Archive for category careers
Thanks to Carol Clark who wrote this piece for Emory University’s Escience Commons on Sara Freeman’s innovative teaching on Intersex.
As a little girl growing up in Atlanta, Sara Freeman says she was a tomboy, preferring to play in the dirt than with dolls. “I dealt with the psychological issue of not behaving like a feminine ideal,” she recalls, “but I don’t think most people ever feel like a perfect version of their sexual assignment.”
She went on to major in biology at the University of Virginia, where she developed an interest in reproductive endocrinology. Freeman is now on the brink of receiving a PhD in neuroscience from Emory, focused on the evolution of behavior, especially in relation to hormones. Her thesis involves the oxytocin system and the social attachment of mammals, drawing from her work in the lab of behavioral neuroscientist Larry Young.
“I find it fascinating that a chemical like a hormone can have such a big influence on an organism’s social interactions,” says Freeman, who loves teaching as much as research.
Last fall, Freeman taught an undergraduate class that she developed called “Intersex: Biology and Gender.”
Read more here.
After attending the Neurogenderings Conference in Vienna, where participants debated whether it would be possible to conduct feminist neuroscience research, I decided it would be useful to interview an actual practicing feminist neuroscientist – and I knew just who to talk to. Dr. Sari van Anders is an Assistant Professor in Psychology and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. She earned her Ph.D. in Biological & Cognitive Psychology from Simon Fraser University. In her social neuroendocrinology lab at the University of Michigan, she conducts feminist neuroscience research on a variety of topics, with a principle focus on the social modulation of testosterone via sexuality, partnering/pair bonding, and nurturance. She has received grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Institute of Bisexuality and has published articles in Hormones and Behavior, Archives of Sexual Behavior, and Psychoneuroendocrinology, among others.
I asked her to talk about what she sees as feminist about her own behavioral neuroscience research, how she has secured support for her work from other behavioral neuroendocrinologists, and what advice she would give to early career scientists who want to incorporate feminist concerns into their research. Read on for Dr. Van Anders’ thoughtful and thought-provoking answers.
I have heard you describe your research as a behavioral neuroscientist as ‘feminist.’ Can you explain what you see as feminist about your behavioral neuroscience research? Read the rest of this entry »
One of the resources we’d like to offer you here at NEW Leaders is a network. We have begun to compile and list and are inviting neuroethics women leaders to have their information listed here under the Network Here Tab.
This tab will include NEW leader from various stages in their neuroethics careers, from seasoned faculty, to postdoctoral fellows, and exceptional undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduate and graduate students can be found in the NEWEST Leaders section, NEW Emerging STudent Leaders.
We will be having our first organizational meeting at the International Neuroethics Society Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana! If you haven’t already registered, please do. This year’s program promises to be exciting.
As an aside, I’ll be doing some international neuroethics networking myself in a few days. I’ll be attending the Japanese Neuroscience Society Meeting in Nagoya Japan and then giving a talk about my empirical neuroethics research at The University of Tokyo. Thanks to Dr. Tamami Fukushi (another NEW Leader) and Dr. Kohji Ishihara for generously organizing this!
After launching a NEW Leaders Facebook group, I was posed the following question by a concerned neuroscience graduate student.
“If the field is largely pioneered and led by women, does it need an advocacy group biased toward women? Are the aims of “cultivating professional networks and skills for women” addressing areas where women are, in fact, deficient? I remain highly skeptical of explicitly discriminatory organizations unless they are aimed at addressing issues unique to the specific group.”
I said this in response:
“Hi XXX. Thanks for your concern. While the field is largely pioneered by women, this doesn’t mean that careers in the field won’t have the same problems women and minorities have in any field (i.e. finding similar opportunities as men, being paid as well as men, being able to find social networks and resources for professional growth to name a few–please see my article discussing research about this here: https://neuroethicswomenleaders.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/pregnancydisability/). Your argument resonates with those who say we don’t need affirmative action anymore too. While it’s true that women and minorities have made much progress, we have not overcome the historical narrative that still underlies the overall under-representation of women and minorities in (sustaining) positions of leadership worldwide in any field (including neuroethics). There are many cultural norms, even some that have been adopted and integrated into our own ideology and women, that we must overcome. The truth is women and men still aren’t on equal footing.And this is why we aim to address this challenge with an advocacy group. All fields deserve scholarship informed by a diverse set of world views and, unlike what you suggest, I would hardly think a field of exclusively women is any better than field that are almost exclusively white males. I encourage you to be open to learning more about advocacy groups for women and minorities, as you may have employees and students who will need advisors who are aware of the unique challenges that face us.”
This is just one of many examples of why we need NEW Leaders. I believe this is an important question that each of us should be able to address.
What do you think?
|16 significant women in science for details visit: http://www.sdsc.edu/ScienceWomen/|
My entering class of 2002 at Emory University consisted almost entirely women with the exception of maybe 2-3 men in a large group of maybe 15 or so people. This super-sized class was a complete fluke–almost everyone who received offers from Emory chose Emory as their top pick that year to the chagrin of many fine graduate neuroscience programs. In retaliation, other schools moved their deadlines up the following year. I felt lucky to have such a large diverse class, like I had a better sampling of the population of future neuroscientists.