We are all still riding high from last week’s board meeting in Seattle. Our time together was filled with optimism, growth and communication, but we also felt the weight of the important work ahead. We are really excited for our summer projects - fundraising for #FellowshipfortheFuture, rebuilding the Request platform, and developing more resources for our pods. If you have ideas and just want to get involved, let us know! Happy Weekend.
In its Declaration of Professional Responsibility, the American Medical Association (AMA) declares that physicians have a responsibility to “advocate for social, economic, educational, and political changes that ameliorate suffering and contribute to human well-being.” Another perspective builds on this definition, and defines advocacy as, “action by a physician to promote those social, economic, educational, and political changes that ameliorate the suffering and threats to human health and well-being that he or she identifies through his or her professional work and expertise.”
Tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of the public release of the National Academies’ report, “Sexual Harassment of Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine.” Removing sexual harassment and discrimination from our scientific culture is going to require persistent and coordinated efforts for meaningful change to actually happen. Supporting system-wide policies like the aforementioned legislation, and working to support survivors and improve institutions on a local level are critical to spurring change.
Friends, we are hosting our 5th leadership meeting this weekend! We are so proud to still be working hard to change the institutions of science to be more open, inclusive and accessible. We have a great team in Seattle this weekend, and are excited to share with you the outcomes of the meeting. Enjoy your weekend!
Happy Pride Month! This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, where black transwomen fought back against harassment from the police in Greenwich Village in June 1969. Though Pride today isn’t seen as a riot, the thread of activism has to be woven through our celebrations as actions.
We are busy making the final preparation for our biannual leadership meeting next weekend in Seattle! Really excited to strategize next steps for our organization. Do you have ideas and suggestions, send us an email or DM on twitter, we love hearing from you.
We are scientists and we believe that evidence, not ideology, should inform healthcare decisions. The wave of anti-abortion laws across the United States are the latest in a long string of attempts to remove autonomy, falsely using science to justify denying people's constitutional rights and inflicting lasting damage.
The efforts to ban access to abortion affects all people who can get pregnant. Remember: not all women can get pregnant and not all people who get pregnant are women. Attempts to limit access to legal and safe abortion are in violation of human rights and force illegal abortions, which threaten lives and health. It is important to know that today, abortion is not illegal in any U.S. state. But the lawmakers in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio and more U.S. are trying hard to change that, starting in individual states, but threatening to overturn Roe vs. Wade.
A couple of months ago, I was in the middle of a discussion regarding what was considered the “best” specialties for women physicians. Many of the people involved in this discussion weren’t physicians, but some were. And while the discussion was mostly dominated by men in the group, some women were also present. Suffice it to say that I was shocked by the opinions voiced by this group, including that of some of the women present. Some believed that there were specialties “meant” for women, while others were specifically designed for our male colleagues.
May is mental health awareness month. Yet, open discussion of mental health continues to be a social taboo, is seldom discussed in popular media, and is rarely made a priority. This take action Tuesday calls on us all to do a few small things to broaden access to mental health services and increase mental health awareness.
The weekly-wrap is a time to reflect on our successes but we don’t want to ignore the challenges and set-backs. In Georgia, women’s rights are being challenged. In Colorado, there was another school shooting. We reject the idea that we have to continue to repeat history, but we see our work is not close to being finished. Thank you to every one of you who is putting the work in day after day to enact real change to our society. You are appreciated.
Last week the Court of Arbitration for Sport decided to prevent Caster Semenya (NYT) and other women from competing in world sport competitions because of their innate high testosterone levels may constitute an unfair advantage. This is not only unfair (lets face it, no one prevented Michael Phelps from competing) but also an opportunity to educate ourselves that narrow definitions of womanhood are misogynistic, racist, transphobic and are NOT based in science. We must:
Hi Friends. I have taken the last few weeks away from writing the wrap-up because I was overly busy and stressed, but I am so glad to be back!
We are excited to share our newest blog addition “Spotlight on Women in Medicine”. Look for new posts on Wednesdays. This week we hear from Dr. Evi Abada of our 500WS leadership team. She talks about how the time is right for gender parity in healthcare.
A central part of achieving our mission to make science open, inclusive, and accessible is to promote women in STEM in the public sphere. For the last year, our Request a Woman Scientist database has been central to that goal. Whenever someone tells us they just couldn’t find a woman with the right expertise to feature at a conference or in the media, we can point to the now nearly 9,000 women in the database they can invite next time. This week, we published the outcomes of this resource and shared some of our next directions in an article for PLOS Biology. We’re eager to apply the lessons we’ve learned to revamping the database and encouraging more women to share their expertise from around the globe and from a range of STEM fields. Onwards!
April 11-17th is Black Maternal Health Week, organized by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance to bring awareness and action to maternal health and reproductive justice . The month of April is also recognized in the United States as National Minority Health Month – a month-long initiative to advance health equity across the country on behalf of all racial and ethnic minorities.
Many scientists have been very vocal about the importance of vaccination, however this may result in social media wars, in which both parties disagree, become increasingly angry, and no movement is made. Our goal is to improve the way we, as scientists, communicate with people who are hesitant about vaccines. Today, you can Take Action by using the literature to your advantage!
This week on #MeetAScientist, get to know Dr. Kirsty Nash, a marine ecologist at the Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies and founder of aKIDemicLife.com. The website is an online resource to connect parents and carers working in research or academic settings to information to support their work and their child caring responsibilities. In this interview, Kirsty chats about her work studying the resilience of marine social-ecological systems, as well as the inspiration for launching the aKIDemic Life, as part of our #SciMomJourney campaign.