Take Action Tuesday

Canadian Elections 2019

September 17 (post by Ashley Shaw and Heather Slinn)

Canadian Federal Elections 2019 are on October 21st! For the next five weeks, parties will be discussing their platforms to potential voters in the hopes of winning the election. Media focus has been primarily based upon the power struggle between the Conservatives and the Liberals, headed by Andrew Scheer and Justin Trudeau, respectively. However, the New Democratic Party (NDP) lead by Jagmeet Singh and the Green Party lead by Elizabeth May, have gained significant traction in the dominant narrative. At this point in the race, voters have many resources to be informed of the development of policies and decisions that may heavily impact their lives. 

If you are eligible to vote, there are a few key steps that you can take to prepare for the 2019 elections:

  1. Register to vote: https://www.elections.ca/content2.aspx?section=reg&document=index&lang=e

  2. Read through the initial platforms and policies provided by each party:

        1. https://2019.liberal.ca/

        2. https://www.ndp.ca/

        3. https://www.greenparty.ca/en

        4. https://www.conservative.ca/

  3. Check out this vote compass provided by the CBC to determine which party your values align with: https://votecompass.cbc.ca/canada/

  4. Follow the debates on television to witness what is being discussed and what commitments are being made

  5. Attend town hall meetings to speak with representatives and take part in politically charged discussions

  6. If you will be outside the country during the election, make sure to either pre-vote: https://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=vot&dir=vote&document=index&lang=e#advance or send vote by mail https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/living-abroad/elections-faq.

  7. Encourage your friends, colleagues, family to vote.

  8. Sign petitions and contribute to one of the campaigns around this election organized by LeadNow (https://www.leadnow.ca/), The Council of Canadians (https://canadians.org/), David Suzuki Foundation (https://davidsuzuki.org/) and Fair Vote Canada (https://www.fairvote.ca/).  There are many more non-profit and non-governmental organizations that you can get involved with.

  9. Need more information about voting in the Canadian elections? Check out this CBC article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-voter-guide-2019-federal-election-1.5260336

  10. As we come closer to the election near the end of October, we will learn more about what decisions each party plans to implement should they win. While the election itself is very important, it is also imperative to practice self-care when delving into the world of politics. The decisions each party plans to make do have significant impacts on our population. However, it is easy to get caught up in the seemingly never-ending source of issues our society has grown to face including climate change, gender inequality, and the struggle towards effective reconciliation with Indigenous communities.

Stay tuned for additional posts regarding the Canadian Elections in the coming weeks.

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Weekly Wrap-Up

Hi everyone - happy Friday!

We have had a busy northern hemisphere summer, full of huge ups and some immeasurable losses, both personal and professional. As we process, we can’t help but realize that if we want to stay in this fight for the long haul, we must work to build back ourselves and each other. If you are finding yourself similarly drained, check out these self-care tips for activists, and read about the origins of the “self-care” movement.

Self care is an act of political warfare” Brittany Packnett

And in the meantime, enjoy the weekend!





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Take Action Tuesday

Today’s Take Action Tuesday post brought to you by Jewel Tomasula

Unions have had an important role in securing livable wages and benefits, improving working conditions, and giving workers collective power. Unions can also be forces for gender equity and social justice

At many universities, service workers and faculty, adjunct, and graduate students unionize. We encourage you to see if your current academic institution or alma mater has unions.

Which worker groups have unionized?

Are there any current efforts to organize a new union or bargain for a new contract?

We recommend these articles to start thinking about how unions can play a role in reshaping power structures in academia:

Grad Students are Unionizing to Fight Campus Sexual Assault

Why I’m Pushing for a Postdoc Union

The Future of Unions is White-Collar

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

Weekly Wrap-Up

Happy Friday everyone!

We are excited to step into September, ramp up our involvement with the Global Climate Strikes, and launch new projects this fall. Look for updates on the Fellowship for the Future, a new initiative on Reproductive Justice, more from the SciMom Journeys team, more resources for our global network of pods, an op-ed editorial board supporting writing projects, and more!

But for now, lets wrap up this week.





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Weekly Wrap-Up


WHAT WE LIKE (climate edition)



Don’t hesitate to send us your podcast suggestions and summer reads.

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Take Action Tuesday

August 26 (Ana Carvalho, Nicole Glock Maceno, Marina Ramalhete)

Amazon on fire – what you can do to help.

