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Apr.22, 2009

Vol. 109, No. 12

Seeking gender equality

Receiving my first issue of PAW half a world away was exciting. From my new home Down Under, with a nice cuppa by my side, I was transported back to my time as a graduate student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I really enjoyed the range of topics covered in the Jan. 28 issue, and found the article “From Princeton labs to you” particularly interesting. Presenting results geared toward nonspecialists and the general public is a good way to ensure continued interest (and therefore funding) for research, especially in shaky economic times.

However, surely there must be more women scientists at Princeton whose research is worthy of highlighting. Out of the six labs presented, only one featured a woman (Maria Garlock). This lack of female role models does not encourage women in the sciences. Perhaps I am particularly sensitive to the issue of gender equality, but the same issue of PAW also pictured the six scholars awarded fellowships to study in Great Britain or Ireland — all of them male. While I congratulate them all on their achievements, I can’t help but wonder about the biased gender ratio. Princeton strives to promote gender equality, which it does well with undergraduates and with graduate students in certain fields, but it still needs to work hard on getting up the numbers of female postdocs, assistant professors, and professors, especially in the sciences.

Tatjana Good *04
Postdoctoral fellow
James Cook University, Townsville, Australia

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