It was on one of these mornings during the first week of classes that I didn't have my timing just right. So instead of trying to swim upstream through the rushing flow of the freshman biochemistry class - I waited. Two young male students were the last stragglers to leave and they were discussing this new experience of college. The last of this conversation that I overheard was a little shocking. As the one said to the other "I can't believe there are so many girls in our class?" and the others reply "Yeah, that is weird."
Ok, so there are many things wrong with their thinking and these statements and my first thought (as a girl) was "WHAT?? Have you been living under a rock?" And then as a scientist I began to devise plausible hypotheses as to this thinking.
- Are students still not being taught the complete history of science and it's female contributors? Would the addition of these women into science textbooks be beneficial?
- Are students from small towns less likely to have an equal female:male student ratio taking science electives? Is this seen in small towns, large cities, or both?
- How likely are female highschool students to engage in and pursue careers in the field of science? Does peer pressure or lack of support by guidance counselors play a role in future career choices by women?
For centuries significant contributions to the field of science have been made by women, yet their work remains largely unknown and much of which been credited to brothers, fathers, uncles, husbands or male colleagues. It is time to elevate these historic female scientists to their rightful place in the history books as they were simply born on the wrong side of history.