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AWIS in Action! September 2012 - Loreal Awards
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AWIS In Action!

 Advocacy & Public Policy Newsletter   ~   September 2012
In This Issue
 
Remarkable Postdoctoral Fellows Achievements Recognized
 
Five postdoctoral fellows from a variety of scientific backgrounds were recently recognized for their outstanding achievements in a variety of disciplines at the L’Oreal Women in Science ceremony in New York. While each one of them is an exceptional scientist, the most remarkable aspect of their work was the cross-disciplinary nature of each of their projects. This demonstrates tremendous scope as well as a mastery of diverse skill sets. The winners are Dr. Christina Agapakis and Dr. Jaclyn Wintera from the University of California, Los Angeles; Dr. Lilian Childress at Yale University; Dr. Joanna Lynne Kelley from Stanford University; and Dr. Erin Marie Williams at George Washington University.

The recipients were awarded fellowships of up to $60,000 to support their research endeavors. In addition to being invited to New York for the ceremony and reception, the winners participated in workshops focused on professional development, including cultivating scientific networks for mentorship and developing skills to communicate their science to broader audiences. Ironically, the day of the event L’Oreal was reprimanded by the FDA for over-selling their own science.

 
The keynote remarks were made by Christine C. Quinn, the New York City Speaker of the City Council, the first woman to occupy that role. Her address was a humorous and enthusiastic endorsement of the importance of scientists pursuing a passion both for their own intellectual fulfillment as well as serving as role models for future generations. Each of the award recipients had an opportunity to speak a few words about the importance of women in science and her individual scientific journey. Dr. Agapakis summed the value of this event up most poignantly, drawing on an anecdote from Dr. Evelyn Fox Keller, the biophysicist and feminist. Dr. Agapakis explained that in "promoting women in science we’re not creating a separate ‘women’s science,’ different because of our different brains, but that we are creating a stronger science overall. [Keller] writes that we should ‘seek a science named not by gender, or even by androgyny, but by many different kinds of naming. A healthy science is one that allows for the productive survival of diverse conceptions of mind and nature, and of correspondingly diverse strategies. In my vision of science, it is not the taming of nature that is sought, but the taming of hegemony.’”
  
 
In This Issue
 

 

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