Friday, March 4, 2011

Leaders in Science and Engineering: The Women of MIT

MIT is celebrating 150 years! Don't miss this MIT150 Symposium:

Leaders in Science and Engineering: The Women of MIT

This symposium will engage present students and postdocs, junior and senior faculty, alumni, and friends of MIT, and is woven around the landmark 1996 and 1999 reports of the Faculty Committees on Women in Science and their subsequent impact inside and beyond MIT. The symposium will have plenary sessions of talks by outstanding women faculty. In addition, there will be sessions giving a historical and current assessment of women in science and engineering, including the impact of the 1999 report. Two panel discussions will address effective practices for promoting gender equity and challenges ahead. Actress and MIT alumna Gioia De Cari SM '88 will give an evening performance on campus of her play, Truth Values: One Girl’s Romp through MIT’s Math Maze. In advance of the symposium, we will prepare a publication updating the Women in Science and Engineering reports. The symposium will close with a reception hosted by MIT's Society of Women Engineers (SWE), an undergraduate student group.

The 1996 and 1999 reports on women faculty in science brought attention to subtle and pervasive gender discrimination not only in the MIT School of Science, but more widely in academic science. The reports led to an immediate recognition that significant efforts were needed at MIT and elsewhere to correct inequities. Within MIT, this led to introspection by all five schools with reports published in 2002 and to the introduction of many changes to improve the climate for and status of women faculty. The impact extended across the nation as many universities have emulated MIT’s approach. The accomplishments of our women faculty members as well as our institutional recognition of gender bias and implementation of measures to correct it are highlights of MIT’s history during the last several decades.

Our symposium aims to recognize both individual and institutional leadership in the success of women in science and engineering. MIT has many outstanding women faculty whose success should encourage more women to enter the pipeline for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. Our program will feature some of these star speakers presenting their exciting research and giving personal perspectives. In addition, we will showcase the leadership of key MIT participants in bringing to light and beginning to correct the inequities for women faculty.

Faculty leads

* Cynthia Barnhart, SM '85 PhD '88, Ford Professor of Engineering; Interim Dean, MIT School of Engineering; Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, MIT
* Edmund Bertschinger, Professor and Head of the MIT Department of Physics
* Sallie Chisholm, Lee and Geraldine Martin Professor of Environmental Studies, MIT
* Barbara Liskov, MIT Institute Professor and Associate Provost for Faculty Equity
* Hazel L. Sive, Professor of Biology and Associate Dean, MIT School of Science
* Ian Waitz, Jerome C. Hunsaker Professor and Dean of the School of Engineering, MIT
* Katrin Wehrheim, Associate Professor of Mathematics, MIT

Monday, March 28, 2011 - Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Location: Kresge Auditorium, 48 Massachusetts Avenue

More information can be found here.

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