Earlier this month, our contributor
Eleanor Thibeaux wrote “ Being A Woman in STEM: Why Do We Even Bother?,” a piece that encapsulated a lot of our frustration as women working in and writing about science, tech, engineering, and math. Why bother developing innovations for women’s health, if tech bros are just going to corrupt your idea? Why simultaneously deal with society’s insistence that it’s wrong to “see” gender and its belief that the onus is on women to convince young girls that STEM fields are accessible? Why would anyone willingly enter a field where sexual harassment and gender discrimination are still so prevalent? I don’t know why–but I think it might have something to do with stories like these.
Here are the moments from 2014 that made us laugh, cry, cheer and want to put on a neuron-covered ball gown in honor of the women and girls–both present and past–whose achievements in STEM are changing the world.
In the meantime, enjoy the html version below. I guess. If that's your thing.
LEGO Introduces its First-Ever Female Scientists Set " /> LEGO Introduces its First-Ever Female Scientists Set Last August LEGO introduced its inaugural female scientist set, featuring a paleontologist, an astronomer, and a chemist. The scientists ( and their Twitter accounts!) were hugely popular, so much so that the set was restocked for the holiday season. If you'd like to see more LEGO sets filling the obvious need for representation of women in STEM, make sure to cast your vote and let LEGO know you'd love a Science Adventures set featuring a female archeaologist, biologist, and geologist! 11-Year-Old Girl Who Battled Cancer Wins Inventor Award For IV Backpack " /> 11-Year-Old Girl Who Battled Cancer Wins Inventor Award For IV Backpack In August, 11-year-old cancer survivor Kylie Simonds won numerous awards at the Connecticut Inventors Convention for an IV backpack she designed for pediatric oncology units. If you want to help make the backpack a reality, you can donate over on Kylie's Crowdrise page. 14-Year-Old Battles Trolls and Cyberbullies With Google Science Fair Project " /> 14-Year-Old Battles Trolls and Cyberbullies With Google Science Fair Project 14-year-old Trisha Prabhu, a participant in this year’s Google Science Fair, designed “Rethink,” a system that encourages users to think twice before posting mean/hurtful messages online. Former Facebook Employee Launches Women.Com, The Internet’s First Women-Only Social Network " /> Former Facebook Employee Launches Women.Com, The Internet’s First Women-Only Social Network In September, former Facebook employee Susan Johnson launched Women.com, the first-ever social media site intended solely for Internet users who identify as women. The ISS Got Its First-Ever Female Cosmonaut Crew Member " /> The ISS Got Its First-Ever Female Cosmonaut Crew Member This September the ISS became home to Elena Olegovna Serova, the first-ever female cosmonaut on the Space Station's crew. In November, Serova was joined by Italy’s first female astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, and the ISS had two long-term female crew members for only the second time ever in history. The 1950s, Or When Coding Software Was Considered “Women’s Work” " /> The 1950s, Or When Coding Software Was Considered “Women’s Work” In November, NPR took an in-depth look at the history of women in computing, and reminded us all of the pioneering work women did in coding before the field was co-opted by men. Lead ESA Scientist Unequivocally Apologized for Wearing Sexist Shirt During Livestream " /> Lead ESA Scientist Unequivocally Apologized for Wearing Sexist Shirt During Livestream Last November, the European Space Agency put a robot on a dang comet. Obviously that was a huge achievement in space exploration (and one that never would have been accomplished without female scientists on the Rosetta team, such as the exceptionally rad Kathrin Altwegg). At the same time, lead scientist Matt Taylor's decision to wear a sexist shirt during a livestream renewed discussion about the boy's club atmosphere of STEM fields. Thankfully, Taylor offered a nuanced and heartfelt apology for failing to consider the message he might be sending women in his field. Female PhD Student in Computing Re-Wrote Sexist “Barbie Computer Engineer” Book " /> Female PhD Student in Computing Re-Wrote Sexist “Barbie Computer Engineer” Book In July, the Internet stumbled on the awful Barbie book I Can Be a Computer Engineer, which sends the message that sure, girls can code--provided they have boys around to help. We much prefer PhD student Casey Fiesler's feminist edits. Nobel Recipient Accepted Her Prize Wearing A Gown Covered In Neurons That She Discovered " /> Nobel Recipient Accepted Her Prize Wearing A Gown Covered In Neurons That She Discovered Earlier this month May-Britt Moser, founder of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience and Centre for the Biology of Memory at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, accepted her Nobel Prize wearing a gown covered in neurons that she discovered. Badass or what?
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