Weekly Wrap Up

“If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention”

The events in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend and in Spain this week have left us reeling. With a heavy heart,  500 WS leader Rukmani Vijayaraghavan (who lives in Charlottesville, VA) posted some ways we could support Charlottesville and things we can do to support each other. We reaffirm our commitment to continue to stand up against the normalization of hateful rhetoric and violence. 


  • Rukmani Vijayaraghavan's list of actions #Charlottesville

  • Continuing to speak up for science (still taking op-ed submissions).
  • New 500 Women Scientists pods in Kuwait, Mongolia, and Chile - welcome!


Take Action Tuesday

“If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention”

We write this week’s action with a heavy heart. Our guest writer for the week is 500 WS leader Rukmani Vijayaraghavan who lives in Charlottesville, VA and works at the University of Virginia. Here is a message from Rukmani:

"I woke up on the morning of Saturday August 12, angry about the white supremacists scheduled to invade my city. The evening before, they’d marched on the University I work at. I went to bed sleepless that night, heartbroken by the tragedy of a terrorist attack on the street corner half a block from my apartment -- the corner I drive through every single day and have crossed on foot a hundred times. This has not been an easy weekend nor will the coming days and weeks. But the support we have received from across the country and around the world has been overwhelming -- keep it coming, and keep fighting for what is right and just."

Heather Heyer was a 32 year old woman who did what was morally right, who stood up against white supremacy, bigotry, and hatred. And she died for it. Two state troopers tragically died while simply doing their jobs -- trying to keep the people safe. Let us honor their memory and legacy.

We’re all angry, confused, and outraged. We should be. Here is what we can do this week. As many have said, if this not who we are as a country, then let’s prove it.

  1. The first step in action is to educate ourselves and the people closest to us about what happened leading up to the incidents over the weekend:

    1. This statue is the symbol of hatred at the center of the controversy.

    2. The petition to remove the statue was started by a high school student, Zyahna Bryant; let her be our inspiration.

    3. Charlottesville is a city where a veneer of gentility and progressivism often covers over decades of slavery and segregation. The University of Virginia where the marches began on Friday, was founded by Thomas Jefferson, and is also in the process of confronting its own history of slavery and segregation. More background reading here: Why this happened in Charlottesville

    4. Some more reading: What to do about Charlottesville, White Feelings: 0-60 for Charlottesville

  2. There are no easy solutions or actions, but there are many in Charlottesville doing the work of confronting and dealing with the legacy of racism and segregation and would greatly benefit from your support,

    1. Like the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center. You can support them here.

    2. Here are local groups and chapters you can support: Black Lives Matter Charlottesville, Charlottesville NOW, Charlottesville Pride, the Charlottesville-Albemarle NAACP, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville,  Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, and more here.

    3. Support the Black Student Alliance at U.Va. They are on the frontlines.

    4. Source unknown, but an excellent list of things you can do. And this one’s from Mashable.

  3. Still feel like this is not enough? We are scientists, and we are far from perfect. So be creative and push yourself and your community to find more ways to stand up against hatred and bigotry in your community

    1. Listen to Charlottesville’s protest songs

    2. Find out what your members of Congress are doing to respond to the Charlotteville terror attacks.

Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up

The summer writing campaign  is off to a strong start. If you have not already done so, pull together your local pods to identify science topics that are relevant in your communities and join our campaign. And if you want another excuse for a pod get-together, organize one around the solar eclipse August 21, 2017. Listen about, read about and view the eclipse together. Share your activities with us on social media.

Take Action Tuesday

#weekly_action - In this week’s actions, we fight for science on multiple fronts. 
1) Join Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) for a special webinar Aug 3rd 2p EDT update on the status of the budget discussions on Capitol Hill, review new tools and materials available from FASEB, and offer tips on how to get other scientists engaged in advocacy. 

2) Concerned by the new FL bill allowing challenges to school text book material? This is an excellent op-ed opportunity! Reach out to us if you are interested in writing an op-ed and would like support.


3) Does the nomination of Sam Clovis to the top science position at the USDA puzzle you?  Us too. We encourage everyone to reach out to your elected officials about this topic. 

Take Action Tuesday


We suggest an outward and inward action this week.

1) Outward - Contact your senator today and let her/him know your opinions about health care. https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/%3C/senators_cfm.cfm?State=CO.

Want to know more about how to make a difference as a scientist? http://www.faseb.org/Science-Policy-and-Advocacy/Become-an-Advocate/Advocacy-Tool-Kit.aspx

2) Inward - Reach out to your pod and join our summer of op-eds!  Anyone interested in writing an OpEd about health care, science funding, or science-informed policy?There are two great webinars (7/27, 7/28) this week to help you make a writing plan!  


Weekly Wrap-Up

Happy Friday! This week, we are really excited to launch our summer writing campaign. This summer, get together with your pods or other scientists in your community and write a letter to the editor or OpEd on a topic that resonates with you and your community. Send letters to your local newspapers, national news outlets, or publish on our Medium page. We can't wait to see what you all come up with!

What we've done

  • Summer of OpEds on a topic that is near and dear to our hearts - science!
  • We are seeking social scientists to help us develop and inform an ambitious science outreach project. If you are  interested in science outreach, especially to underserved and rural areas, get in touch! 

  • Next week in NYC - Women in STEMfest 
  • Meet Emily, a leader of 500WS and an expert at balancing life. 

What we like