Archive for: April, 2015

It's the WaterMAN award, afterall...

Apr 20 2015 Published by under [Education&Careers]

When it comes to early career awards in the NSF world, the Alan T Waterman Award is about as good as it gets. The awardee gets $1m over 5 years and a pretty medal. Open to any field of science, the major criteria for winning are listed as:

Candidates should have demonstrated exceptional individual achievements in scientific or engineering research of sufficient quality to place them at the forefront of their peers. Criteria include originality, innovation, and significant impact on the field.

Last week NSF announced the 2015 Waterman Award winner, Andrea Alù. I'm sure he's a good engineer and scientist, in general. I have no doubt that all of the recipients are exceptional at what they do and deserving of the award. However, at this point, the string of men receiving the award is getting a bit hard to ignore. We're now over a decade since a woman has won the Waterman, and aside from a five (2000-2004) year stretch where three women were recognized, only two other times has it gone to women since the award was established in 1975!

That's 40 years and five women who can claim to have won. At some point that starts to look a little embarrassing in how blatantly it exposes an undercurrent of sexism in science and the evaluation of who significantly impacts the field. Apparently NSF doesn't think a <13% awardee rate to women is over that threshold, just yet.

8 responses so far

Asking the internet for parenting advice

Apr 14 2015 Published by under LifeTrajectories

"Hey, I would like to do this fairly routine Thing, but I've never done it with a small child. I plan on doing XXXXXX to make it easier for the child and myself. Anyone have any advice?"


1. OtherParent: "Yeah, I think that's totally reasonable."

2. ParentFriend: "We did something similar and it was fine. Have a good time!"

3. AcquaintancePerson: "I don't know, I don't think I would do that with my child."

4. ParentsRus: "Sounds reasonable."

5. HoverMom: "I wouldn't even consider doing that with little Joey! I couldn't live with myself if he somehow contracted Ebola while doing that!"

6. ThatFriend: "OMG, I read an article once about exactly what you're talking about and... [237 lines of inane rambling]... so clearly you are risking the kid's life."

7. HoverMom: "ThatFriend, can you share the link to that? Sounds important."

5 responses so far

Tunes for your Thursday morning

Apr 02 2015 Published by under Etc

One response so far