Pod of the Week - NYC

Location: New York City
Number of women: 245 in our Google group.
Frequency of meeting: Events or meet-ups every month or two.
Mission statement: 500 Women Scientists is to serve society by making science open, inclusive, and accessible. NYC pod has been focusing on science outreach and communication.

How did you come to this mission, why is it relevant to your city and state?

We have a lot of SciComm experts in our pod and have tried to take advantage of their experience. We've also heard from many pod members that they want to improve their communication skills and talk to others about the science they do. 

Can you speak to a few of the most successful events that you had in 2017? What were the outcomes?

Our most successful event of 2017 was our "Science at the Bar" event in November. Four of our pod members gave short talks on their research at a bar. We packed the room with about 60 people and learned about invasive lizards in Brazil, the cancer-fighting properties of olive oil, and the impact of corporate funding on science. We also heard original poems about the research process. 

How has your pod ensured a diverse group of women scientists attend the pod meetings?

We have reached out to many groups in NYC to reach a diverse group of women, and are partnering with lots of different organizations for our events. When we invite speakers for our events, we aim to bring together a set of people with different backgrounds -- in terms of scientific field, career stage, ethnicity, nationality, and other dimensions of diversity. We also try to plan activities and events that are relevant and interesting to a wide range of women in science. 

What upcoming initiatives are you planning for 2018 and why?

"Pregame your brain", an educational happy hour we hosted with a local science event space, Caveat. (Dec,2017)

"Pregame your brain", an educational happy hour we hosted with a local science event space, Caveat. (Dec,2017)

We have a lot going on in 2018! We've already had a Wikipedia edit-a-thon (in collaboration with WINS at American Museum of Natural History), and a panel discussion about people's complex career paths (in collaboration with New York Academy of Sciences). We're planning our own Science Salon to Benefit Ciencia PR in April (partnering with Taste of Science NYC); we're partnering with BioBus for an Earth Day science outreach event in April, and we’re collaborating with the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) to launch a series of workshops on legal issues for scientists interested in advocacy and activism starting June. We're also going to start having more informal meet-ups so we can get to know each other better and make new connections

Pod Leaders: Yoko Bian (Computational chemist), Sharon Hartzell (Environmental scientist), Maria Strangas (Evoluntionary biologist)