The Amazon, a vast region that spans across Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Suriname, and the Guianas, holds some of the most important and biodiverse ecosystems on the planet and has been on fire for weeks. Despite recent progress reducing Amazonian deforestation, the  current level of destruction is a direct result of recent Brazilian governmental initiatives that weaken environmental protections. The President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, literally said that the Amazon is "open for business" and giant companies across the world (including iconic US companies) are exploiting the opportunity to access formerly protected resources, at a great cost to Indigenous peoples, natural resources, and global climate. 

It can be overwhelming to know where to start with an issue that is so geopolitically complex, but the actions in Brazil and other countries in South America are seeded from decisions corporations make outside of the Amazon. We have an immediate opportunity to put pressure on those corporations, both with individual actions and through our vocal activism.

So here are some actions you can take:

Stay engaged: Use social media and other outlets to keep the conversation about what is happening in the Amazon alive. Stay informed about the effect of deforestation in Brazil and across the world, and encourage other people to be informed and speak out. And join the International Day of Action for the Amazon on September 5th.

Advocate for indigenous rights: The Amazon rainforest is not just our planet’s “lungs” as it has been described recently. When talking about conservation of the Amazon, we must also talk about the fact that the Amazon is home to a large number of Indigenous groups. Government initiatives have directly targeted them and continue to, especially under the new Brazilian government that is openly hostile to Indigenous rights. Listen to indigenous leadership, advocate for the protection of Indigenous territories and rights.

Donate to organizations fighting to protect the Amazon: Several organizations are working to protect the Amazon and indigenous rights. Consider donating to Amazon Watch, Instituto Socioambiental, among other organizations.

Reduce beef consumption: Much of the deforestation of the Amazon is done with fire to clear forested lands for agriculture and specifically for livestock production. If you live in Brazil or in one of the countries that import beef from the country, consider reducing your meat consumption or looking for alternative local meat sources.

Contact your elected representatives: No matter where you are in the world, let your elected representatives know that you expect them to support initiatives that protect the environment and indigenous rights and that you value conservation of the Amazon.

Amazônia em chamas – o que você pode fazer para ajudar a floresta

A Amazônia, uma vasta região que abrange parte do Brasil, Bolívia, Peru, Equador, Colômbia, Venezuela, Suriname, e as Guianas, possui alguns dos ecossistemas mais importantes do planeta, e está em chamas há semanas. Apesar dos recentes progressos na redução do desmatamento na Amazônia, o atual nível de destruição é resultado direto de recentes iniciativas governamentais brasileiras que enfraquecem a proteção ambiental. O recém-eleito Presidente do Brasil, Jair Bolsonaro, disse que a Amazônia está "aberta para negócios" e grandes empresas de todo o mundo (incluindo empresas americanas icônicas) estão usando a oportunidade de acessar recursos anteriormente protegidos, um grande custo para os povos indígenas, recursos naturais e clima global.

Pode ser estressante entender por onde começar com uma questão tão complexa do ponto de vista geopolítico, mas as ações no Brasil e em outros países da América do Sul são originadas de decisões tomadas por empresas fora da Amazônia. Temos uma oportunidade imediata de pressionar essas corporações, tanto com ações individuais quanto através do nosso ativismo.

Então, aqui estão algumas ações que você pode realizar:
Engaje-se: Use as mídias sociais e outros meios de comunicação para manter viva a conversa sobre o que está acontecendo na Amazônia. Mantenha-se informada (o) sobre o efeito do desmatamento no Brasil e no mundo e incentive outras pessoas a informarem-se e se manifestarem. Participe do Dia Internacional de Ação para a Amazônia no dia 5 de setembro.

Lute pelos direitos dos povos indígenas: A floresta amazônica não é vital somente para o ecossistema global. Ao falar sobre a conservação da Amazônia, devemos também falar sobre os povos indígenas e como as iniciativas do governo os afetaram diretamente. Escute-os e defenda os direitos humanos e a proteção dos territórios indígenas.

Faça uma doação para organizações que lutam para proteger a Amazônia: Várias organizações estão trabalhando para proteger a Amazônia e os direitos indígenas. Considere doar para a Amazon Watch, Instituto Socioambiental, entre outras organizações.

