Women in Science: Dr. Carolyn Bertozzi

 Dr. Carolyn Bertozzi is a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkley. She won a MacArthur genius award at age 33, making her one of the youngest scientists to do so. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Inventors, and the Institute of Medicine. In 2010 she was the first woman to receive the prestigious Lemelson-MIT Prize faculty award. She was kind enough to talk to me a few months ago, andI finally found time to post her interview.

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Women in Science: Update!

Hey guys! So I’m hoping to post not one but three interviews with women in science this week! About a month ago, before I took a mental break from things, I interviewed Dr. Carolyn Bertozzi, who does amazing work in Chemistry and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley. Then, at a reception for the Sturm Lecture I liveblogged, I was able to record a quick conversation I had with Dr. Sara Seager, who was absolutely incredible. And finally, I was able to do a skype interview with one of my personal heroes, role models, and inspirations, Dr. Meg Urry, who is the President of the AMerican Astronomical Association, and it was absolutely amazing! So keep an eye out for those, I just have to go through and type them up!

Astrohannah

Aaaaand, We’re Back!

Hey everyone.

I know I’ve been gone for a while because of finals, and because I was giving myself a bit of a break due to the loss of a beloved family member. However, I have returned and with big plans for future posts! I have a full interview with Dr. Carolyn Bertozzi that should be out soon, and a small snippet of inspiration I was able to get from Dr. Sara Seager after she gave the Sturm Lecture at Wes. And I am SUPER excited to report that tomorrow morning I will be interviewing Dr. Meg Urry, the current president of the American Astronomical Society and one of my personal heroes/inspirations.

For my fellow LDR people, I’m going to be writing up a post in just a minute, so stay tuned!

Thanks for understanding my absence,

Astrohannah

Sturm Lecture 2015: The Search for Earth 2.0 LIVEBLOG

7:56 – Lecture set to start in a few minutes. Went with friend (Rachel) from my astronomy class. Astronomy class friend Max makes a surprise appearance. Also I went to the slightly more high-level colloquium talk today and Dr Seager is super cool. And unreasonably accomplished. She also sorta looks like a bird which sounds like I’m being rude but I swear I’m not she’s super cool. She looks like a very elegant bird.

Dr. Sara Seager
Dr. Sara Seager

8:00 – Gorgeous image of the milky way as seen from earth is the title slide background. Rachel and I agree we want to see it like this someday. Also I’m bad at typing fast.

8:05 – Prof. Seth Redfield giving intros. New woman who’s name I didn’t get is giving thanks to everyone for coming/explaining the lecture.

8:06 – She’s the provost. Says she’s bragging about the university. Easy to do cause we’re an awesome university. Major shoutout given to the astro dept for being SUPER RAD. Apparently Prof. Redfield is (maybe) about to be a full professor!! (Go Seth)!

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A (Possibly Brief) Return

I know I said I was going to have to be away from this blog for a little while, because I received some very sad news. However, this Wednesday I have the opportunity to attend a lecture about searching for habitable exoplanets that is being given by the brilliant Dr. Sara Seager. This is too good for this blog to pass up, so I will be liveblogging the event. Look for posts either this Wednesday starting at 8pm eastern time, or possible a long comprehensive post a day later if WordPress doesn’t work well for liveblogging. After that, I can’t give an exact date on when I will make a post next. I don’t know how  long I’m going to need to deal with the news I got, but I promise to come back as soon as I am able.

“Boys Don’t Like Smart Girls”

This is possibly the most unintelligent dribble I have ever had the displeasure of hearing. However, statements like this can have huge impacts on young women and girls, especially as they start middle school and high school. At a time when women struggle to be accepted, “boys don’t like smart girls” might be the statement that they base part of their personality off of. This needs to be discouraged.

First off, I know I refer to heterosexual relationships only in this post. Understand that this is because it’s a post about teenage boys being unpleasant about the level of intelligence of teenage girls. While I’m sure there are lesbians/asexuals/bi people out there who won’t date smart girls, it’s less common, less rooted in past discrimination, and more likely a result of their own lack of self-confidence. All right. Let’s continue.

This first part is for any young women reading this blog. The wonderful and nerdy John Green once said, “the Venn Diagram of boys who don’t like smart girls and boys you should not date is a circle,” and he is damn right.

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Don’t date guys who want you to be stupid. Don’t date guys who will be intimidated if you’re smarter than them. Date boys who love you for who you are, and who are proud of your accomplishments. If a guy tells you he doesn’t like smart girls, he needs to grow up. You don’t need to downplay your intelligence for the likes of anyone, and especially not for immature children. Your intelligence should be seen as a positive attribute, not a negative one. A guy I knew used to get upset if I knew more than him about something. He used to get mad at me if I helped him with his homework when we were studying together, because feeling more intelligent than me was more important to him than understanding the material. This is ridiculous. The right boys DO like smart girls. I know more about astronomy than my boyfriend does. Does this bother him? No! He likes that I can get excited about something. He’s proud of me when I do well in my classes. And I’m proud when he does well in his. The best sort of relationship is one where you’re each good at things, and one where you’re proud of each other’s accomplishments. You should be supporting each other, not forcing yourself to be less than you can be to make each other happier.

This second part is for any parents, teachers, or adults in general. Never tell a girl that boys don’t like smart girls. If someone tells a girl you know that her intelligence is a problem, make sure she knows that it isn’t true. If you’re a parent and your daughter is dating an immature man-child who has a problem with smart girls, talk to her about it. If you don’t, it will only affect her negatively in the future. Don’t encourage girls to act dumb for boys. This happens a lot in high school. It needs to stop. Teaching girls to undervalue their intelligence for the sake of men furthers the idea that a woman’s appearance is more important than her mind and her personality. So do the right thing. Tell girls that their intelligence is something to be proud of. Tell them to leave boys in the dust if they insist that smart girls aren’t desirable, and encourage their pursuit of knowledge.