Celebrating women in science: new resources and studies to download

Find stories and reports for Women's History Month — and share your own news, tips and resources

In recognition of Women's History Month, Elsevier Connect is honoring women in science by presenting a variety of stories and resources. You can find them on this page, which we will continue to update.

Please feel free to share your own news, tips and resources for Women in Science in the comments. [divider]

Temple Grandin on new edition of ‘Genetics and the Behavior of Domestic Animals’

World-renowned animal behavior expert talks about what she learned – and what she wants you to learn – from the updated text

Professor Temple Grandin, PhD, at the Colorado State University Experiment Station (Photo by Rosalie Winard)Professor Temple Grandin, PhD, at the Colorado State University Experiment Station (Photo by Rosalie Winard)

Temple Grandin was a teenager when she realized she understood animals in a way most people don’t. Autism caused her to think in pictures rather than words. “An animal doesn’t think in words,” she explained. “An animal thinks in sensory images – pictures, sounds, smells, touch sensations. Animals notice little details that most people tend to not see.”

Her uncanny ability to get inside the minds of animals – and a lifetime of research in which she has applied her understanding to livestock handling – led her to edit the classic text Genetics and the Behavior of Domestic Animals, published by Elsevier’s Academic Press. For this article, she was interviewed by Alison Bert, Editor-in-Chief of Elsevier Connect. Read more ... [topdivider]

8 myths of leadership (by a STEM leader)

Tips from the author of 'Transforming your STEM Career Through Leadership and Innovation'

Dr. Pamela McCauley Bush is a nationally recognized speaker, author and full professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems at the University of Central Florida, where she leads the Human Factors in Disaster Management Research Team.  She is currently pursuing her research as a Fulbright Scholar in New Zealand.

These tips are from her book Transforming your STEM Career Through Leadership and Innovation, published this year by Elsevier. Read more ... [topdivider]

Call for award nominations for early-career women scientists in developing countries

Dr. Huda Omer Basaleem of Yemen accepts her award from David Ruth, Executive Director of the Elsevier Foundation, the AAAS conference in February. She was recognized for “her dedication in the fight against cancer and for the well-being of women and children in the Arab region.” She is surrounded by (left to right) Dr. Shirley Malcom, Head of Education and Human Resources for AAAS, Dr. Romain Murenzi, Executive Director of TWAS and Professor Maya de la Torre, Vice President, Latin America, OWSD. (Photos by Alison Bert)Dr. Huda Omer Basaleem of Yemen accepts her 2013 award at the Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference in February. She was recognized for “her dedication in the fight against cancer and for the well-being of women and children in the Arab region.”

The Elsevier Foundation, TWAS and OWSD announce 2014 awards for chemistry

Each year, the Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World recognize talented scientists from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean whose work could contribute to life-saving knowledge and therapies worldwide. The prizes rotate between the life sciences, chemistry, and physics/math disciplines. The awards are intended to recognize research excellence, build capacity in developing countries, and inspire a new generation of women scientists. They also provide professional visibility for the winners, including exposure at a prestigious interdisciplinary conference.

Today, the call for nominations for the 2014 awards was announced by the Elsevier Foundation, the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) and the Academy of sciences for the Developing World (TWAS). Read more ... [topdivider]

The diplomatic scientist — view from the UN

Dr. Lily Khidr, a biomedical scientist and Elsevier publisher, writes about her experience at the UN Worldview InstituteDr. Lily Khidr accepts her graduation certificate from UN Worldview Institute President Paula Rice-Jackson (Left) and Executive Director Ann Nicol (center)

As a new PhD student, I was given an assignment to figure out the relationship between a broad and diverse disease known as cancer to a granular part of our human physiology responsible for the production of energy, called a mitochondrion.

“These animals age too quickly,” the professor proclaimed, “and when we open them up, they are riddled with tumors. Figure it out. And if you do not publish a ‘first author’ with mechanism in three years, no PhD.”

Stimulated by the challenge, confused by the terminology, overwhelmed with pressure, and excited with a full-ride grant from the National Cancer Institute, I accepted.

Early on, the experience was fraught with frustration. Read more ... [topdivider]

Elsevier women in science — three views

Elsevier women in science

A particle physicist, a disruptive technologies expert and a publishing veteran write about the challenges and opportunities for women in science

For Women’s History Month, Elsevier is presenting the research and perspectives on women in various aspects of science. Here, three women in distinct roles at Elsevier — Dr. Eleonora Presani, Anita de Waard and Anne Kitson — write about the challenges and opportunities for women in science today. Read more ... [topdivider]

CEO: Is the gender gap a gender issue?

Dr. Emilie Marcus, CEO of Cell Press, writes about balancing science and life — and how people’s choices affect their career potential

Emilie Marcus

People often ask how I “broke through the glass ceiling” to succeed in a field that is predominantly male and have overcome the barriers women face in science. They don’t always like my answer, because it’s not about gender. It’s about learning how to be effective as a member of a minority in different contexts, understanding the peculiar structure of academic research, and accepting the choices and trade offs facing both women and men in balancing work and life in this field.

