Friday, July 15, 2005

things I'm reading

Yes, I know I should be writing lectures, but here are a few things that have caught my eye in the past week or so:

Dress codes..."As in, I avoid overly tight or short clothing. I always wear tank tops under low-cut shirts. I do not wear skirts to work, and all pants are capri-length or longer. So what gives? Does being 1/3 her age and female automatically make me "provacative"? Isn't the workplace treacherous enough without women turning against each other?" (Single girl's guide to grad school)

This week's issue of Nature had a number of thought provoking pieces:

"Action, not words: Japan is beginning to recognize that the status and treatment of women researchers must change — but it has yet to take decisive action to address the problem." Nature 436, 151 (14 July 2005)

Mysterious disappearance of female investigators - this letter to the editor chronicles how in the European Young Investigators competition 25% of applicants were women, but at every stage of the competition their fraction was whittled down, so that in the end only 12% of the awards went to women. The letter writers suggest that there was bias in the competition judging, as the statistical probability of this occurrence is only 0.05%. Nature 436, 174 (14 July 2005)

Nobel laureates mingling with grad students.
Nature 436, 170-171 (14 July 2005)
"For the past 55 years, a remarkable gathering of minds has been taking place in a small town in Germany. Behind closed doors, Nobel laureates have come from all corners of the globe to meet local students. This year, for the first time, the rest of the world has been invited and some 700 international students have joined the party."
Having met a few Nobelists myself, I'm glad to hear that other students get a chance to do so as well. I think that the gathering sounds like a great opportunity for young scientists to learn that Nobelists are humans too, but also to learn a lot from them.

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