This article originally appeared at ravishly.com on July 17, 2014, who asked me to contribute.
So many articles about women in STEM are quite long because the issues faced are complex and multifactorial, so I took a unique approach be encapsulating the topic in 11 variations on the STEM acronym.
“STEM” usually stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math—but sometimes it represents several roadblocks to those fields.
Here are some alternate STEM acronyms preventing women from finding success in science and technology.
6 years ago • Blog, Engineering, Science, STEM, Video, Women in STEM • Tags: CERN, documentary, Google Hangout on Air, interview, Joanne Manaster, LHC, Monica Dunford, movie, Particle Fever, particle physics, physics, STEM, video, Women in STEM
Marketing and public relations aren’t our usual subjects on “Read Science!”, but today they very much WERE rocket science, when we talked about the new book “Marketing the Moon : The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program”, with its authors, David Meerman Scott and Richard Jurek.
6 years ago • Books, Read Science!, Space, Space Read Science!, Video • Tags: Apollo Lunar Program, Apollo missions, David Meerman Scott, Google Hangout on Air, Jeff Shaumeyer, Joanne Manaster, Marketing the Moon, Read Science!, Richard Jurek, video
Joanne and Jeff had a lively discussion centered on what dogs, bunnies, and squirrels have to do with general relativity and quantum mechanics, with our guest Chad Orzel, author of “How to Teach Physics to Your Dog” and “How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog”.
6 years ago • Read Science!, Video • Tags: Chad Orzel, Eureka!, Google Hangout on Air, How to teach Physics to Your Dog, How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog, Jeff Shaumeyer, Joanne Manaster, Read Science!, video
The National Science Teachers Association and Joanne Manaster (STEM advocate, and Scientific American blogger) proudly Present the 2014 NSTA STEM Forum and Expo Keynote Speaker Ainissa Ramirez in a Google Hangout on Air.
Ainissa Ramirez, materials scientists, STEM advocate and author joined me for an enjoyable Google Hangout on Air to talk about inspiring kids for STEM and how science teachers can help!
6 years ago • Engineering, Science, STEM, Video, Women in STEM • Tags: Ainissa Ramirez, Engineering, Google Hangout on Air, Joanne Manaster, Material Marvels, material science, Newton's Football, NSTA, science, Science Xplained, video, Women in STEM
Zoonoses, or infectious diseases that can pass from animals to humans, are commonplace and a danger to public health; the list of zoonotic diseases includes Ebola, influenza, SARS, MARS, HIV to name only a few.
They are also the subject of David Quammen’s book “Spillover : Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic”, and the series of short videos produced by The Weather Channel, called “The Virus Hunters”.
In this episode we talked with paleontologist, author, and television presenter Neil Shubin, author of “Your Inner Fish : A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body”; and scientific illustrator Kalliopi Monoyios, who illustrated “Your Inner Fish”. We talked about the discovery of the Tiktaalik fossil by Shubin’s team (and saw a neat cast of its skull), most every scientific discipline you can think of an how they’re related, and the importance of art in science and science communication. We probably mentioned teeth, too, because who can talk about fossils without mentioning teeth?
6 years ago • Read Science!, Video • Tags: Google Hangout on Air, Jeff Shaumeyer, Joanne Manaster, Kalliopi Monoyoios, Neil Shubin, Read Science!, science illustration, Tiktaalik, video, Your Inner Fish
This article was originally posted at my Scientific American blog.
Visit theperfect46.com, and it looks like any business web page. The Perfect 46 purports to be a company that uses the power of genomics, the information stored in the entirety of your DNA–your genome–to determine if you are with “the one” for you. This is not about your perfect romantic match, but rather the perfect genetic match that ensures your offspring will be free from known genetically heritable diseases.
6 years ago • psivid, Science, Video • Tags: Brett Ryan Bonowicz, eugenics, GATTACA, genomics, Jeff Shaumeyer, Joanne Manaster, Kevin Davies, Misha Angrist, movie, Newport Beach Film Festival, Pew survey, Read Science!, Sci-Fi London Film Festival, science, Scientific American, SOHO Film Festival, The Perfect 46
We started our new season conversing with a science-communication power couple : Jennifer Ouellette and Sean M. Carroll, who happen to be married to each other. The books providing discussion material were Jennifer Ouellette’s _Me, Myself and Why: Searching for the Science of Self_, and Sean Carroll’s _The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World_. As usual, we ran out of time before we ran out of conversation.
7 years ago • Read Science!, Video • Tags: books, From Eternity to Here, Google Hangout on Air, Jeff Shaumeyer, Jennifer Ouellette, Joanne Manaster, Me Myself and Why, Read Science!, SciComm Power Couple, Sean M. Carroll, video
This was originally posted at my Scientific American blog.
Some of you may have noticed that my recent social media posts have originated from Abu Dhabi in the UAE. I am here for the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the largest gathering on sustainability in the Middle East.
