Wednesday, December 05, 2007
For the first time ever, there aren't any Y chromosomes present among the winners of the prestigious Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology! In the team competition, Janelle Schlossberger and Amanda Marinoff of Plainview, Long Island won for the molecule they created that blocks the reproduction of drug-resistant tuberculosis bacteria. And in the individual competition, Isha Himani Jain from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, took top honors for her work on bone growth in zebra fish. Each prize comes with a $100,000 scholarship, but it will also seriously pad the future resumes of these three young budding scientists! Congrats to all.
I guess the only thing surprising to me about this is that it didn't happen sooner. I mean, all three of these girls did their projects in the biological sciences, and the biological sciences have definitely not been lacking in female representation over the past decade or so. In fact, I kind of can't believe that 2007 is the first time this has happened! Now the next step for me would be to see more girls interested enough in the physical and mathematical sciences to kick butt there as well. Studies have shown that for a number of reasons, girls at an early age tend to shy away from the mathematical and physical sciences, which of course leads to a dearth of them at the college and post-college levels, which in turn makes it that much harder for any women who do want to break into these areas to feel like they're not just welcomed but treated equally.
For now, I'll just be happy to bask in the reflected glow of these three young ladies. By the way, eat your heart out, Larry Summers! ∞