The Letters to Our Daughters Project

Sci here, reporting in from sunburn hell. This is what I get for doing my speed workouts without reapplication of sunblock. Be good little runners, peeps! Slather on the SPF 30! We shall not suffer both runner’s knee AND moles for removal.
Also, aloe is great. May not medically DO anything, but it feels lovely…
As an aside, Encephalon is up! Check us out (Two entries, ya’ll!) at Sharp Brains!
Anyway, today I want to direct all of you who are not already reading it (though I’m sure you are) to Dr. Isis’ Letters to our Daughters project. It’s a fantastic scheme of hers to give us lady scientists some equally lady scientist mentors.

Now, Sci has been lucky enough to have a female or two in her scientific family tree. But she still appreciates this project. This is because, though you may have female role models around you, often, many of them are entirely unwilling to talk about their experiences.
I recall a story of one woman, a major major BigWig. When asked about her kids (she had two), she stated that she did not talk about them at work, had no artwork of theirs around her office, and that she sent them to their grandparents every summer so she could concentrate in the lab. And she said that’s what she had to do to get ahead.
More often, I have worked in the presence of strong women in science. These women will talk science until the cows come home. They will help you with any problems with data, grants, or publications. But you ask how they handle being a scientist and a wife, or a scientist and a mother, and…there’s shutdown. They DON’T TALK ABOUT IT.
To women like these, I respect and understand what you are trying to do, but I am thrilled that scientists like Dr. Isis are strong enough to call bullshit. You should be able to be a scientist, regardless of gender, martial situation, or multiparity. None of these things should disproportionately hold you back. To those who don’t talk about it, it’s time that someone DID.
It is my hope that the Letters to Our Daughters project will show us girl scientists that you can be a successful scientist no matter what your situation, that there are ways to succeed, and that others have been there before us and will help us on our way.
To those writing Letters To Our Daughters, this daughter thanks you. These are things we all need to hear, challenges we need to know how to face, and advice we can always use. And to Dr. Isis, yeah, you rock. You know it. 🙂

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