Open to All
Moni Hamolsky, UCSD and ETHZ and Paola Laurino, OIST
Rosalind Franklin Forum for Female Scientists is a scientific collective named in honor of the distinguished chemist-crystallographer, created by and for women but open to all. Here, senior professor-researchers around the world advise young graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and assistant professors of professional pitfalls, practical problems, and solutions arrived at over lifetimes in science. Giving voice with directness, humor, and individuality, these advisors support every form of intellectual persistence and encourage free thinking about the future.
This constellation of advice has been assembled because scientists typically think and work to consensus. Our aim is that hundreds of honest observations will help entering colleagues feel clearer, more measured, less alone, less anxious, and open to the expectation that all is possible in time. We hope these ideas, communicated with clarity and generosity by pioneering researchers, teachers, and thinkers, will seem right, recognizable, and a universal inheritance serving readers well in their efforts to come.
About Rosalind Franklin
When Rosalind Franklin graduated from the University of Cambridge as a physical chemist in 1941, women were not yet granted formal degrees, nor given full recognition as staff or faculty in the form of status, equal pay, and access to promotion. Against this setting, Franklin was a forceful, highly intelligent, deeply determined woman in a male occupation, a progressive Jew in an Anglican country, and a meticulous experimentalist whose observations, images, and calculations, the earliest empirical proofs of then-theoretical DNA, went generally unacknowledged.
Our present day is not entirely severed from this past. Traces of earlier thinking and former times remain active in our culture, customs, and alliances. The example of Rosalind Franklin reminds us to safeguard standards of fairness, inclusivity, integrity, honesty, and mutual aid in science. Pragmatically speaking, it is patent folly to thwart the scientific intelligence, imagination, abilities, and good will of more than half of humankind. Along with others still alarmingly underrepresented in science, women do succeed in the halls of discovery.
More about Rosalind Franklin at Wikipedia.
Our dream jobs consume an average of 70 hours per week. During this time we prepare classes and create support materials; teach undergraduate courses and graduate seminars; clear course administration such as office hours, grading, evaluations, updating files, and other paperwork; meet separately with students, postdocs, and the entire group; write, rewrite, and yet again rewrite research articles and reviews; review journal manuscripts and grant proposals; and conduct correspondence including careful letters of recommendation for colleagues and students.
We never stop pursuing external grant funding.
We read the professional literature of our field; monitor research budgets; recruit and hire coworkers; attend colloquia and problem sessions; chair or participate in departmental committees for planning, scheduling, curriculum coordination, staff evaluation, and for Ph.D. candidates; prepare status reports for funders and university leaders; show appreciation for colleagues and coworkers; and organize or attend conferences.
We also care for our children, home, and parents.
While we do these things, we also did this — it's that important to us. Rosalind Franklin: A Forum for Female Scientists is a non-profit publication and website, produced by and for female scientists, open to all. With gratitude we thank each respondent for her generosity; partners, spouses, parents, and children for ten minutes freed here and there; and to every underwriter of Rosalind Franklin: A Forum for Female Scientists.
We invite readers to peruse the following questions and answers repeatedly, and will do our best to respond to follow up questions, comments, or suggestions.
If you are a graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, or assistant professor who works closely with a generous, supportive senior professor from any branch of science, particularly in Africa, Antarctica, the Balkans, Poland and Russia, Asia, Latin/South America, and Southeast Asia, we ask that you invite and encourage her or his representation. Likewise, we welcome editorial assistance interviewing, reviewing, publishing, and disseminating Rosalind Franklin: A Forum for Female Scientists — Roz, to a new generation of friends and admirers.
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