Join us today at the State of Illinois Building and around the city to raise awareness of women’s health issues!
On this day last year, the NIH started requiring the consideration of sex as a biological variable in basic research! Thank you to the women who have fought so hard for years to make this happen!
While many of us are aware of the miscommunications concerning reproductive science and women’s health in politics and the media, as well as the inadequacy of sex-ed programs across the country, it actually goes much deeper than that. Reproductive science is not only frequently left out of Anatomy & Physiology classes, it is also frequently left out of high impact academic journals and funding sources. In fact, until a policy at the National Institute of Health (NIH) requiring the consideration of sex as a biological variable was implemented last year in 2016, many academic fields completely ignored reproductive science and the role that reproductive hormones can play in disease progression and patient treatments.
These examples are indicative of a much greater issue in modern scientific research and the way that scientists communicate their findings. There is a clear feedback loop between poor communication of reproductive science research and the stigma surrounding the field. The stigma inhibits research and communication, and the lack of research and communication sets back public perception.
We still have a long way to go — including females is still not *required*, it’s only required to be *considered*.
However, today we celebrate the progress that has been made in Women’s Health Research.
Thank you to Mayor Rahm Emanuel for proclaiming January 25th Women’s Health Research Day in Chicago!!
There are a variety of benefits to knowing other professionals in your field – especially in the sciences, where collaborations could be the key to further advancement.
I was honored to be featured in Sarah Goudarzi’s article in Lab Manager about this topic! Check it out:
Professional Networking for Today’s Scientist
I arrived at Northwestern with a passion for women’s health research, along with a vision for increasing scientific literacy, improving upon science communication, and engaging more women in science. Over the past few years, my vision has become more focused. I hope to work at both a local and national level to improve healthcare for women in a world where reproductive science is often disregarded, to the detriment of women nationwide.
My goal is to combine my expertise in women’s health and reproductive science, and my communications skills, to inform policy that affects women. In the past I’ve always said, “we need more women in policy,” or “we need more scientists in policy,” and now I know I am that woman. I am that scientist. We all should be.
This is why I’m so excited to have the opportunity to learn more about science policy from the decision makers themselves. Continue reading
The March for Science was a huge success! All over the country people stood up to say that facts and evidence matter. Unfortunately, scientists can’t afford to remain in the background anymore. We must reach out to the public, we must help them to understand, and make scientific data more accessible. Today, Chicago proved we are the science city, with more marchers than even DC had, and incredible attendance at the expo after. While I didn’t get to march due to setting up the Woodruff lab booth, I did get to talk to so many people about science! People from all ages stopped by to discuss some of the current projects in the Woodruff and Laronda labs. Continue reading
Well I guess if Ann Coulter is tweeting about your work, that’s how you know you’ve made it… Heh. Continue reading
I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to discuss strategies for communicating reproductive science (and science in general) to a doubtful world with the Northwestern University MS Health Communication students yesterday. What a great program! I couldn’t have asked for a more receptive and engaged audience. I’m really hoping to be able to collaborate with some of these students in the future and bring some of our ideas together. It was so refreshing to step away from the bench work and academic research based talks that I’m used to giving, to discuss something equally important in the scientific community.
This is something I’ve been passionate about for a while. The general public is misinformed about a lot of scientific issues, but we really only have ourselves to blame. Our work is not over once we publish in an academic journal, we must also be vigilant about communicating our findings with the general public, in a way they can understand. We as scientists tend to surround ourselves with other scientists, both at work and outside of work, and it becomes all too easy to just ignore the anti-science propaganda, to roll our eyes and walk away from the pseudoscience. We have to do better than that. It’s a skill that doesn’t come naturally to many of us, but it’s a skill that we can learn, and we owe it to the general public – the tax payers who fund our research. Academics tend to adopt the mantra, “we must never stop learning,” but just as we must never stop learning, we must also never stop teaching.