Reduza o consumo de carne vermelha: O desmatamento e a destruição da Amazônia são amplamente realizados através do uso do fogo como uma maneira de limpar as terras florestais para a agricultura e especificamente para a produção animal. Se você mora no Brasil ou em um dos países que importam carne bovina, considere reduzir o consumo de carne ou procurar fontes alternativas locais de carne.

Entre em contato com seus representantes eleitos: não importa onde você esteja no mundo, informe seus representantes eleitos que você espera que eles apóiem iniciativas que protejam o meio ambiente e os direitos indígenas, e que você valoriza a conservação da Amazônia.

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Weekly Wrap-Up

Another Friday, another week of chaos. Its hard to know where to start, which fire to put out when the whole world is aflame. So we must start with one thing, one action. Action begets action, so lets begin!





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Take Action Tuesday

Self care is an act of political warfare” Brittany Packnett

Today’s Take Action Tuesday post is all about us taking care of ourselves and each other.

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Weekly Wrap-Up

This week’s post written by Jane Zelikova

I got to spend this week imagining a not too distant future of feminist leadership in the climate movement. Surrounded by people I deeply admire, I grappled with the limits of my own imagination - what does the world look like when we fully harness feminist solutions to our biggest problems? What does feminism look like when we elevate the leadership of people who have been pushed to the margins of these movements?

Even with endless Montana big sky over my head and fresh air in my lungs, I realized I have lost my ability to dream, a skill I haven’t had much use for lately, a muscle atrophied by daily tasks, putting out immediate fires, writing another peer reviewed paper, another grant, another job application. A permission to dream is a powerful and scary thing! What does a world look like when women define the metrics of success?  What does assumption of expertise look like when its not given by default to men? Who gets to have big ideas in our society when that default is not freely ceded to men?

This week, I am stretching my imagination, I am re-awakening my dream muscles to help envision and bring about a different world. Please join me! 





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Take Action Tuesday

Today’s Take Action Tuesday post is brought to you by Jenna Jablonski, member of the DC Pod of 500 Women Scientists and founder of Sister.

How does your STEM identity connect with your political identity?

For National Voter Registration Day in September, Sister is partnering with Science Rising to publish a series of articles showing how individuals in STEM can be political — and that our STEM work can even shape our advocacy work.

We want to share your perspective. How does your STEM identity connect with your political identity (your advocacy work, issues you care about, etc.)? How does this tie in with your personal identity and/or journey in STEM?

If you’re interested in writing, send a pitch by this Friday (8/16) to hello@sisterstem.org. Pitches can be short descriptions of what you plan to write about, or a sample/excerpt from the proposed article. Full articles (about 700-1,000 words) will be due at the end of August. Sister happily provides editorial support along the way.

You can also spread the word by retweeting this tweet or sending anyone who may be interested to sisterstem.org/write.

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Weekly Wrap-Up

Perhaps that's what all human relationships boil down to: Would you save my life? or would you take it? “- Toni Morrison, “Song of Solomon” 1977

This week has brought a lot of loss, some very personal and some that haunts all of us. We again mourn the people who lost their lives to domestic terrorism in the US. Since the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in 2012, there have been at least 2,179 mass shootings in the US, with at least 2,459 killed and 9,122 wounded. Mass shooting deaths, less than 2 percent of all deaths from gun violence, create shockwaves in the sea that is the US gun violence epidemic.

Meanwhile, many of our elected officials in the US hide behind empty thoughts and prayers, blame video games or mental health issues (with no evidence to back those claims), refusing to fund research to understand the causes of this epidemic and blocking efforts to institute reasonable gun laws. We deserve better, for ourselves and for all the people we have lost.

This week, we also lost Toni Morrison. There are few words that can give measure to this loss, so we invoke her words.

"I tell my students, 'When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab bag candy game."

—In the November 2003 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine





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Take Action Tuesday

Today’s Take Action Tuesday post is brought to you by Jessica Duffy, a member of the 500 Women Scientists leadership team. This week, we are helping bring together experiences of disabled folks in STEMM.

Who: Disabled folks in STEMM

What: Our experience(s) in STEMM spaces for @khwalsh_ ’s disability in STEM zine

Where: Submit your story here https://t.co/o5cQ2ojrLg?amp=1

When: Today for #TakeActionTuesday

Why: Silence strengthens stigma.

(How: Anonymously, if preferred)

Abled? Not in STEMM? Amplify the invitation above! Support your disabled students and peers. Listen to our stories and figure out how to make your classroom and/or workspace more accessible and inclusive of us!