From my initial interest in science in high school, I never felt held back, overlooked or under-appreciated because I’m female. Quite the opposite: Perhaps because people in science often are so passionate about their work, they may be gender-blinded by the thrill of sharing their fascination and wish to encourage anyone who is interested. And I was. Read more ...


What science is missing when women are missing

From biochemical discoveries to seat belt design, women matter a lot, findings show

A new report features examples of novel approaches to supporting women’s career progression, especially in the early stages.  Titled From Ideas to Markets: the Gender Factor, it shows how gender can make research more meaningful and open up new markets for scientific knowledge. It was developed by Portia Ltd with funds from the Elsevier Foundation’s New Scholars program to support discussion at the 2012 European Gender Summit, held at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Here, Portia Director Elizabeth Pollitzer, PhD, writes about the findings in this report, shedding new light on the role of gender in science. Read more ...


AWIS: The Work-Life Integration Overload

This report by the Association for Women in Science is based on a survey of 4,225 scientists and researchers worldwide Attracting workers into science and technology fields could be hampered by work-life integration issues according to a new international survey. Drawing data from 4,225 publishing scientists and researchers worldwide, the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) finds that lack of flexibility in the workplace, dissatisfaction with career development opportunities, and low salaries are driving both men and women to reconsider their profession. This report was published in March 2012.


Author advises women on ‘transforming your STEM career through leadership’

In a new book, engineering professor Pamela McCauley Bush shares her strategies to succeed in a male-dominated field

Pamela McCauley Bush, PhD, gives advise from her new bookPamela McCauley Bush, PhD, gives advise from her new book

Dr. Pamela McCauley Bush recalls the time she visited a major university to give a speech for academics in the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and medicine. While sitting in on meetings beforehand, she observed something that caused her to pause.

“When I looked at these amazing, brilliant women, I saw so much insecurity; I saw women who weren’t getting the opportunities they were fully capable of,” she said. “They didn’t have the assertiveness or the confidence they should have had. … I saw so much potential, and I saw so much of it going unrealized.”

After returning home, Dr. Bush started on her most recent book – Transforming Your STEM Career Through Leadership and Innovation: Inspiration and Strategies for Women – which was just published by Elsevier.

In this article, she gives practical tips based on research and her own challenges in achieving success. Read more ... [topdivider]

STEM education: preparing for the jobs of the future

US Senate report anticipates growing demand for STEM-skilled workers This report considers studies, statistics and economic trends to anticipate where those jobs will be. It was published by the US Senate Joint Economic Committee Chairman’s Staff in April 2012 and is being shared by permission on Elsevier Connect.


New data on women in science and engineering

This 2013 National Science Foundation report provides statistical information about the participation of women, minorities and people with disabilities in science and engineering education and employment. Thanks to Janet Bandows Koster, Executive Director and CEO of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS), for recommending this resource. National Science Foundation report: Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering[topdivider]

Study: Women encounter inequality in science & technology fields

Pervasive barriers restrict women’s participation even in the wealthiest nations, a new study finds

The presence of women in the fields of science, technology and innovation remains significantly lower than for men, even in some of the world’s wealthiest regions, according to new research. The study (National Assessments and Benchmarking of Gender, Science, Technology and Innovation) assessed the level of support, opportunities and participation of women in science in the world’s leading knowledge-based economies: the European Union, the United States, Brazil, South Africa, India, Korea and Indonesia. (Upcoming articles will focus on each of these countries.) Despite efforts to give women greater access to education in science and technology in some countries, the research shows they are still significantly under-represented in many degree programs, especially in engineering, physics and computer science. But even with improved access to science and technology education, women have not increased their numbers in the workforce, the study finds. In fact, in some countries including the US, the number of women in the science and technology workforce is declining. Read more ...[topdivider]

Awards recognize women scientists in developing countries

2013 Elsevier Foundation Awards for Women in Developing CountriesThe 2013 Elsevier Foundation Awards for Women in Developing Countrieswere presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Scientists honored by Elsevier Foundation for pioneering work in medicine and life sciences Five researchers received the 2013 Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World for pioneering work that could contribute to life-saving research in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. The prizes were presented by the Elsevier Foundation, the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) and TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing worldto build research capacity and advance scientific knowledge throughout the developing world. The award included $5,000 and an all-expenses paid attendance at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Boston, where the winners received their prizes during a ceremony on February 16. Read more ...[topdivider]

Grants support science and ‘capacity building’ in developing world and beyond

Elsevier Foundation awards $650,000 to programs for innovative libraries, post-doctoral researchers, women in science and nurse faculty mentorshipEvery year during the holiday season, the Elsevier Foundation announces the grant recipients for the Innovative Libraries in Developing Countries and New Scholars awards programs. In total, we have awarded $650,000 to eight organizations around the world. Another five ongoing grants and our Nurse Faculty Mentored Leadership partnership are also part of these awards. Read more ...[topdivider]

