Dear Colleagues, 

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

New in 2023: our Council of Corporate Leadership

Join our first two leadership members: Pfizer, and Rosalind, Inc.!

Emerging from our COVID cocoons, we are excited to launch our new Council of Corporate Leadership (CCL).

With the support of influential corporations, RFS will be able to continue to raise awareness about the underrepresentation of women and minorities in science. Industry leadership and visibility will be a catalyst to meet the challenge of eliminating educational and workforce disparities in the sciences. We look forward to working with you to create and grow this important platform. Please take a few minutes to review the brochure here.   

As we plan 2023 initiatives, including our prestigious year-end meeting, we invite CCL members to suggest topics to be featured, as well as speakers. We also hope members will share timely news about their company’s work to be published in our regular RFS Briefings, disseminated bi-monthly by email, and posted on our website. The CCL will also be prominently recognized on our website, in press releases, in communications with our funders, in our conferences and webinars, and in our robust social media. Please check out our 2022 meeting agenda and presentations which are still available on demand.

We envision the new Council of Corporate Leadership as a companion organization to our already established and growing Council of Academic Institutions (CAI). The CAI includes universities represented by our Board and Advisory Board as well as other institutions, across sectors. These two Councils together represent the most important and influential leadership in science. They can expand access. representation, leadership, and much needed progress across disciplines.  

We are making a difference, but we are not done... 

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

Black History Month 2023: Black trailblazers in science and society you should know.
To honor the many Black and African American scientists who have made important contributions to history, BIO highlighted 25 trailblazers who significantly impacted the fields of science and technology. Read more.

She Helped Unlock the Science of the Covid Vaccine.

Kizzmekia Corbett helped lead a team of scientists contributing to one of the most stunning achievements in the history of immunizations: a highly effective, easily manufactured vaccine against Covid-19. Read more. Credit: Wikipedia.

Celebrate Women in Discovery Science.
For International Women and Girls in Science Day, Feb. 11, UCSF celebrated some of their laboratory leaders who are taking research to new heights. Can the enzymes behind every living thing adapt to climate change? How soon will we be able to mimic pancreases in a lab to treat diabetes patients? And can we stop the next killer pandemic by understanding virus evolution? Read more.

2023 Lewis Thomas Prize – Suzanne Simard – Monday, April 17, 2023.
The recipient of the 2023 Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science is Suzanne Simard, Ph.D., for her book Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest. Dr. Simard is world-renowned for her research on tree connectivity and communication through fungal networks, showing that trees are so much more complex than we originally thought. Save the date for the ceremony: April 17, 2023. Read more.

Science Philanthropy Alliance Welcomes Two New External Science Advisors.

The Science Philanthropy Alliance announced the addition of two external science advisors. Margaret Leinen, Ph.D., and Carla J. Shatz, Ph.D., (RFS board member) will join the Alliance’s existing cadre of distinguished external science advisors in advancing the organization’s mission to expand philanthropic support for discovery science. With a distinguished career that includes being named the first woman chair of the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, Carla Shatz has dedicated decades to understanding the dynamic interplay between genes and the environment that shapes brain circuits. Read more. 

Women Scientists on the Forefront of Climate Action.
The world’s understanding of climate change has improved exponentially thanks to science, technology and the dedication of some of the world’s top climate scientists. Get to know some of the female climate scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and their unique contributions to the understanding of the state of our planet and the solutions to the climate crisis. Read more.

She Studies Growing Arteries to Aid Heart Attack Recovery.
Kristy Red Horse, a researcher in regenerative medicine at Stanford University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, studies the growth of the arteries that supply the heart with blood and oxygen. Her discoveries may someday help damaged hearts heal better. Her stewardship of her Native American heritage may advance science in other ways too. Read more.

US federal research watchdog gets new permanent director.

The U.S. Office of Research Integrity, the agency that oversees research misconduct investigations for work funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has a new permanent director after a year and a half without one: Sheila Garrity, currently associate vice president for research integrity and research integrity officer at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Read more. 

International Day of Women and Girls in STEM from a Latin American perspective.
The group “Women in Bioinformatics and Data Science Latin America (WBDS LA)” was founded by women for women and other gender minorities, and activities and administration are run almost exclusively using volunteer hours without dedicated funding. In this article, one of their co-founders, Dr. Ana Julia Velez Rueda (UNQ – CONICET* (Argentinian Scientific Council)) provides a thoughtful and thought-provoking account of gender equality in science in Latin America generally, and specifically within the research community within bioinformatics and data sciences. Read more.

Meet 5 women who are using science to help save the planet.
The UN Environment Programme shines a light on five women who are pushing boundaries and using science to help tackle the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss and pollution and waste. Read more.

‘More women and girls in science equals better science’, UN chief declares. 
That’s the message from UN Secretary-General António Guterres for the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, observed this Saturday, who appealed for concrete action to increase their ranks. “On this International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we highlight a simple equation: More women and girls in science equals better science,” said Mr. Guterres. Read more.

Nancy Hopkins: Consummate Scientist, Reluctant Feminist.

Many people know the story of what Nancy Hopkins did at MIT more than 20 years ago: documenting the concrete discrimination against female faculty. In Kate Zernike’s new book, we are reminded of this ground-breaking research and learn about the progress that has and has not been made. This new book ,'The Exceptions: Nancy Hopkins, MIT, and the Fight for Women in Science',  is a chilling piece of history and an important reminder of the impact of leadership, commitment, and numbers. Listen to an exclusive interview with the author from our recent RFS annual meeting here. Professor Hopkins is a founding Board Member of RFS. Read more.  

22 pioneering women in science history you really should know about. 
History is full of women who made enormous contributions to science. Some of them are rightfully well-known, like Marie Curie, Ada Lovelace and Rosalind Franklin. But others, like fossil hunter Mary Anning and NASA pioneer Katherine Johnson, aren't such household names. So, for this year's International Day of Women and Girls in Science, the BBC Science Focus Magazine put together a list of 22 women in science history who deserve to be remembered for their work. Read more.

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