Monday, April 5, 2010

The Fairer Sex in the World of Science

Girls do better than boys in primary and secondary schools. Even at tertiary level, there are more girls than boys in most universities. But where do they go after that? Why do we see most top positions, head of departments, chief scientists, and executives at decision making levels are occupied by men?

I would like to share a riddle with the readers. Here it goes:
One day, a father and son went for a leisure driving outing. Unfortunately, the car crashed and the boy was in a serious condition. The father took him to a hospital and the examining doctor said that the boy must go for an immediate surgery. The surgeon, upon seeing the boy, screamed, “Oh, my God. What happened to my son?” The question: who is the surgeon?

Most people would have their mind wandering about the legitimacy of the boy’s birth. And none would have thought that the surgeon is the boy’s mother... Our mind often perceives surgeons to be men. What more scientists.

It is ironic that we always fail to see women as superstar scientists and put them in the same category as Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Alexander Graham Bell and their likes.

There are a number of women scientists who revolutionized the world in the past and there still a large number working hard in the laboratories around the world.

I recently read an interesting article on the internet on “15 Female scientists who changed the world” and would like to share the link:

In every part of the world, we need to address the constraints faced by women in excelling in the field of science, in spite of their academic achievements. These constraints could be family commitments, existence of glass-ceiling, lack of support from family and husbands, lack of support from bosses and top management, lack of confidence, access to grants, lack of equal opportunities, etc. These constraints are predominant in less developed countries. But developed countries are not spared as well.

These barriers need to be broken.

Mahaletchumy Arujanan

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