In Tunisia, optics workshops help women pursue emerging field

Women in Optics videoThis video features the Get Ahead with Optics program.
In the wake of the Arab Spring, the Elsevier Foundation supports an optics summer school for young women scientists Over the past decade, optical technologies have become an indispensable part of daily life: fiber optics for telecoms, optical methods for medical imaging and cancer research, and optical parts in cars and computer screens are at the core of the world’s technical infrastructure. The need for more experts in this discipline — along with the desire to encourage more women to pursue careers in science and engineering in a region disrupted by violent protests from the Arab Spring — inspired two universities to organize a summer school program for young female scientists: Get Ahead with Optics. In September, the University of Carthage School of Communication Engineering in Tunisia and Philipps-University Marburg in Germany hosted their 10-day program in Yasmine Hammame. Read more ...[topdivider]

What being a 'social business' means to Elsevier

Elsevier Social Media Director Angelina Ward writes about the origins of Elsevier Connect and how we’re shaping our processes, people and technology to engage with the research community

Angelina Ward

By now, most people know and understand what social media is and how it’s become truly integrated as a means of communication in society. But the term social business — also known as social enterprise, collaborative company and social organization – is less known and wasn’t even used until a few years ago.

Social business is the ability to integrate social communities and tools into an organization’s business processes, goals and employee engagement. The act of becoming a social business is only now becoming mainstream as companies realize its importance.

For various reasons, including the events from last year when an author boycott brought our company into the social spotlight. The conversations within the research community on social networks were heated and controversial and raised a lot of questions. At the time, Elsevier did not have centralized social media channels and practices that could have helped us better respond and answer some of these questions.  We quickly realized In order for us to be in these conversations with the research community, we needed to get serious about social engagement. Read more ... [topdivider]

Awards honor women scientists from 5 low-resource regions

A new international awards program recognizes the research achievements of early-career women scientists from developing nations with low scientific output in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. This is a video about a similar program the organizations ran in 2010 and 2011. This video is about a similar program the organizations ran in 2010 and 2011.
Women in developing countries talk about the obstacles they face and why this recognition is important Succeeding in the competitive world of science is challenging under the best of circumstances. But women scientists in countries with scarce resources and competing cultural expectations face significant additional obstacles as they strive to excel at careers in science. A new awards program takes those factors into account by recognizing the research excellence of early-career women scientists from 81 developing countries. The program is run by TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world, the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) and the Elsevier Foundation . Read more ...[topdivider]
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6 Archived Comments

Alison Bert, Editor-in-Chief March 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Hi again, Mr. Sammon. I just posted your question in the (http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=140296&trk=group-name) Association for Women in Science (AWIS) LinkedIn group. Perhaps your student would like to request to join that group, too. There are some great conversations going on there, and I'm sure people there would be glad to advise her on her search for university programs.

All the best,


Robert Sammon March 25, 2013 at 2:58 pm

I am a school counselor working with a young woman in her junior year. We are looking for colleges that offer women in science programs or that are trying to attract more women into science. Any suggestions?

Alison Bert, Editor-in-Chief March 25, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Hi Mr. Sammon, I recognize your name because I'm also in Westchester, and your school has an outstanding reputation for science education. I will bring your comment to the attention of colleagues in organizations such as the Association for Women in Science so they can make recommendations for your student.

Alison Bert, Editor-in-Chief March 28, 2013 at 4:18 pm

More posts from the AWIS group on LinkedIn:

- My Santa Clara U has strong support for women science faculty in Biology, Chemistry and Engineering. Several are having children and working on their tenure.

UCSF has a WILS (Women in Life Science) group and used to have Triad (science education outreach group for girls and women scientists). Most college campuses would have them under the diversity office or as clubs such as WISE.

- Dartmouth College has a Women In Science Program (WISP) that provides funding for students to work in a laboratory during their freshman year. I was a participant when I was an undergraduate and it definitely encouraged me to pursue research professionally. Dartmouth has amazing research opportunities for all undergraduates because it is an isolated campus with very few graduate students so there is little competition. There is also a world class hospital and several scientific institutes just down the road.


Alison Bert March 27, 2013 at 4:30 pm

This is Alison again with a few ideas for your student:

- From the AWIS LinkedIn discussion: "The university activities that I am aware of are groups or conferences and not necessarily a program (such as a women in leadership or women in public policy program). Perhaps the National Girls Collaborative Project would know. http://www.ngcproject.org/"

- Also, I noticed that the University of Michigan has a well-established Women in Science and Engineering program (WISE) for students at all levels. Here is a description of the program for undergraduates: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/wise/students/undergraduatestudents

Maybe other universities have similar programs. We'll keep our eyes and ears open and keep posting here. Perhaps other EC readers have suggestions, too.

Alison Bert, Editor-in-Chief March 28, 2013 at 2:20 pm

From the LinkedIn AWIS group: From what I have seen, CUNY has strong incentives to support women in science and its faculty has a large number of women among them.