Dear Colleagues, 

I am pleased to include the first issue of RFS Briefings for 2023 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.

Wishing you a happy & healthy New Year,

Karla Shepard Rubinger
Executive Director
rosalind Franklin Society

White House convenes summit on STEMM equity and excellence.

The White House convened a summit on science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) Equity and Excellence to signal the importance of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts to achieve scientific excellence. “An equitable science isn’t a luxury, but a necessity if we want to live in a country that is just and that can compete globally in the 21st century,” said Sam Gill, president and CEO of the DDCF. Read more.

A bit of chemistry, a bit of rock ’n’ roll. Nobel laureate Carolyn Bertozzi demonstrated talent for science, creativity even as undergrad.

Carolyn Bertozzi’s lab invented bioorthogonal chemistry, which allows chemists to bring molecules together safely in a biological setting. This breakthrough enables chemists to develop new medicines, target medicines toward certain tissues, and see biological molecules in living organisms. Image: Wikipedia. Read more.

Harvard names Claudine Gay as the first Black president of university.

Harvard University recently announced that Claudine Gay will become its 30th president, making her the first Black person and the second woman to lead the Ivy League school. Image by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer Read more.

Confronting racism in Black maternal health care in the United States.
In this piece, Maternal-health researcher and obstetrician Kecia Gaither outlines the research needed to save more Black mothers’ lives. Gaither, who is director of maternal fetal medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln in the Bronx, New York, explains how better screening during pregnancy and enhanced anti-bias training for physicians could help turn the tide on maternal death rates. Read more.

Ten simple rules for empowering women in STEM.
According to the progress on the sustainable development goals (SDGs), with a gender snapshot worldwide for 2021, women hold just 28% of jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This article poses ten simple rules on how society could change and prevent gender differences to empower women in STEM. Read more.

“The More Inclusion We Have in Science, the Better Outcomes We’ll Get.”

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson spent five decades in public service, during which she ushered through landmark science and technology legislation and helped to advance opportunities for all Americans. She was also the first woman and the first Black legislator on the House Science Committee. Johnson recently sat down with Issues editor Molly Galvin to discuss the 15 minutes that determined her career in politics, how the semiconductor chip transformed Dallas, and her hopes for the future of the scientific enterprise. Read more. Image: Wikipedia.

Asian researchers face disparity with key U.S. science funding source.
White researchers fared best in winning grants from the National Science Foundation, a study says. Asians encounter the highest rate of rejections, challenging an academic stereotype. “There’s this model minority myth that is a stereotype that suggests that Asians don’t experience academic challenges,” said Christine Yifeng Chen, a geoscientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and the lead author of the eLife paper. “And that’s not true.” Read more.

Funding opportunity: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education Individual Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (STEM Ed IPRF).
The Program is designed to support postdoctoral fellows engaged in experiences that will advance their career goals by developing their expertise, skills, and competencies to conduct fundamental STEM education research. Principal Investigators who are women, veterans, persons with disabilities, and from groups underrepresented in STEM, or who have attended community colleges and minority-serving institutions are especially encouraged to apply. Read more.

Climate Enforcers Need Hard Evidence. Friederike Otto Has It.
When an extreme weather event strikes, Friederike Otto and her small team of climate scientists—most of them working in their spare time—are the people the world looks toward to tell them whether climate change has made the weather more severe or more likely to be. “I think it’s important to get a more realistic picture of what climate change means,” says Otto, a senior lecturer in climate science at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the cofounder of the World Weather Attribution initiative. Read more.

Barcelona City Council and BIST join forces to promote women’s leadership in science.
As part of this agreement, the Barcelona City Council has awarded a direct grant of an exceptional nature to the BIST foundation for the development of the ‘Women leaders in science and technology’ project, which includes a series of activities including a mentoring programme for young women researchers and scientific education projects for students, among others. Read more. 

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