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

The State of Biotech

Join the Editors of GEN and an all-star line-up of speakers and presenters as they analyze the state of biotechnology circa 2022 – a celebration of innovation, emerging technologies, and clinical successes and an in-depth appraisal of the headwinds and challenges facing the industry. Read more.

Gina McCarthy, Biden’s top climate adviser, to step down.

Gina McCarthy, President Biden’s top climate adviser, left her job on September 16, just weeks after the president signed a landmark climate bill to slow the pace of global warming. Gina McCarthy previously served as E.P.A. administrator in the Obama administration and had environmental roles under Republican governors. Read more. (Image: Wikipedia) 

CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna receives inaugural Kimberly Prize.
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the Simpson Querrey Institute for Epigenetics announced that CRISPR pioneer and Nobel Laureate Jennifer Doudna is the recipient of the inaugural $250,000 Kimberly Prize in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. Doudna was selected for her fundamental biochemical studies providing molecular insight into the function of CRISPR/Cas9 systems as tools for genome editing and the application of her work to biology and medicine. RFS featured an engaging conversation last year with her which you can access hereRead more. 

Athene Donald: why even great physicists like her suffer from impostor syndrome.

Dame Athene Donald recently admitted to suffering from impostor syndrome. “Yes, she had already established her physics credentials by the time I worked with her, but she was taking a massive risk as well by moving into uncharted, interdisciplinary waters. Being one of just a handful of women in what was then a highly male dominated department at the time didn’t help her confidence either,” writes Matin Durrani, editor-in-chief of Physics World. Read more. (Image by Matin Durrani) 

Billion-dollar US health agency gets new chief — but its direction remains in limbo.

US President Joe Biden has selected Renee Wegrzyn, a biologist and former government scientist, as the inaugural director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), an agency created by his administration to find innovative solutions to biomedical problems. “Renee possesses a rare combination of scientific expertise, practical experience and interpersonal skills that set her apart as a leader,” says Jennifer Doudna, who has served on a bioengineering advisory board with Wegrzyn. Read more. Image Credit: Ginkgo Bioworks. 

Susan L. Solomon, crusader for stem cell research, dies at 71.
Susan L. Solomon, whose frustration over lags in finding a cure for her teenage son’s Type 1 diabetes prompted her to establish what became a leading independent stem cell research laboratory, died on Sept. 8 at her home in Amagansett, N.Y. She was 71. Read more. 

Gender pay gap hits university faculty.
More women scientists work as professors today than at any time in history. But they’re still underpaid relative to their male colleagues with similar publication records, according to a study of more than 2300 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) faculty members. The findings are “concerning,” says Bruce Weinberg, a professor of economics at Ohio State University, Columbus. Read more. 

Behavioral scientists have discovered the secret recipe for team success—gender diversity.
The study’s authors found that mixed-gender teams produced more novel and innovative work than all-women or all-men teams of comparable size, on average. Read more.

Men outnumber women by more than 2 to 1 in US federal science jobs.
Women hold just 29% of the 335,412 jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the US federal government, according to a report published by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The report is based on data from 2019. The gender disparity is even greater in supervisory and leadership roles, in which women occupy just 26% of positions. Read more. 

“How we boosted the number of female faculty members at our institution”
Despite a small increase in the number of women studying STEM subjects as undergraduates or postgraduates in Australia, female enrolment in these fields was only 36% of the total in 2019. Female representation in science and engineering, especially at the senior level, is still appallingly low. Read more. 

To encourage more scientists to translate their research, BioInnovation Institute (BII) and Science award the BII & Science Prize for Innovation.
Three winners will have their essays published in Science and will be invited into BII’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. In addition, the Grand Prize winner will receive a prize of USD 25,000 and each runner-up will receive USD 10,000 at a grand award ceremony in Copenhagen, Denmark. Read more. 

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