Women’s History Month: Why are there still so few women in science?

Published: February 26, 2021

In 1950, British chemist and physicist Rosalind Franklin discovered that there were two forms of DNA and figured out DNA’s likely helical structure. Katherine Johnson, a super-mathematician solved equations for NASA’s early space ventures including Alan Shepard’s 1961 Freedom 7 Mission. Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin discovered that hydrogen was far more prevalent in the universe than anyone had believed. And very few people believed her. In 1956, Harvard University announced her appointment as a Professor of Astronomy, the first woman to attain full professorship at Harvard through regular faculty promotion.

As Women’s History Month gets underway, three Queensborough scientists talk about their own research, long-standing biases and gender stereotypes that steer women away from science, and how they’re working together to educate emerging biologists, chemists, psychologists, and others.

This video is part of Queensborough Conversations: A series of exchanges and discussions with Queensborough faculty about their current research, projects, and community engagement.

Dr. Anuradha Srivastava, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, conducts research in the field of public health and has made significant contributions in the areas of neglected tropical diseases, including malaria. Dr. Kimberly Riegel, Assistant Professor in the Physics Department at Queensborough Community College, studies acoustics with a focus on supersonic aircraft. Dr. Jody A. Resko, Assistant Professor of Education/Psychology in the Social Sciences Department who has investigated trauma and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in children, is currently researching pre-service teachers’ negative attitudes towards math.

Drs. Anuradha, Riegel, and Resko are instrumental to the ongoing development of the College’s extensive Undergraduate Research Program. They are also collaborating on a new app related to urban noise.

This conversation, recorded in February as the United Nations marked its 6th International Day of Women and Girls in Science, has been edited for time and clarity. Opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this web resource do not necessarily represent those of Queensborough Community College.

Host: Mike Donahue; Recorded: February 8, 2021

 

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