Dear Colleagues, 

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

  • Register now for our next Women in Science Webinar with Fiona Murray, the Associate Dean of Innovation and Inclusion at the MIT School of Management and William Porter (1967) Professor of Entrepreneurship. She is the co-director of MIT’s Innovation Initiative and Faculty Director of the MIT Legatum Center for Entrepreneurship and Development. 
    Murray is an international policy expert on the transformation of investments in science and technology into deep-tech start-up ventures that solve significant global challenges and create national advantage – from defense and security to health, food and water security.

  • Apply now for the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science Women in STEM Leadership Program. Early and mid-career, US-based STEM professionals are invited to apply. This program is designed for STEM professionals eager to become agents of change to help shift the culture in their fields. Read more.

  • The National Foundation for Cancer Research invites the scientific community to nominate qualified researchers for the 2022 Szent-Gyorgyi Prize. The nomination portal is open through October 15, 2021. Read more.

  • The 8th annual Raw Science Film Festival is open for entry. Its mission is to humanize science and ensure fact-based experts stay at the forefront of popular culture by celebrating the best science storytelling in the world. Read more.

  • On September 16, hear from three fellows from different disciplines as they discuss how the STPF fellowship impacted their identity, career trajectory and understanding of science policy. 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

COVID advances win US$3-million Breakthrough prizes. 
Pioneers of mRNA vaccines and next-generation sequencing techniques are among the winners of science’s most lucrative awards. Congratulations to Biochemist Katalin Karikó, who helped to develop a way to deliver mRNA into cells without triggering an unwanted immune response. Read more. 
She was a speaker last month at our GEN/RFS Women-in-Science series and you can listen to her presentation here.

Meet the 2022 Vilcek Foundation Prizewinners! 
The Vilcek Prizes recognize immigrant professionals whose work contributes to intellectual and cultural life in the United States. The 2022 prizes are awarded in biomedical science, dance, and biotechnology.

Katalin Karikó receives the Vilcek Prize for Excellence in Biotechnology for her pioneering research leadership into the development of mRNA therapeutics, which led to the development of mRNA vaccines for COVID-19. Read more.  And we are grateful to the Vilcek Foundation for support
of her recent presentation for our GEN/RFS Women-in-Science webinar, which you can listen to here.

Top Women in Precision Medicine. 
In this second annual selection of women making their mark in precision medicine, Clinical OMICs highlights women that hail from different corners of the world—China, India, France, Iran, and Poland. Whether it is launching a new sequencing platform, providing deeper insights of the biology of individual cells, or tackling therapeutic challenges by understanding the healthy, not the sick, all five leaders are making their presence felt. Read more.

Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award honor for Dr. Suzie Imber.

Dr. Suzanne (Suzie) Imber, Associate Professor in Space Physics at the University of Leicester, has been named as this year’s recipient of the prestigious Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award and Lecture 2021. Dr. Imber was recognized for her achievements in the field of planetary science. Read more. Image by The University of Leicester.

Dame Jocelyn Bell-Burnell: NI scientist awarded Royal Society's highest prize.

Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, a leading astrophysicist from Northern Ireland, has been awarded the Royal Society's highest prize, the Copley Medal, which is the world's oldest scientific prize. She was recognized for her work on the discovery of pulsars. Read more. She was a recent speaker at our end-of-year colloquium: Labs Leaders, Critical Connections. Listen to her presentation here.

Women in science face authorship disputes more often than men. 
A survey published in Science Advances on September 1 found that women scientists are more likely to be involved in authorship disputes than men. More than half of the survey participants reported having authorship disagreements. Read more.

Biomedical innovations from women less likely to be adopted.
“We find that women’s ideas are less adopted,” says coauthor Wei Cheng, an economist at East China University of Science and Technology, in part because “women are not as well-connected in networks as men,” at least when it comes to short-range connections. Even with its limitations, the study shows that “in some ways, inequality is encoded into our social networks,” says University of California, Berkeley, computational social scientist Douglas Guilbeault, who was not involved in the work. Read more.

MSU center announces mini grants to promote imagery of women in STEM.
The Montana Girls STEM Collaborative is offering mini grants of $500 to $1,000 for youth organizations that use multimedia assets from a database that features women scientists and engineers. The database, called the IF/THEN Collection, was created by Lyda Hill Philanthropies to enhance the perception of women in STEM careers. The collection features photos, videos, activities and other resources. Read more.

Schemer or Naïf? Elizabeth Holmes is going to trial. 
After four years, Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the blood testing company Theranos, is set to stand trial for fraud, capping a saga of Silicon Valley hubris, ambition and deception, according to The New York Times. Ms. Holmes, whose trial is expected to last three to four months, is battling 12 counts of fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud over false claims she made about Theranos’s blood tests and business. Read more.

Valley of Hype: The culture that built Elizabeth Holmes. 
Elizabeth Holmes, once lauded as the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire, faces criminal charges and up to 20 years in federal prison if she's convicted. Yahoo Finance’s first original documentary turns the page on the meteoric fall of Holmes and her blood-testing startup, Theranos. Read more.

How innovation is challenging conventional assumptions about STEM careers. 
The Estée Lauder Companies and Fast Company recently hosted an Innovation Festival 360 event that brought together three accomplished women in STEM to discuss how the perception of what a scientist can be has become more expansive and what young people need to understand about STEM careers. Here are four key takeaways from the event. Read more.

Conservation needs more women, says Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak. 
Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak is in the running to become the first woman from the Arab world to head the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). “It is critical that women have an equal voice in decision-making when it comes to the sustainable use of land, water, and other natural resources,” she told Mongabay founder Rhett A. Butler during a recent interview. “Women are not just lacking an equal seat at the table at a grassroots level. Like many fields dominated by men such as science, engineering, and government, women are also underrepresented in the conservation world.” Read more.

How Computer Science Became a Boys’ Club Women were the first computer programmers. How, then, did programming become the domain of bearded nerds and manly individualists?
Computer programming wasn’t born male. As computing historian Nathan Ensmenger notes, programming was initially seen as a woman’s job. So how did the male nerd come to dominate the field and popular ideas about it? Read more.

Meet Nancy Grace Roman, the “mother” of the Hubble Space Telescope. 
She discovered fundamental truths about stars and galaxies, and also shaped NASA into what we know it as today, writes Briley Lewis. “Roman, known now as the “mother of Hubble”, was born in Tennessee in 1925 and grew up as the quintessential kid with their head tilted up at the stars. Her mother took her on walks to observe nature, showing her constellations at night, while her scientist father answered her curious questions.” Read more.

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