelphia AAAS Meeting, February 12 - 17, 1998

Theme Track: Policy & Economics
Saturday, Feb 14, 1998
(sponsored by GWIS and AWIS)

MORNING SESSION: "Women in Science: The Last Decades"

-Introductions by Dr. Helen Davies, President of AWIS

-Dr. Margaret Rossiter, Professor of the History of Science, Cornell University "1970-1998: A Golden Age for Women?"

-Dr. Margaret Cavanaugh, Program Director, Chemistry Division, NSF "Is Institutional Culture Changing for Women Chemists in Academe?"

-Dr. Fay Ajzenberg-Selove, Professor of Physics, University of Pennsylvania "Women in Physics: 1971-1998"

- Dr. Lydia Villa-Komaroff, Associate Vice President for Research Admin., Northwestern University "The Role of Women in the Biotech and Pharmaceutical Industries"

AFTERNOON SESSION: Women in Science: What Works?

-Introductions by Dr. Patricia Shaffer, GWIS

- Dr. Sue Rosser, Director, Center for Women's Studies & Gender Research, U. Florida, Gainesville "Relationships between Programs for Women in Science and Women's Studies"

- Dr. Susan Lindee, Dept. of History and Sociology of Science. University of Pennsylvania "Recruiting Little Girls: Juvenile Biographies of Marie Curie"

- Dr. Lisa Baird, Professor of Biology, Chair, Department of Biology, University of San Diego "Educating Young Women in Science"

-Drs. Shirley Vining Brown/Beatriz Clewell, Project Talent Flow, University of Maryland "Non-Science Career Choices of High-Ability Black and Hispanic Women"

- Dr. Mary Lowe Good, Managing Member, Venture Capital Investors, LLC "Women in Science: Future Global Perspective"

Contacts: Helen Davies, AWIS (202-326-8940)
Catherine Didion, AWIS (202-326-8940)
Patricia Shaffer, GWIS (619-260-4034)
After February 13, 1998: The Philadelphia Marriott (215-625-2900)

Association for Women in Science
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