On STEM Women, we did a series of posts on women who are pioneers in STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Math). I wrote a piece about Evelyn Boyd Granville, who was only the second African American woman to gain a PhD in Mathematics in the USA, in the early 1940s. I especially loved reading all her personal recollections of the sacrifices that her mother and aunt made to put her through university. It seems a moot point to say that parents play a pivotal role in their children’s success. This is not so simple when we understand the empirical evidence of how institutional and social forces can limit parents and children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Parents don’t always know how to support girls into STEM careers, and more importantly, they don’t always have the resources or knowledge about where to seek additional help. This is especially pertinent for the careers of minority women in STEM.
Granville was raised in a single parent home by Julia Boyd, her poor working mother who wholeheartedly supported her daughter’s education. This was a very brave move given that in the 1940s, there were few educational or work opportunities for women in science, let alone for minority women. Granville recalls:

I saw black women - attractive, well dressed women - teaching school, and I wanted to be a teacher because that’s all I saw. I was not aware of any other profession… I did not receive a scholarship the first year at (Smith College), and I was told later that they didn’t see how in the world a poor child as I could afford to go there. 

Granville faced much discrimination along the way, not just in finding work despite her obvious brilliance, but in other ways that should have impeded her progress. For example, she was not able to find accommodation in New York when she moved there to undertake her postdoctoral work. 
Learn more about this phenomenal woman from our STEM Women page on Google+! High-res

On STEM Women, we did a series of posts on women who are pioneers in STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Math). I wrote a piece about Evelyn Boyd Granville, who was only the second African American woman to gain a PhD in Mathematics in the USA, in the early 1940s. I especially loved reading all her personal recollections of the sacrifices that her mother and aunt made to put her through university. It seems a moot point to say that parents play a pivotal role in their children’s success. This is not so simple when we understand the empirical evidence of how institutional and social forces can limit parents and children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Parents don’t always know how to support girls into STEM careers, and more importantly, they don’t always have the resources or knowledge about where to seek additional help. This is especially pertinent for the careers of minority women in STEM.

Granville was raised in a single parent home by Julia Boyd, her poor working mother who wholeheartedly supported her daughter’s education. This was a very brave move given that in the 1940s, there were few educational or work opportunities for women in science, let alone for minority women. Granville recalls:

I saw black women - attractive, well dressed women - teaching school, and I wanted to be a teacher because that’s all I saw. I was not aware of any other profession… I did not receive a scholarship the first year at (Smith College), and I was told later that they didn’t see how in the world a poor child as I could afford to go there. 

Granville faced much discrimination along the way, not just in finding work despite her obvious brilliance, but in other ways that should have impeded her progress. For example, she was not able to find accommodation in New York when she moved there to undertake her postdoctoral work. 

Learn more about this phenomenal woman from our STEM Women page on Google+!

Our public spaces are as profound as we allow them to be. They are our shared spaces and reflect what matters to us as a community and as individuals. … At their greatest, our public spaces can nourish our well-being and help us see that we’re not alone as we try to make sense of our lives. They can help us grieve together and celebrate together and console one another and be alone together. Each passerby is another person full of longing, anxiety, fear, and wonder. With more ways to share in public space, the people around us can not only help us make better places, they can help us become our best selves.

Candy Chang (via explore-blog)

(via explore-blog)

#Film review: Gravity is a tense and engrossing movie by the uber talented and versatile Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón, whose previous films include Y Tu Mama También and Children of Men. The film is a masterpiece of the #3D medium. The claustrophobia and infinite vastness of #space is rendered as a breathtaking spectacle. Sandra Bullock has never been better as Ryan, a medical doctor and researcher whose scientific credentials are left vague and as implausible as any other Hollywood depiction of #science. Nevertheless it was gratifying to see a woman as the centrepiece of a blockbuster film that doesn’t simply treat her as eye candy. George Clooney relies on his usual smooth talking charm playing seasoned astronaut Kowalsky. He is overseeing Ryan’s mission to repair a “prototype” in space. The mission is derailed when space debris leaves the astronauts floating off course. The story is sparse, concerned solely with the practicalities of survival, but the visuals and mood are brilliantly gripping.  Go watch it at the #cinema. It’s with paying extra for the 3D effects. #movies #latincinema #latin #AlfonsoCuaron High-res

#Film review: Gravity is a tense and engrossing movie by the uber talented and versatile Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón, whose previous films include Y Tu Mama También and Children of Men. The film is a masterpiece of the #3D medium. The claustrophobia and infinite vastness of #space is rendered as a breathtaking spectacle. Sandra Bullock has never been better as Ryan, a medical doctor and researcher whose scientific credentials are left vague and as implausible as any other Hollywood depiction of #science. Nevertheless it was gratifying to see a woman as the centrepiece of a blockbuster film that doesn’t simply treat her as eye candy. George Clooney relies on his usual smooth talking charm playing seasoned astronaut Kowalsky. He is overseeing Ryan’s mission to repair a “prototype” in space. The mission is derailed when space debris leaves the astronauts floating off course. The story is sparse, concerned solely with the practicalities of survival, but the visuals and mood are brilliantly gripping. Go watch it at the #cinema. It’s with paying extra for the 3D effects. #movies #latincinema #latin #AlfonsoCuaron

Most of us think of memory as a chamber of the mind, and assume that our capacity to remember is only as good as our brain. But according to some architectural theorists, our memories are products of our body’s experience of physical space. Or, to consolidate the theorem: Our memories are only as good as our buildings.

Sarah Rich on the architecture of memory for The Smithsonian. Also see why memory is not a recording device. (via explore-blog)

(via explore-blog)

André Kuipers:

1. England, Paris, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and the Northern Lights over the polar region. 11th February 2012.
2. “Last night”: Nile, Egypt, Israel, Arabian Peninsula, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey. Sunrise in the east. 18th of March 2012.
Via Flickr. Taken from the International Space Station, Expedition 30. 
Credit: ESA/NASA

I read Charles Darwin’s The Origin of the Species as a very young kid and like so many others, I fell completely enamoured by the diversity of our planet. Here’s a couple of pictures of the Galapagos Islands from space, by André Kuipers. He writes: 

The Galapagos islands, one of the most famous, scientifically historic places on our planet.

Taken from the International Space Station, Expedition 30, on the 28th April 2012.

Via Flickr. Credit: ESA/NASA.

expose-the-light:

Earth from Space

1. Desert’s End 

Photograph courtesy NASA via NASA Earth Observatory

 In Eastern Algeria’s stretch of the Sahara, the Tifernine Dune Field - a section of the Grand Erg Oriental dune sea - meets the Tinrhert Plateau, as seen in a 2008 astronaut photograph.

2. Sea Snakes

Photograph courtesy CNES/Spot Image/ESA

 Gullies slithering through sandbanks are seen in the Wadden Sea, near the Netherlands, in a 2006 satellite image.

3. Circulation System

Photograph courtesy NASA and NASA Earth Observatory 

Tidal flats and channels on the western side of the Bahamas’ Long Island are seen in a 2010 astronaut photograph.

4. Circles of Life

 Photograph courtesy NASA and NASA Earth Observatory

 Fields near the city of Perdizes, in the Minas Gerais state of Brazil, are seen in a 2011 astronaut photograph. 


(via scinerds)