A Meeting of Nobel Minds
Is the best kind of science useful science? The discoveries of the 2014 Nobel Laureates help us with our everyday lives. In the round-table discussion program Nobel Minds, some of today's greatest minds converse about the discoveries for which they've been honored.
2014 Annual Update
The Rosalind Franklin Society has had another impressive year, evidenced by the further accomplishments of our esteemed Board, Advisory Board, and members − and women in science everywhere − that embody our commitment to ensure that women in science are visible, contributing, and feted. We continue our efforts to broaden the reach of the Society by partnering with leading organizations who share our mission to recognize the work of outstanding women scientists, foster greater opportunities for women in the sciences, and motivate and educate by example young generations of women in science.
Why It's Crucial to Get More Women Into Science
Amid growing signs that gender bias has affected research outcomes and damaged women's health, there’s a new push to make science more relevant to them.
James Gross, a psychology professor at Stanford University, has a 13-year-old daughter who loves math and science. It hasn't occurred to her yet that that's unusual, he says. "But I know in the next couple of years, it will."
She's already being pulled out of class to do advanced things "with a couple of other kids, who are guys," he says. And as someone who studies human emotion for a profession, Gross says, "I know as time goes on, she'll feel increasingly lonely as a girl who's interested in math and science"—and be at risk of narrowing her choices in life before finding out how far she could have gone. (See "In Her Words: Sylvia Earle on Women in Science.")
Gross's concern speaks volumes about what has been a touchy subject in the world of science for a long time: Why are there still so few women in science, and how might that affect what we learn from research?
Women now make up half the national workforce, earn more college and graduate degrees than men, and by some estimates represent the largest single economic force in the world. Yet the gender gap in science persists, to a greater degree than in other professions, particularly in high-end, math-intensive fields such as computer science and engineering.
According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, women in fields commonly referred to as STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) made up 7 percent of that workforce in 1970, a figure that had jumped to 23 percent by 1990. But the rise essentially stopped there. Two decades later, in 2011, women made up 26 percent of the science workforce.
Rosalind Franklin Society sponsors BIO Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership
New Rochelle, NY -- The Rosalind Franklin Society is pleased to be a co-sponsor of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership that will be presented to Dr. Debbie Yaver. Dr. Yaver’s work and leadership over twenty years in engineering industrial microorganisms embodies the spirit of Rosalind Franklin and her pioneering efforts.
Dr. Yaver received her Bachelor’s degree in Bacteriology from the University of California-Davis. After working for two years on oil field microbiology at SRI International, Dr. Yaver returned to UC-Davis where she earned her Ph.D. in Microbiology. Her dissertation research focused on the analysis of the in vivo function of 7S RNA in the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica. Dr. Yaver then conducted her postdoctoral research at UC-Davis, where she studied the role of the vacuolar ATPase in protein sorting.
Following her post-doctoral education, Dr. Yaver accepted a position as a Research Scientist in the Novo Nordisk enzyme division, the predecessor of what is now Novozymes. For over twenty two years, Dr. Yaver has made extraordinary scientific contributions to Novozymes’ fundamental knowledge and expertise in gene expression technology in bacterial and fungal systems. Currently, Dr. Yaver is the Director of Expression Technology, Genomics and Bioinformatics at Novozymes research center in Davis, California. Her research departments focus on engineering microbial strains for production of enzymes, other proteins and small molecules as well as extensive genomics and bioinformatics. Dr. Yaver is an author on many scientific publications in top-line peer-reviewed journals. Her vision and passion for industrial biotechnology is reflected by the fact that she is an inventor on nearly forty issued patents. Dr. Yaver truly leads by example, and her success is a strong reflection of the inspiration and mentorship she provides to her colleagues. Dr. Yaver is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Society of Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB) and is chairing a SIMB Presidential Committee on Strategic Planning. She also serves on the Advisory Board for the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing at University of Iowa. She has remained active at UC-Davis and for several years and has taught a graduate level seminar on industrial biotechnology from discovery to product, which is part of the UC-Davis Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology program. Dr. Yaver is also a member of the Executive Committee for the UC-Davis NIH Training Grant for Biomolecular Technology and the Advisory Committee of the UC-Davis CREATE-IGERT Training program.
More than twenty female leaders in industrial biotechnology were nominated for the award. Dr. Yaver’s accomplishments and dedication stood out to the Rosalind Franklin Award Selection Committee, who selected her as the inaugural recipient. BIO will present Dr. Yaver with the BIO Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology at the 2014 BIO Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy.
About Rosalind Franklin:
Just as Rosalind Franklin paved the way for women in the biotechnology field, the BIO Rosalind Franklin Award will be presented to a pioneering woman in the industrial biotechnology sector who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the biobased economy and biotech innovation. The Rosalind Franklin Award will stand as a lasting memory to the legacy left by Rosalind Franklin, who was instrumental in the discovery and our greater understanding of the molecular structure of DNA, by honoring those women who too have made significant contributions in industrial biotechnology. Through Rosalind Franklin’s use of X-ray diffraction images, the true double helix structure of DNA was discovered. Indeed, it was with the help of Franklin’s images and writings that eventually led Francis Crick and James Watson to release their 1953 model of the structure of DNA. Though often overlooked, Rosalind Franklin’s critical work and discovery in the field has allowed the expansive growth of the biotechnology industry to become what it is today. As said by John Desmond Bernal, a fellow X-ray crystallographer, of Franklin’s crystallographic portraits of DNA, “Her photographs were among the most beautiful X-ray photographs of any substance ever taken.”
With this award we hope to not only honor Rosalind Franklin’s legacy, but honor those women who have also shown exemplary leadership and led the way through previously uncharted territory.
More Information Available Here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/bofran.html
Please see some of the 2014 nominees below :
1.Maria J. Barbosa, Director AlgaePARC, Wageningen, The Netherlands
2. Nahla V. Bassil, Geneticist, US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Clonal Germplasm Repository
3.Cathy Burzik, Operating Partner, Targeted Technology
4.Raquel Lia Chan, Ph.D. Instituto de Agrobiotecnologia del Litoral (CONICET-UNL)
5.Helena L. Chum, Research Fellow, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
6.Katrina Cornish, Ph. D, The Oho State University
7.Carole L. Cramer, Ph.D., Professor of Biological Sciences, Arkansas State Univ., Arkansas Biosciences Institute
8.Lisa Dyson, CEO, Kiverdi
9.Vonnie Estes, Managing Director, GranBio
10. Kaisa Hietala, Executive Vice President, Renewable Products, Neste Oil Corporation
11. Hoi-Ying Holman, Director, Berkeley Synchrotron Infrared Structural Biology Program, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
12. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO, LanzaTech
13. Ethel Noland Jackson, DuPont Fellow, DuPont CR&D Biotechnology
14. K’Lynne Johnson, CEO & President, Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc.
15. Dr. Christine Lang, CEO, Organobalance GmbH
16. Ellen Lee, Team Leader, Plastics Research, Ford Motor Company
17. Rosemarie Osborne, Research Fellow, Procter & Gamble
18. Anna Rath, President and CEO, NexSteppe
19. Dr. Ravigadevi Sambanthamurthi, Director, Advanced Biotechnology and Breeding Centre, Malaysian Palm Oil Board
20. Theodora Retzina, CEO, American Process Inc.
21. Debbie Yaver, Director, Expression Technology, Genomics and Bioinformatics, Novozymes, Inc.
22. Xiao-Ying Yu, Senior Research Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory