Where We Live
8:23 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Gender Balance and the Culture of Women in Science

What is causing a shortage of female scientists?
Credit Defence Images / Creative Commons

In 1962, the Nobel Prize was awarded to three scientists, James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins, for their work in discovering the fundamental structure of DNA: the double helix. Today, Watson, Crick, and Wilkins maintain international prestige for their findings. 

But few realize that much of what we understand about DNA’s composition is, in fact, owed to the work of just one scientist. A woman. Her name was Rosalind Franklin, and it was her X-ray images of DNA that paved the way for Watson, Crick, and Wilkins’ discovery.

Throughout history, women like Franklin have made invaluable contributions to the sciences. Still, centuries of social stigma and discrimination have made the scientific world a rather unwelcoming place for most women.

On Where We Live, our panel of guests talks about the challenges women face in pursuing STEM careers. We also hear from Vivek Wadhwa, who covered gender bias in Silicon Valley. What impact is this having there? And how do we close the gender gap?

GUESTS:

  • Dr. Sandra Weller - Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biophysics at UConn
  • Dr. Sharon Nunes​ - Former Vice President at IBM
  • Dr. Kathy Ayers - Director of Research at Proton OnSite
  • Elizabeth Jordan - Manager at Pratt and Whitney 
  • Vivek Wadhwa - Fellow at the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University and Director of Research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke’s Engineering School

Listen to the full show.

Related program: