Women and Gender Studies Program

Women and Science Discussion Continues

Night Sky

Forty faculty, staff, and students visited the Southworth Planetarium on the afternoon of October 8th for a panel discussion on women in the sciences, "Women, Science and the Night Sky." Lucinda Cole (Women and Gender Studies, USM) and Robert Markley (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, English) presented on the historical role of education for female scientists in “Devil Girls and the History of Astronomy." Julie Ziffer (Physics) spoke about the collaborative dimensions of astronomy in "My Asteroid," and USM Chemistry Professor Emerita Nancy Gordon shared her story of becoming a scientist and whether or not cultural conditions for women have changed. Together, panelists recommended strategies to female students for pursuing careers in science and for making the most of their education at USM. The event was sponsored by USM ADVANCE Catalyst grant devoted to the role of women in the sciences, Southworth Planetarium and Women & Gender Studies.

"Women, Science, and the Night Sky" was part of a larger series of events, the next being a performance of "Night Sky." This comedic drama features a female astronomer, an opera singer, and a teen foreign-language learner cooped up in a small New York apartment.  Written by Susan Yankowitz and directed by Assunta Kent (USM Theater and Women & Gender Studies), "Night Sky" opens October 10 and runs through October 13. It will be  performed in Russell Hall, Gorham Campus. For tickets, go to:http://usm.maine.edu/theatre/night-sky-0

Interested parties are further encouraged to read the in-depth recent nytimes article "Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science?" by Eileen Pollack published October 3, 2013. This article, which was referenced during the panel Q&A, is available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/magazine/why-are-there-still-so-few-wo...