Esther Lederberg dies at 83
Stanford University microbiologist Esther Miriam Zimmer Lederberg, a trailblazer for female scientists and the developer of laboratory techniques that helped a generation of researchers understand how genes function, has died at Stanford Hospital.
Professor Lederberg, who lived at Stanford, was 83 when she died Nov. 11 of pneumonia and congestive heart failure.
She discovered the lambda phage, a parasite of bacteria that became a key tool for the laboratory study of viruses and genetics, and was the co-developer with her husband [Nobel prize winner Joshua Lederberg] of replica plating, a technique for rapid screening of bacteria for desired mutations.
“She developed lab procedures that all of us have used in research,” said cancer researcher Stanley Falkow of the Stanford University School of Medicine.
She was also a pioneer of women’s rights, becoming a full professor at a time when women were rare on the faculties of Stanford and other major universities. “She was a real legend,” said Dr. Lucy Tompkins of Stanford.
(More after the jump…)
Continue reading “Microbiology pioneer dies”
More fascinating topics I didn’t get around to:
Continue reading “Saturday roundup”
I see Janet has a post series going on family + academic career. (Part 1; Part 2). I’ve written a bit on my own experience at the old blog (and I do mean “a bit;” it’s much more of a Cliff notes version of events than Janet’s), so I’m re-posting it here for another view from the trenches, so to speak:
Continue reading “Family + academic career: my take on it”
This week’s Ask a science blogger question is:
If you could have practiced science in any time and any place throughout history, which would it be, and why?…
Discussion after the fold…
Continue reading “Trippin’ through history to do science”
More interesting stories that I didn’t get to this week…
Continue reading “Saturday roundup”
I talk a lot on here about making science more available (and interesting!) to the public. And I’ve posted previously about “sexy scientists” before. So you might think I’d be all for an effort to combine the two–but is this really necessary?
(Via new Scienceblog, Pure Pedantry.)
I was heading out, but first I just want to point y’all over to this excellent post of Janet’s regarding women and “nerd culture”.
Now I’m really leaving…
Guess I should’ve held off an extra day on this post. Yesterday was blog against sexism day. Lots of excellent posts linked there if you’re looking to spend several hours getting depressed, then pissed off, then ready to go out and kick some as over the state of affairs and the treatment of women in the 21st century. Locally, Janet shares some of her experiences.
In other “can you believe this crap is still happening in 2006?” news, Orac notes that the offices of the Holocaust History Project were attacked by arsonists (more details here). This latest outrage comes after an extended denial-of-service attack on their website. Obviously the arsonists aren’t aware of the idea of the phoenix rising from the ashes.
So, Chad posted a link to this post last week.
As a woman in science myself, I have to say I don’t 100% buy this argument:
Most people go to work primarily in order to earn a paycheck. Workers prefer a higher salary to a lower salary. Jobs in science pay far less than jobs in the professions and business held by women of similar ability. A lot of men are irrational, romantic, stubborn, and unwilling to admit that they’ve made a big mistake. With Occam’s Razor, we should not need to bring in the FBI to solve the mystery of why there are more men than women who have chosen to stick with the choice that they made at age 18 to be a professor of science or mathematics.
Continue reading “Women in science–and ramblings thereof”