500 Women Scientists is a grassroots organization started by four women who met in graduate school at CU Boulder and who maintained friendships and collaborations after jobs and life took them away from Boulder. Immediately following the November 2016 election, we published an open letter re-affirming our commitment to speak up for science and for women, minorities, immigrants, people with disabilities, and LGBTQIA. Over 17,000 women from more than 100 countries have signed in support of 500 Women Scientists, pledging to build an inclusive scientific community dedicated to training a more diverse group of future leaders in science and to use the language of science to bridge divides and enhance global diplomacy.

500 Women Scientists works to build communities and foster real change that comes from small groups, not large crowds. Our Local Pods help create those deep roots through strong, personal relationships. Local Pods are where women scientists meet regularly, develop a support network, make strategic plans, and take action. Pods focus on issues that resonate in their communities, rooted in our mission and values.

Why "500" Women Scientists?

We wrote our open letter with no agenda for building a grassroots movement and hoped to get 500 signatures from women scientists ("500" seemed aspirational). We surpassed that goal within hours of posting the letter and we continue to reach more and more women scientists and other supporters across the world. 

The mission of 500 Women Scientists is to promote a diverse and inclusive scientific community that brings progressive science-based solutions to local and global challenges.


To achieve our mission we:

  1. Empower women to grow to their full potential in science;

  2. Increase scientific literacy through public engagement;

  3. Advocate for science and equality.


Our values are rooted in:

  • Recognizing that science touches the lives of every person on this planet;

  • Advocating for a strong role of science in society;

  • Identifying and acknowledging structural inequities and biases in science;

  • Pushing for equality and standing up to inequality, discrimination, and aggression;

  • Pushing to develop and strengthen access for traditionally underrepresented groups to fully participate in and become leaders in science;

  • Supporting the education and careers of all scientists;

  • Enhancing scientific mentorship and encouraging an atmosphere of collaboration;

  • Stepping outside of our research disciplines to communicate our science and engage with the public;

  • Using the language and wonder of science to bridge the divides that separate societies and to enhance global diplomacy.


Kelly Ramirez

Jane Zelikova



Nichole Barger

Teresa Bilinski

Krista Bywater

Kristy Duran

Kelly Fleming

Rachel Gallery

Claire Horner-Devine

Teresa Jedd

Emily Lescak

Jessica Metcalf

Sarah Myhre

Angie Pendegrass

Rukmani Vijayaraghavan

Franciska de Vries

Samantha Weintraub