Dear Colleagues, 

I am pleased to include another issue of RFS Briefings with some timely and encouraging updates on women in science.

We are excited to once again host several prestigious Women in Science webinars with our colleagues at GEN, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News. On July 23, Dr. Katalin Karikó will talk about her pioneering research in mRNA vaccine technology. The Hungarian-born biochemist’s discoveries provided scientists with the tools necessary to develop mRNA vaccines for COVID-19. We are grateful for the support of this webinar from the Vilcek Foundation. Read more.

See below for more news about women in science

Please continue to share important news and opportunities with us so that we may share it with you, and others who are committed to supporting the careers of exceptional women in science. 

Stay safe and sound

Karla Shepard Rubinger
Executive Director
Rosalind Franklin Society


Interview: Centre Court ovations, limbo-dancing grans – it’s all been humbling, say Oxford vaccine creators.
Sarah Gilbert and Catherine Green recently published their book, Vaxxers: The Inside Story of the Oxford AstraZeneca Vaccine and the Race Against the Virus. Given the mighty efforts involved in producing a Covid-19 vaccine on its own, finding time to write a book on their work seems exceptional. “There are complexities and nuances that can’t always be captured in a headline or a newspaper article,” said Green. “We wanted the opportunity to tell the story in a complete version.” Read more.

Dr. Barbara Murphy, kidney transplant expert, dies at 56.
Dr. Barbara Murphy, a leading nephrologist who specialized in advanced research that focused on predicting and diagnosing the outcomes of kidney transplants, died on June 30 at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, where she had worked since 1997. She was 56. The cause was glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, her husband, Peter Fogarty, said. Read more.

Rashada Alexander named director of AAAS’ Science and Technology policy fellowships.
Rashada Alexander – a nonprofit leader with extensive science policy experience – joins AAAS from the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, where she is operations and impact director. As an alumna of the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships herself, Alexander’s new role represents a return to the program, which places scientists in one- to two-year assignments in offices across all three branches in government. Read more.

2022 Lurie Prize nominations are open.
Each year, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) bestows the Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences, a $100,000 award that recognizes outstanding achievements by a promising young scientist in biomedical research. Nominations are open for the 2022 Lurie Prize! Nominate a colleague today! Read more.

Dr. Maria Freire, President and Executive Director of the FNIH, announces plan to step down.
The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health announced the decision of Dr. Maria C. Freire to step down as FNIH President and Executive Director after nine years of service. She is a past speaker at an RFS Board Meeting and Colloquium at the Wistar Institute. Read more. 

10 tips to transform your career and science culture.
Christina Agapakis spoke with pioneering synthetic biologist Pamela Silver, whose creativity, support, and encouragement to pursue the “nontraditional” stand out as career defining, and extremely rare in the world of academic science. From her early discoveries in how proteins move in and out of the nucleus of a cell to her pioneering work in systems and synthetic biology, Pam has forged new ground and made space for her students and postdocs to explore and define the science they want to do and the careers they want to have. Read more.

Over $40 billion pledged to advance gender equality during the generation equality forum.
The injection of financial resources to advance gender equality is much needed, given the urgent deadline of achieving gender equality by 2030, as set by the Sustainable Development Goal Five. Covid-19 seems to be a moment of reckoning for many leaders, to double down on investment for gender equality. “Twenty-six years after the landmark Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, public discourse on gender equality has not been matched by action. Instead, COVID-19 has only accelerated gender inequality for millions of women and girls who bear the burden of the crisis,” said Nicolette Naylor, Ford Foundation international program director for Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice. Read more.

‘I can’t remember feeling as excited about the future’: redesigning space travel for women.
The drive for more women and greater diversity in the space sector will lead to new ideas and innovations, from spacesuits to toilets and beyond. Only 11% of the astronauts who have ever made it into space have been women. But things look likely to change. In February, the European Space Agency (ESA) launched its first recruitment drive for new astronauts in 11 years, emphasising women applicants and those with disabilities (it recently extended the deadline). Read more.

Emmy Noether faced sexism and Nazism – 100 years later her contributions to ring theory still influence modern math.
Emmy Noether made significant contributions to theoretical mathematics. She earned a doctorate in mathematics in 1909, but women were not allowed to work as professors at that time in Germany. Read more. 

Marianna Limas, Social Media Manager 
Nilda Rivera, Partnership and Events Manager