Sitting against a backdrop of the majestic Rocky Mountains in Montana, the Bozeman pod is a young and highly motivated group of women that have adopted a mission of diversity and inclusion. While their pod members represent a spectrum of political ideologies, all agree on the importance of protecting the environment and influencing local policy.
Location: Bozeman, Montana
Frequency of meeting: One monthly meeting and a monthly Happy Hour meet-up
Mission statement: The Bozeman Pod of the 500 Women Scientists movement is aimed at promoting gender equality in science and advocating for science in state and national policies. We are a bipartisan group who’s goals are to educate, participate, and connect with the local community to include scientific research into decision making processes and policy formation. We are open to all who respect our goals and values as women in science and members of the Bozeman community.
How did you come to this mission, why is it relevant to your city and state? Bozeman is a unique community of highly diverse political leanings, but generally we are all protective the magnificent wildlife and environment that surrounds us. Our goals were to include greater policy outreach in our local pod as well as continue the national pod’s values of promoting women in science.
Can you talk about the next outreach activity the pod is focusing on? What actions and outputs do you envision? Who is your audience? We recently were awarded a Union of Concerned Scientist grant to hold a workshop with scientists, local non-profits, and local politicians to address how we as a group could assist with decision making in local policy. In addition to becoming a resource for local political and non-profit groups, we hope to mentor scientist for outreach opportunities with the general public and teach communication skillsets.
Can you talk about your trivia night? Is this a recurring event to promote pod engagement? Our Science Trivia Night is open to the public in an attempt to remind our community that science is not only fun, but also trustworthy. For each question we feature a different women scientist, illustrating the wide variety of science and research that happens right here in our community of Bozeman. This may be a recurring event in the future; possibly a twice per year event.
What do you foresee for the future of your pod and what will be your focus? The momentum of activism seemed to slow over the course of the summer. We are currently starting with community outreach and activism within our pod to build a stronger force in the community. In the future, we hope to grow and connect with more groups in the community, and we plan to start a mentorship program within the pod while continuing to develop our outreach and activism efforts.
How has your pod ensured a diverse group of women scientists attend the pod meetings? Our pod is open to all, we have a wide range of female scientists from undergraduate students to university professors. In our leadership we have women who are undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers.