#PictureAScientist now open for viewing by Hopkins Affiliates

IF YOU ARE A JOHNS HOPKINS AFFILIATE

I’m pleased to share that I had a phenomenal response to the Picture A Scientist screening! With over 500 registrants (Can I get a Wow! here?), I easily maxed out my mass-emailing allowance in gmail, and so I switched to using the twitchy email Hopkins server to send out the screening information to the remaining folks. So, if you registered, you should have the screening information now. Recall that I cast a broad net across Johns Hopkins that includes Homewood, JHMI and JHSPH and the screening is open to faculty, staff and students. 

If you did not receive an email  on how to watch the film, just send me a quick note with “Picture A Scientist access” in the subject line, and I’ll get you the information. I’m not publicly posting the link to avoid getting spammed. The film should be open until midnight on Thursday.

NOT AT JOHNS HOPKINS?

I’ve had a couple of request from those outside of Hopkins. I personally would love for the whole world to see this amazing film. Unfortunately, I’m required to limit the screening event to Hopkins affiliates. 

But all is not lost if you are not a Hopkins Affiliate: There is still an opportunity for you to view the film by arranging your own screening. It is super easy to do, currently almost free (only a small fee), and the Picture A Scientist film makers would be thrilled. Just go to the Picture A Scientist website, and click on “HOST A SCREENING” at the top and fill out the form.

And if you’ve never done a panel at your institution, now is a great time to try it! I am always so pleasantly amazed when I ask folks to be panelists. The vast majority of people I ask do accept; everyone brings their life experiences; and it is so empowering for the next generation to listen and learn from their stories. 

Picture A Scientist Registration Now Open for Hopkins Affiliates

If YOU ARE A Johns Hopkins Affiliate

I’ve spent some time this morning sending out the registration link and advertising this event to my Hopkins colleagues. I’ve tried to cast a broad net across Johns Hopkins that includes Homewood, JHMI and JHSPH and the screening is open to faculty, staff and students.

If you do not receive an email announcement on how to register, just send me a quick note with “Picture A Scientist access” in the subject line, and I’ll get you the information. I’m not publicly posting the link to avoid getting spammed.

Not at Johns Hopkins?

I’ve had a couple of request from those outside of Hopkins. I personally would love for the whole world to see this amazing film. Unfortunately, I’m required to limit the screening event to Hopkins affiliates.

But all is not lost if you are not a Hopkins Affiliate: There is still an opportunity for you to view the film by arranging your own screening. It is super easy to do, currently almost free (only a small fee), and the Picture A Scientist film makers would be thrilled. Just go to the Picture A Scientist website, and click on “HOST A SCREENING” at the top and fill out the form.

And if you’ve never done a panel at your institution, now is a great time to try it! I am always so pleasantly amazed when I ask folks to be panelists. The vast majority of people I ask do accept; everyone brings their life experiences; and it is so empowering for the next generation to listen and learn from their stories.

Save the Date: Picture A Scientist Screening & Discussion

I’m thrilled to share that I’ve arranged for a Johns Hopkins University screening for this amazing new film, Picture A Scientist.

https://www.pictureascientist.com

SAVE TWO DATES ON YOUR CALENDARS:

  1. Screening Dates: I expect the film to be open for viewing from Sep 8 – 10, 2020 and access will be available by pre-registration using your email address. Access information and registration details coming soon.

2. Panel Discussion: On the last day of the screening Sep 10 at 4:30 PM, I will moderate a panel of Johns Hopkins senior women academics to discuss the film and how it impacts our local community.

The panel will include:

  • Karen Fleming, PhD, Professor of Biophysics (Moderator)
  • Rejji Kuruvilla, PhD, Professor of Biology, JHU KSAS
  • Emmy Smith, PhD Professor Earth & Planetary Sciences, JHU KSAS
  • Sherita Hill Golden, MD, MHS, Hugh P. McCormick Family Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism & Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer, JHMI
  • Shanon Shumpert, JD Vice Provost for Institutional Equity

Hope to see you all there!

 

 

13th Discussion Tonight

Screen Shot 2020-07-22 at 9.45.44 AM
Our #InclusiveBiophysics group discussed Ava DuVernay’s documentary 13th a couple of weeks ago. This is a must-watch film if you are working on your education with respect to systemic racism.

A discussion by professors in the political science department here at Johns Hopkins will happen tonight. Registration is required, but this is open to the public.

Check out the link on the hub.

 

Picture a Scientist Q&A Tonight

Screen Shot 2020-06-17 at 2.28.17 PMA friend just alerted me to a Q & A happening tonight on the new film Picture a Scientist. According to their synopsis, this film chronicles the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. 

 

After watching this, I agree that, just like the trailer,  this documentary is haunting and compelling, consistent with these reviews:

“Quietly devastating.” – The Boston Globe

“Fascinating and frightening examination of bias.” – WGBH in Boston

“Sweeping in scope yet intimately compelling.” – Science

The Q&A will be tonight, June 17  at 8PM on Youtube will feature the female scientists on a panel and will be moderated by RadioLab’s Molly Webster. The subjects and fill makers will participate.

Here are the scientists:

Nancy Hopkins, PhD, professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Raychelle Burks, PhD, professor of analytical chemistry at St. Edward’s University

Jane Willenbring, PhD, professor of geology at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography

We in the white #STEM Pipeline must be better.

Today, many of us #ShutDownSTEM (https://www.shutdownstem.com).

Instead, the assignment to us was to spend the day learning and discussing ways to be anti-racist. Because, in the words of Ibram X. Kendi, if your actions and words and policies are not anti-racist, then they are racist. You can hear Dr. Kendi discuss this online or read his best-selling book with the appropriate title How to Be an Anti-Racist.

There should be no room in STEM for racism. First, it’s socially unjust. Second, our country must be able to take advantage of its entire talent pool. Third, it’s been shown many times in many settings that a diverse group of people working on a problem results in greater creativity and more innovative solutions.

Yet the so-called STEM pipeline leaks like a sieve when viewed through the lens of race. As I’ve stated before in my writings and seminars on gender and STEM, the idea that people leaking out of the STEM pipeline have some problem is a fundamentally flawed concept. It’s the pipeline itself that is the problem. And when it comes to race, it’s largely the white STEM pipeline that is the problem. We have met the enemy to equity, and it is us because we, collectively, are the STEM pipeline.

We, the white practitioners of STEM, must be better. We, the white scientists, must must look at ourselves and at each other, and we must do better. It is not up to Black STEM members of our community to fix this problem. We white people must fix ourselves.

We white people must recognize that there is no neutral ground. In the words of Robin DiAngelo:

Nice, white people who really aren’t doing anything other than being nice people are racist. We are complicit with that system. There is no neutral place.

We white people must appreciate that good intentions are not enough. If our actions or words are harmful to our Black colleagues, they are racist. What matters is impact, not intent.

We white people must educate ourselves using the many resources out there to understand our white privilege and how it has shaped our lives and our accomplishments. It is especially important for us to learn from works written by people of color. Some good starts include the video of Dr. Kendi’s work mentioned above, the Ava DuVernay movie 13th (free on YouTube); the movie Just Mercy about Bryan Stevenson’s work, which is streaming for free this month; and the True Justice HBO documentary, also free on the Equal Justice Initiative website.

We white people in STEM must question our assumptions about our Black colleagues and students. A 2018 article asks the question: What are the assumptions and observations that might be holding us back or might provide insights into how we can better understand the challenge? In examining this question, this article examines many of the hypotheses that are frequently given for the under-representation of #BlackInSTEM.

As scientists, we must, of course, bring our usual skepticism, but we must do so in a way that fully recognizes that we are not, in fact, objective. On the contrary, we humans favor studies that confirm our current beliefs, a phenomenon called confirmation bias. Indeed, when hypotheses and data on diversity are discussed within this context, HHMI Gilliam program mentor development workshops found a more self-reflective view of the race dynamics in science.

Participants wondered whether subtle, unintentional differences in guidance or in assignment of projects might follow from assumptions, conscious or not, on the capabilities of (minority) trainees.

 

My fellow white people, say hello to our old friend Implicit Bias.

Newsflash that should not be so: we are all biased.

This means that we white people in STEM must first and foremost check our biases.

Often.

It’s not enough to just do this once in your career. A simple way to check yourself is by taking the RACE IAT (implicit association test) at the Harvard Project Implicit site. There’s still time today, on #ShutDownSTEM day. While you are there, you can also take several other IAT tests that report on your implicit biases in other dimensions of diversity.

We white people of STEM must recognize that diverse hires and admitting diverse students is not enough.

Not even close.

We white people of STEM must accompany invitations to the diversity party with embracing dancing by everyone. We must actively nurture an inclusive STEM community that creates a sense of belonging for all its members. This is how we plug the leaks in the STEM pipeline.

This is work. In #STEM, we signed up for this. Science is intrinsically intertwined with the search for truth, which can only be achieved through inclusive excellence.

In #Academia we signed up for this. We made a choice to stand in front of a classroom and teach and mentor and inspire the next generation. It is incumbent upon us to be anti-racist.

This work will require white people to conduct some frank self-evaluation. It will be uncomfortable at times. We white people will make mistakes. We must do this work anyway. We must become comfortable being uncomfortable. We must reflect and not react when we are wrong even if our intentions were good. We must believe all people when they speak their truth.

And we must thank our Black colleagues when they do the labor of giving us feedback, educating us, and sharing their perspectives and experiences.

 

Seven Steps to Walk-the-Walk

After my workshop with Women in Academic Research Pathways (WARP) back in December, Emily Hanover at JHMI wrote a great article that summarizes seven pieces of advice for promoting gender equity here at Hopkins. I’ve been meaning to find time to explore these in greater detail on the blog, but I’ll just start with the article, which can be found in the Hopkins medicine news here and posted below:

1. Check your hidden biases often. Even as females and allies who care about equity, the environment we grew up in has instilled in us implicit biases, which we may then unintentionally perpetuate. The only way to address these biases is to acknowledge them ourselves. Researchers have developed a quiz to help us identify our implicit biases. Every year, Fleming encourages people in her lab to take this quiz, which has been an excellent way to start conversations around these issues.

2. Normalize the discussion and keep the conversation going. As a topic that permeates every aspect of our lives, equity should be part of our everyday conversation. The impact of a seminar, a book or an article on equity can be amplified by us sharing our thoughts and discussing what we have learned. With people who may hold a different opinion, Fleming says asking probing questions may help clarify their thoughts.

3. Read social psychology literature on gender equity with friends. There is a wealth of social psychology literature on gender biases and how they affect us. It can be a fun starting point to learn more about ourselves and others. Fleming runs a journal club where they meet and discuss the social psychology literature, and has always enjoyed the discussions generated.

4. Use inclusive pedagogy. If you teach or mentor other people, you are part of the pipeline that trains the next generation of scientists. Keeping inclusivity in mind will help prevent existing biases of the system from negatively impacting your students.

5. Know that images matter. It means a lot to have role models and see people who look like you succeed. Sometimes when we see a last name attached to a brilliant piece of work, we may not assume it is produced by a woman. She may have been through similar moments of struggle and self-doubt like we have. It is important to show the images and tell the stories of diverse women in science.

6. Learn how to perform bystander intervention. This is arguably the most powerful and immediate way to protect one another from harassment. Take a few minutes to learn about this strategy, and start making your environment more inclusive.

7. Do not underestimate the agency you bring, and remember inclusive community starts with each of us. Progress in eliminating systemic bias can feel slow and depressing, but our actions are powerful in shaping the immediate environment around us!

Happening Today: Women in Academic Research Pathways

Screen Shot 2019-12-13 at 8.43.52 AMToday I’ll be at JHMI from 3-4 PM speaking to WARP – the Women in Academic Research Tracks. Topics to be covered include

Come join the discussion in the Vivian Foster Conference Room (#602) 1830 E. Monument Street, JHMI.

This event is sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and UHS Wellness. Organizers Margaret Ho and Sarah Maguire

Where We Stand 2019

Come out for the Women Faculty Forum annual Where We Stand Event sponsored by the KSAS Dean’s Office. Our themes this year are Mentorship, Community, & Equity.

Happening later today from 5:30-7PM. Mudd Atrium ~ refreshments ~ kids welcome.

Remarks by Professors Anne-Elizabeth Brodsky & Karen Fleming, Dean Beverly Wendland and Senator Barbara Mikulski followed by round table discussions on topics related to the status and success of women faculty, staff and students.

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Women of Whiting

I’m using this post to salute the Women of Whiting (WOW). “Whiting” is the name of our engineering school, and this group of women are graduate students who have taken the initiative to come together, lift each other up and build their network.

When I give talks, I am often asked about what we can all do to nurture a more inclusive community. Among my answers is THIS: support each other at all levels. And what the Women of Whiting are doing is just one example of what each of us could do with our peers at any stage in our professional development. 

Women

of

Whiting

Although WOW had existed in fits and starts in the past, Alexandra Sneider and Inez Lam re-started the Women of Whiting in Fall 2016. Its purpose is “support women in STEM through professional development, outreach, and social events”. Alexandra and Inez are now in their third year as Co-Presidents, and they have grown the organization to include over 200 members (students, staff, and faculty) across the many divisions of the University. They imagined and executed the annual Women in STEM Symposium, a one-day event providing communication, negotiation, and career planning guidance that draws over 150 attendees from Hopkins and surrounding universities with 20 diverse speakers, a poster session, networking, and career fair component. 

In addition to WOW, Inez and Alexandra are involved in many outreach and leadership positions on campus. Inez has served on the Biomedical Engineering PhD Student Council as co-president and now as faculty-student liaison, and has helped in planning PhD student recruitment for the BME program. In addition, she is a mentor in the P-TECH Dunbar program, a speaker for prospective students at the Institute for Computational Medicine, and has served the BCI-EDGE advisory committee to promote career opportunities for biomedical PhD students.

Alexandra serves as the WOW representative on the Diversity Council for the School of Medicine graduate students, and as a Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Program mentor for the past two years. Alexandra is also actively involved in recruitment efforts for the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChemBE) PhD program, for prospective undergraduates through the Hopkins Office for Undergraduate Research (HOUR), and as a speaker for the Mechanical Engineering Department’s Graduate Recruitment Day.