Women in Science
|Limnologist, Karen Riseng, out on the |
water. Photo by: Jensen Montambault
We all know that field science is not merely a three-week fishing trip with your buddies. Right? Although that's true in theory, it is impossible to ignore the fact that there are fourteen male scientists compared to only three women on this AquaRAP. I asked Barry Chernoff and Antonio Machado, scientific team leaders, to comment on the lack of women (they also head up the largest taxonomic group, fish, which has seven participants and zero women).
"We invited two women, one from the Field Museum and one from UCV," Barry tells me, "but they rejected us."
"Rejected us!" snorts Antonio. "We made them take over our classes so we could come."
Female AquaRAP scientists give their opinions on women in science:
|Luzmila Sanchez working from |
the boat. Photo by: Jensen
Judith Rosales (Venezuelan): "It is very hard in this country because if you want to work late or go on a field expedition, your husband is expecting you to cook and clean for him. Even if he understands, his friends, his family, your own family say that you are a bad wife. That's why I got divorced."
Luzmila Sánchez (Colombian): "When I came to Venezuela to work at Fundación La Salle it was run by a Spaniard who did not like me because I was the only woman. I had to fight hard and loud for everything – even a microscope! Now, I make sure to hire half men and half women – always the best quality."
Karen Riseng (United States): "Sometimes you go to scientific meetings and the loudest, most prominent people are men, but I think that will change – I hope so. It is definitely harder to be a woman than a man and pursue a career in science. Not to say that men don't contribute to family life, but it is different and pregnancy is a limitation."
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