Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I like reading news like this:

In a first for the prestigious Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology for U.S. high school students, girls walked away with top honors in both the individual and team categories.

Note that both of their mothers have science careers.

I occasionally fantasize about how much better my life would be if my mother had taken any interest in getting me an education instead of signing me up for the Future Homemakers of America, althought not as often as I imagine how much better my life had been if I'd been reading Seventeen and Cosmo in study hall instead of history and science.

Go girls!

For what it's worth, I think Larry Summers isn't wholly wrong; most women have lousy math, logic, and spatial abilities, to the point a 50-50 mix of genders in science and technology occupations is unrealistic. But my own observations are that there really are barriers--social, cultural--keeping women with high abilities from pursuing sci/tech careers: family attitudes, the taunts of boys in high school, a desire for motherhood before menopause, etc. 60-80 years ago, most talented women would have to choose between traditional family life (not necessarily precluding paid employment) and a wiz-bang career; it's probably time to acknowledge the choice is still necessary for most non-independently wealthy women.

I've considered going back to school for a second B.S. in some non-applied science, maybe chemistry, but I'm still paying for the last round of school.

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