Dear Colleagues, 

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

Equity and representation in science matter more than ever, and the Rosalind Franklin Society continues its mission to recognize, foster, and advance the critical contributions of women and underrepresented minorities in science. Our annual year-end conference highlights the innovators and changemakers with unique experiences and leadership.  

Join us for this indispensable, two-day complimentary virtual summit (November 30 and December 1) showcasing dynamic leaders. The program includes an impressive line-up of prestigious award winners in science, as well as a panel to highlight the unique path of scientists navigating the often-tumultuous waters of PhD to CEO. You will also want to hear first-hand accounts from major new appointments in the federal government and tune in to the presentation that shows a fascinating look back at the Lost Women of Science.

We know you will want to hear these presentations from prestigious scholars, authors, award winners, government leaders from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), the Food and Drug Administration, and one scientist's very personal story of insight and recovery from a massive stroke that profoundly shaped her life and career.

Join us to continue the celebration of Dr. Franklin's life, work, and symbolic power, by recognizing outstanding women in science, cultivating more significant opportunities, and inspiring new generations of women.  

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


Dr. Isabelle Aubert elected into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Dr. Isabelle Aubert, senior scientist at Sunnybrook Research Institute, is one of the 71 new Fellows elected into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) this Fall. Dr. Aubert is exploring brain health and repair using drug, cell and gene therapies. This collaborative work led her to discover that, in addition to serve as a non-invasive approach to deliver therapeutics to the brain, the modulation of the blood-brain barrier with transcranial focused ultrasound can promote the regenerative capacity of the brain. Read more.

Geophysicist Leigh Royden looks at Earth from the top down.

Leigh Royden, the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Geology and Geophysics, combines geology and geophysics to study the Earth’s crust, how it changes when tectonic plates collide, and how that activity is connected to processes deep in the mantle. A member of MIT’s faculty since 1984, Royden’s journey in the Earth sciences has taken her to geologically interesting sites around the world. Read more. Photo: Scott Eisen.

New NAS awards honor science communication in “post-truth world”
Earlier this month, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine announced the recipients of the inaugural Eric and Wendy Schmidt Awards for Excellence in Science Communication. The Scientist spoke to recognition awardee and paleoecologist Jacquelyn Gill about the prize, which she won for her Twitter presence, lay-level writing, and Warm Regards podcast. Read more.

Five L’Oréal fellows awarded funding to conduct research and mentor the next generation of women in STEM.

Sandya Subramanian, Sarah Burnett, Marina LaForgia, Sikoya Ashburn and Margot Wohl are the recipients of the 2022 L'Oréal USA For Women in Science Fellowship. | L'Oréal USA
A Nov. 2 event hosted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine celebrated the contributions of women in science and addressed the need to dismantle systemic barriers to women’s leadership in STEM. Alongside several more senior women scientists, the five fellows also shared their stories at “Breaking Glass: Advancing Women Leaders in Science.” Read more.

Dr. Nina Schor named NIH Deputy Director for Intramural Research.

In this role, Dr. Nina Schor will lead the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP) and facilitate coordination and collaboration among the 24 NIH institutes and centers that are a part of NIH’s research community. She also will spearhead efforts to train the next generation of biomedical and behavioral researchers at NIH, as well as foster a diverse and inclusive culture across the IRP. Read more.

Inclusive STEM learning environments: Six institutions committed to progress.
The data from the 2019 Interagency Working Group on Inclusion in STEM report show that only one out of every 10 federal STEM workers is from a racial or ethnic excluded group. On November 1, 2022, HHMI is making the first grants in its Driving Change initiative, awarding $2.5 million each to six universities: Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, the Ohio State University, the University at Albany, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, University of Montana, and University of Virginia. Read more.

Saying ‘no’ in science isn’t enough:  When women refuse requests to do unrewarded tasks, another female colleague often gets asked instead. 
Studies show that women, regardless of occupation, take on the bulk of non-promotable tasks (NPTs). These tasks can be found throughout any institution — examples include helping other people with their work, serving on governance committees, organizing events, mentoring and even resolving office conflicts. Improving the distribution of NPTs is an organizational problem: employers and team leaders must lead the change. Read more.

This 37-year-old NASA engineer is designing a spacesuit for women on the side: ‘It’s not just cool, it’s necessary’

Sabrina Thompson. Credit: Magdalena Petrova

“Spacesuits have never been designed with women in mind,” Sabrina Thompson points out, despite the fact that women have been instrumental in designing space suits for astronauts. Sabrina Thompson is an aerospace engineer for NASA as well as the CEO and founder of the streetwear brand Girl in Space Club. Read more. 

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