Dear Colleagues, 

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

After Roe v. Wade: US researchers warn of what’s to come.
The constitutional right to an abortion has been struck down in the United States. The US Supreme Court announced on 24 June that it would overturn the 1973 landmark decision Roe v. Wade, which had protected abortion access up until the point that a fetus could live outside the womb. Public-health researchers have renewed their warnings of the harms that this decision will bring to the country. Read more.

At the forefront of building with biology.

Caption: Ritu Raman. Photo: David Sella

Ritu Raman leads the Raman Lab, where she creates adaptive biological materials for applications in medicine and machines. “As a mechanical engineer, I’ve pushed back against the idea that people in my field only build cars and rockets from metals, polymers, and ceramics. I’m interested in building with biology, with living cells,” she says. Read more. Check out her presentation at the Rosalind Franklin Society 2019 year end meeting.

Women less likely than men to get authorship on scientific publications, analysis finds.
Women are 13% less likely to be credited with authorship than men on a paper and 58% less likely to receive credit on a patent. The discrepancy exists despite survey results showing women self-report contributing to a broader swath of types of scientific work that would merit authorship than men. Read more.

Biden names former DARPA leader Arati Prabhakar as science adviser.

US President Joe Biden has nominated Arati Prabhakar, an applied physicist with extensive experience in both government and the private sector, to be head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and named her as his next science adviser. Read more. Image:

Applications are open for the Michelson Philanthropies and Science Prize for Immunology.
The Michelson Philanthropies & Science Prize for Immunology focuses on transformative research in human immunology, with trans-disease applications to accelerate vaccine and immunotherapeutic discovery. This international prize supports investigators 35 and younger, who apply their expertise to research that has a lasting impact on vaccine development and immunotherapy. It is open to researchers from a wide range of disciplines including computer science, artificial intelligence/machine learning, protein engineering, nanotechnology, genomics, parasitology and tropical medicine, neurodegenerative diseases, and gene editing. Read more.

An immunologist fights Covid with tweets and a nasal spray.

Akiko Iwasaki, an immunology researcher at the Yale School of Medicine, contributes to the fight against Covid-19 with both her vaccine work and her explanations of pandemic science for the public on social media. She thinks that nasal spray vaccines could be the next needed breakthrough in our fight against the coronavirus. Read more. Check out her presentation at the Rosalind Franklin Society 2020 year end meeting. Image: Brandon Schulman for Quanta Magazine

TWU biology's Dr. Pislariu earns $1 million CAREER grant.
Texas Woman’s University received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation for research on methods to rehabilitate farmland by planting crops that not only grow in depleted soil but also contribute to the regeneration of that exhausted earth. The research is under the direction of Catalina Pislariu, an assistant professor of biology at the university. Read more

Pew funds 22 scientists investigating critical biomedical questions.
The 2022 class of scholars—all early-career, junior faculty—joins a rich network of the more than 1,000 scientists who have received awards from Pew since 1985. Current scholars have opportunities to meet annually to build connections and exchange ideas with fellow Pew-funded scientists. 11 this year are women in science! Read more.

Why it’s important to ask: ‘What does a scientist look like?’
Although stereotypes around scientists are shifting from the older man in a white coat, the rate of change is slow. Changing these stereotypes may be a key part of dealing with issues around gender equality in STEMM. Read more.

First public statue of female scientist in Italy celebrates astronomer.

Astronomer Margherita Hack has become the first female scientist honored with a public statue in Italy. Hack, who was born in 1922 and died in 2013, was a high-profile figure for decades in the country, where she was a prominent science communicator and is credited with inspiring generations of young women to pursue a career in science. The statue shows Hack emerging from a vortex, representing the spiral shape of a galaxy. Read more. Credit: Left, Nick Zonna/ipa-agency/Shutterstock; right, Massimo Sestini/Mondadori via Getty (Nature).

‘Moms in Proteomics’ aims to bring together a community for supporting mothers in STEM.
Jennifer Geddes-McAlister, Assistant Professor of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Guelph, was recently invited to publish an article about Moms in Proteomics. She talked about the importance of sharing stories of success and challenges, and building a community of mothers in STEM to support each other and the next generation. Read more.

Nominations for 2023 Advocacy Awards - Research!America.
Nominations are open for the Research!America’s 2023 Advocacy Awards! The awards below recognize individuals and organizations whose accomplishments in advocacy for scientific, medical, public health, or other health-related research have saved lives and improved the health of our nation. Click below to submit your nomination today! Please submit your nominations by Thursday, June 30, 2022. Read more. 

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