We are celebrating the International Day of Women and Girls in Science with a big thank you to all of the women scientists and academics who contribute to our knowledge of the world.
The International Women’s day was created in 1910 and it is still celebrated today to remind us that women and men still don’t have the same rights: lower salary with equal skills, lower access to education… and the recent events regarding sexual harassment remind us more than ever that violence against women is one of the most widespread violation of human rights on the planet.
Regarding women in Science, the day for International Women and Girls in Science was only created three years ago and was celebrated on the 11th of February. According to the United Nations, women are still underrepresented in the various fields of science: “A significant gender gap has persisted throughout the years at all levels of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines all over the world.”
Let us remember that between 1901 and 2017 only 49 women got a Nobel Prize, of which 4 are in physics (<2%), 2 are in chemistry (<4%), and 12 are in medicine (~11%).
“In fact, according to a study conducted in 14 countries, the probability for female students of graduating with a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree and Doctor’s degree in science-related field are 18%, 8% and 2% respectively, while the percentages of male students are 37%, 18% and 6%.” UN
As a woman and an ex-researcher myself, my feeling regarding this day is divided between the strong need to highlight and recognise globally the unacceptable inequalities and unfairness between men and women—and the fear to be reduced only to my gender.
For me “being a woman” and particularly “being a woman in science” can’t be used as a criterion of competence in the same way that “being a man” or “being a man in science” can’t be used as one either. I would even say that I find it as contemptuous to be excluded because I am a woman as to get privileges only for this reason, too.
I think it is important that this day stays a way to discover and recognise the ability of women in different fields in regard to their creativity, intellectuality and their others various qualities in the same way as for men.
Women’s collections on ScienceOpen
For ScienceOpen, this day can be used as another day to promote collections and make research known. So, let’s introduce scientific women who are involved in various research fields—not only since today but for years!—and who created 25 researcher collections on ScienceOpen to share with you these years of research:
- Resource Identification by Anita Bandrowski
- IODP Expedition 378: South Pacific Paleogene Climate by Laurel Childress
- Research Paper of the Future by Gail Clement
- Freshwater Cyanobacterial Blooms by Daniela de Figueiredo
- Ctenophores, Digital Science, Indigenous Knowledge and Research in Africa by Johanna Havemann
- Humboldt University Berlin by Sabine Henneberger, A. Degkwitz, N. Fromm and A. Grossmann
- Behavioral Ecology of Fishes, Open Access Scholarship and its Impact on Scholarly Communication and Library Science and Open Data in Research by Jasmine Hoover
- The Gratitude Collection by Lilian Jans-Beken
- Cancer Metabolism by Anne Le
- Stigmatisation of mental illnesses by Lisa Matthias
- Better latte than never: Is coffee good for your health? by Lisa Matthias and J. Tennant
- Scientific Ocean Drilling Expedition Research Results by Lorri Peters
- Embodied Memory by claudia repetto
- Synthesis of 2-(trifluoromethyl)piperidines and azepanes by Sarah Rioton
- Shewanella by Gal Schkolnik
- Global Health Next Generation Network by Annika Schmöker, Joceline Kranenburg and Nana Bit-Avragim
- Vector Biology by Maiara Severo
- Biomarkers for Inflammatory Lung Disease, Pneumonia, sex, and the environment and Sex hormones and lung development by Patricia Silveyra
You can also consult the new collection: Women in Science, created recently on ScienceOpen by Annual Reviews as a tribute for scientific women: This collection was created to “recognize some of the experts that have contributed to Annual Reviews’ journals.”
Women working at ScienceOpen
I cannot finish this post without introducing myself and some of my colleagues at ScienceOpen. I am Sarah Rioton and I am French. I started to work as Research Communities Manager at ScienceOpen in January. Before, I did chemical engineering studies at CPELyon and then a PhD in Organic Chemistry at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris. After my studies, I decided to leave France to settle down in Germany. My experience in research made me conscious of the value of communicating scientific knowledge, and I found a good opportunity to do that with ScienceOpen! I think that the respect of rights equality is a daily duty and I don’t want to be defined as a “woman in science” but as a researcher as I was, or as a manager in research communication as I am.
Let’s introduce now Stephanie Dawson who is the chief executive officer at ScienceOpen, and my colleague Nina Tscheke who handles customer integration and sales support. We work every day to make the research more visible and accessible to everyone with ScienceOpen:
CEO Stephanie Dawson grew up in northern California and studied Biology at Yale University. She then worked at the labs of Susan Parkhurst at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle WA and Ralph Rupp, at the MPG Friedrich Miescher Laboratory, Tübingen, Germany before changing fields and getting a PhD in German Literature from the University of Washington under Jane Brown. From 2001-2012 she worked in various positions at the academic Publisher De Gruyter in Berlin in the fields of biology and chemistry in both journals and book publishing. In 2013 she joined the ScienceOpen management team.
Nina Tscheke provides Customer Integration and Sales Support. After having dwelt in the sphere of literary and cultural studies, with special attention to critical race theory, gender, and minority studies and having helped introduce several generations of students at the JLU into the very field it was now time for her to move on and beyond the academical field. She was delighted to have found a new place/opportunity with ScienceOpen where she can further help in accumulating and disseminating the global knowledge while at the same time providing access and a networking platform for all.