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Weekly Wrap-Up

With news about more mass shooting this week in the US, continued separation of families at the southern US boarder, “transhumanism”, and a gun shop in North Carolina ridiculing and targeting US Congresswomen, my week in the US was spent in a medium state of outrage. But that outrage is also fuel, so we roll up our sleeves and keep going!


  • We are joining the global youth-led climate strikes this September.

    • Sign up our pod to join the campaign

    • Select local action(s) you will take

      • Strike or protest

      • Climate teach-ins

      • Climate storytelling events #MyClimateStory

      • Local political action

      • Write op-eds or LTEs for local media outlets




Don’t hesitate to send us your podcast suggestions and summer reads.

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Spotlight: Women in Medicine

Women in Medicine: Opportunities in the Pharma Industry

— by Evi Abada, 500 Women Scientists and 500 Women in Medicine leadership teams

The pharmaceutical industry is a robust field with incredible opportunities open to women in medicine, interested in leveraging their skills and expertise in previously unchartered waters, including but not limited to the areas of drug discovery, medical affairs, global public health, medical safety, and research and development. One reason many decide to pursue a career in medicine is the desire to help others. And in trying to achieve that, medicines and other pharmacological products play an essential role in helping to improve the lives and wellbeing of patients.

Health care providers are at the front lines, interfacing daily with the patients for whom these products are designed for. Health care practitioners play a unique role in ensuring that pharma products serve the purposes for which they were originally created. They directly interact with patients and are uniquely positioned to determine how medicines impact the lives of patients. As health care workers, we are our patients’ advocates. The scope of our work ensures that we are allowing our patients access to the medicines and products that will do them the most good. And wouldn’t it be best for our patients if more people from the profession delve into the domain of influencing decisions that may impact drug discovery and research? And what better group of people should be at the forefront of this initiative than women in medicine?

Studies have shown the differences in the outcome of patients managed by women physicians vs. male physicians. Women in healthcare display a level of compassion, collaboration and leadership, all very critical skills that directly impact the lives of patients, but in addition can also be brought into the pharma industry to expand its current effectiveness.

Opportunities in the pharma industry may be combined with caring for patients, while we continue to work to advance their wellbeing in the areas of discovering new and competent medicines. The pharma industry will be better served by bringing a variety of voices to the table, and that diversity involves getting more women in healthcare on board.

500womenscientists, an organization committed to making science more open, inclusive and accessible is working to ensure that women scientists (including women in healthcare) get the recognition they deserve and are effectively rewarded for all their expertise and skills. And through this medium, we want more women to be aware of the incredible opportunities that the pharma industry boasts of, which they can tap in to. 

Interested in learning more about how to grow a career in pharma as a woman working in healthcare? Then, Women in Pharma Careers, a career resource by women in pharma for women in pharma, is your next best stop. Learn more about opportunities for women in medicine in the pharma industry and how to effectively combine pharma work and family life, plus everything else you need to grow and thrive in the pharma industry here

This is an original article of the 500 Women in Medicine, a satellite organization of 500 Women Scientists

Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

Take Action Tuesday

Join the #SciMomJourney Team in celebrating Breastfeeding!

August is breastfeeding month, and August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding week. This year’s theme is “Empower Parents. Enable Breastfeeding.” Black Breastfeeding Week starts August 25th and the theme is “The World is Yours.” 

Social and institutional support is key to enabling breastfeeding for scientist moms. No matter who you are, you can help! Advocate for parent-friendly policies, plan for accommodations at events, ask a breastfeeding coworker how she’s doing. These actions matter! 

We welcome everyone to:

  • Celebrate World Breastfeeding week!

  • Sign the Pledge to empower parents and enable breastfeeding, now and for the future! You can create an event locally to support breastfeeding. 

  • Follow Black Breastfeeding Week on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates and events.

  • Sign up for WABA’s (World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action) email list to find out about all their events that you can participate in during the month of August. 

  • Read our op-ed in Scientific American about how to improve scientist-moms’ breastfeeding experiences- Do Science, Pump, Repeat

  • Share your SciMomJourney Story. Our survey is on-going! We would love to crunch this data and share our thoughts. We will never share your name, institution or any other information without your permission.  

If you are in a 500WS Pod, you can this sign to show your support for Breastfeeding mothers.