Thus Spake Zuska

Archives for November, 2006

The Madame Curie of Machine Tools

Penny Richards wrote via email to tell me that Saturday, November 25 was Kate Gleason’s birthday. Gleason (1865-1933) was the first woman admitted to full membership in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, in the 1910s (she represented ASME at an international conference in Germany in 1930). She was also the daughter of Irish immigrants,…

Perfusing the Magnet

What’s the funniest lab accident you’ve ever had?… …asks “Ask A Science Blogger”. Definitely not funny at the time. But funny in retrospect. As a grad student and a postdoc, I worked with cultured mammalian cells (animal and human). I used magnetic resonance spectroscopy to study their metabolism and functional behavior. This involved packing a…

Training Your Department Chairs

From the WEPAN listserv: The University of Washington has received a grant from the National Science Foundation ADVANCE program (grant SBE-0619159) to offer a series of national leadership workshops for science, engineering, and mathematics department chairs and emerging faculty leaders. These workshops, called *LEAD: Leadership Excellence for Academic Diversity*, are focused on providing academic leaders…

Rebutting Rachel

Over at Dr. Free-Ride’s pad, Ken C. is most distressed that no one has attempted to debate our dear friend Rachel’s serious critique of the NSF report, Beyond Bias and Barriers. Knowing how ably Rachel dissected the work of that horribly biased panel that put together that shoddy piece of work, I nevertheless shouldered the…

Toadygawa Translated

Thanks to Dr. Free-Ride of Adventures in Ethics and Science for alerting me to this most wonderful post. Transient Reporter has provided a most delicious translation of one of Toadygawa’s emails to Alla Karpova. It is too, too good to pass up. Here’s the intro: From: Susumu Tonegawa Sent: Thursday, May 11, 2006 7:09 PM…

What’s Wrong With This Statement?

Jokerine wrote in respone to Let Her Eat the Oppressor’s Cake: had a discussion in my group today about affirmative action. One of the guys comented that if we promoted women in male fields soon all groups on the fringes of society would ask for prefferential treatment. I couldn’t figure out what was bothering me…

Methods of Prohibition

Following up on my entry on Joanna Russ’s book, How to Suppress Women’s Writing, and its application to women in science and engineering… In discussing “prohibitions”, Russ notes” First of all, it’s important to realize that the absence of formal prohibitions against committing art [or science] does not preclude the presence of powerful, informal ones.…

Joanna Russ wrote a wonderful book in 1983 called How to Suppress Women’s Writing. (You can purchase it on the internet here or at your local bookseller or at amazon.) Sadly, you could read that book today and apply its insights directly to science and engineering. So, with an acknowledgement to Joanna Russ:

Tonegawa Steps Down!

Toadygawa is history! At least at Picower. The Chronicle’s news blog reports that Susumu Tonegawa is stepping down as head of Picower after an university investigation found he “behaved inappropriately when he tried to discourage a young female scholar from accepting a job offer from MIT”. Sadly, the university declined to discipline anyone and we…

The Montreal Massacre and Gendercide In Iraq

This post grew out of an exchange with Benjamin Franz on my post This Is The Patriarchy: When Talking To The Master, Speak In A Civil Tone. I felt the exchange itself was worth promoting to a post, with some additional commentary, especially since we are getting so close to the anniversary date of the…