This week is jam packed with numerous interesting tours, panels, press conferences and activities of which I will share more about in future posts. Tonight, however, I was in attendance at a very special presentation celebrating innovations in technology from all over the world, held at the glamorous Emirates Palace Hotel
The Zayed Future Energy Prize embodies the vision of the late founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who laid the foundation for renewable energy and sustainability as part of his legacy in pioneering sustainable development in the UAE. An annual award, the Prize is managed by Masdar, on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government and seeks to award achievements and innovation in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability, as well as to educate and inspire future generations.
This was originally published at Scientific American on November 27, 2013
Many times I wondered this myself, and while I had the attention of the youtube infamous Hank Green of SciShow, I asked him in correspondence last year:
“One last thing, while I have your attention. Have you noticed that there are so few women represented on youtube talking about science? It’s one thing that TV can’t bring themselves to feature women as science hosts and experts on a regular basis (they might be stuck in the 50s, I think), but the fact that a female sharing science (STEM) is rarely found (Vihart an exception) on youtube is downright disgraceful. Where are they?Do you know some? Simply, if young ladies don’t see other women articulating science, the impression will be that women don’t do science, and vicious cycle ensues. Other than just loving science, that’s why I bother to make videos despite the travail.”
(Of course, I’ve taken a break from regular video production, and this post will address why further along. I have two youtube channels, for those unaware of that,Joannelovesscience and joannema7 and I’m a member of youtube.edu)
“Re: Women: The thing with YouTube is…it’s not like there are people saying “Woah now! I’m not sure if we can have a lady talking about science.” It’s open to everyone, and I have done a lot of thinking about why there aren’t more women on YouTube generally, and talking about science specifically. YouTube is largely male in general, I think, for a few reasons. One, it can be pretty abusive, which I’m sure you’ve seen. Two, the first round, at least, are the attention-seekers who don’t care what they’re doing as long as people watch, and that seems to be a more male trait (we’re scientists, we can agree that there are psychological trends in the sexes.)”
Emilie Grasile (whose style of delivery is quite like Hank Green’s, I expect because that is a successful youtube formula), who is supported in her video production by Chicago’s Field Museum, put out a video today about the first reason Hank mentioned: abusiveness in the comments.
As we know, this type of harassment is all over the internet, and especially on YouTube. I find it annoying, but not so much a hinderance to creating content in my opinion. HOWEVER, even though I might be able to personally brush off the inappropriate comments, I would like to see it diminish because it saddens me that potential viewers of my videos, especially if they are young, would be subjected to reading low quality comments and I’d not want them to think I approve of this kind of interaction with me, or any human being for that matter. I’d like to set the example that I don’t condone people treating others in that manner, so curating comments would be of utmost importance, but that takes TIME. A lot of time.
Which brings me to why I don’t make as many videos any more. It is TIME (Henry of Minute Physics and ViHart both have spoken in the past of numerous hours required just for one minute of video!). I like creating content and I have lots of ideas, especially ideas to reach young women about STEM, using products they use everyday, and to share about the great popular science book choices available. I have the skills to create a decent video now, after a learning curve, but pre-and post-production is incredibly time consuming. It would even be a relaxing and contemplative process if I did not have to attend to my career as a full time faculty lecturer and raise my four children as well, in addition to the in-person (and quite rewarding) physical science outreach I do. If video production were my livelihood or had the support of an institution or business to create videos, I could see this being a great way to channel my natural teaching abilities and telegenicity, but that is not a current option, though I am open to it.
With good production assistance, I might still be producing videos, but this costs money, and quite a bit of it. Sporadic grants for $500- $2,000 are not sufficient to maintain a strong presence online with high quality videos. To have animations or editing done by someone else, it adds up.
Compounding the issue is the demand for increased production values. I’ve been watching the progression of science as portrayed on Youtube, from the organic “guy in his garage” (ie NurdRage) to slicker productions (ie Steve Spangler and SciShow) as talented people who were in TV are moving over to create videos on YouTube, leaving the audience to come to expect increasingly better production values. Personality and content can only go so far without the bells and whistles expected these days. I agree, equipment for filming is becoming more sophisticated and it is easier to make good looking videos if you can light and frame and storyboard appropriately and if you have the time.
I’ll add one more observation. Youtube, in general, is the place for the the young (and young looking, as in TV). Most everyone creating videos, especially the science ones, have made this their overarching focus, as a career. For a woman who is already established in (or establishing) her career as a scientist and raising a family, which is the one of the best inspirations for young women considering a science career out there, adding YouTube video production to their plate might be asking a bit too much, especially if enduring inappropriate comments is the “reward”.
As an encouragement for women creating STEM content on YouTube, I’ll reiterate what I said earlier on in the post. If young people do not see women articulating science, the impression will be that women don’t do science, and it will not be considered a viable career option. Think of it. Women find it easier to become doctors and lawyers versus scientists because they understand those professions, either from real life interactions or from TV. We need women scientists to interact with young people and to be visible in the medium that young people consume, but how do you juggle career and family and outreach as such with video production and subsequent comment curation? That is the challenge, and I wish everyone all the best of luck.