Allyson Salisbury

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Allyson Salisbury
Posted over 2 years ago
Will making rockstars out of women in science get more girls interested in science/technology/engineering/math (i.e. STEM) fields?
I think role models are an important piece of the missing women in STEM puzzle. Role models can play a valuable role throughout a person’s trajectory into becoming a scientist, not just getting kids interested in science in the first place. Pursuing any STEM major in college and graduate school is tough and often demanding work. It can be empowering to be able to “see” someone who looks like you doing cool and meaningful work in your field. This is true for both women and minorities as Dr. Danielle Lee explains at http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2011/04/01/under-represented-and-underserved-why-minority-role-models-matter-in-stem/. Do these role models need to be “rock stars”? I’m not quite sure. Not everyone wants to be a rock star. I definitely agree with Bob’s comment about how heroes do not have to be in the headlines. Especially since most rock stars wind up in the headlines for less than admirable reasons. On a personal note, I run a Tumblr blog, sheblindeduswithscience.tumblr.com, where I profile contemporary women scientists who I think do interesting work. And as a grad student working on her own thesis project, I do find reading about women scientists and their awesome research really motivating. (And I always love suggestions for new highlights!)