Saturday, March 14, 2015

Weekend Reading

There are only three entries for this week's Weekend Reading post, but don't be fooled... each of them are quite long and full of fascinating information or heart-felt memories. And all of them are perfect for a quiet afternoon of reading and pondering.

Who was Janet Vaughan, and what did she do? It turns out, she did quite a bit to improve our medical care, in that she almost single-handedly transformed how we do blood transfusions. Rose George has written a wonderfully detailed account of the amazing life of this remarkable woman.
Polly Toynbee asked her in 1984 how she would like to be remembered. And this woman who was instrumental in setting up mass blood donation and transfusion; who dared to stick a large needle into the breastbone of a small burned girl; who did science in hell; who never stopped encouraging science in all ways, and women to do more of it, said, “As a scientist. That I have been able to solve, to throw light onto fascinating problems. But as a scientist who had a family. I don’t want to be thought of as a scientist who just sat thinking. It’s important you have a human life.”

(photo source: jhencolors2)

Erica Watson first traveled to Denali during college, for a summer job. But the mountain and the magic held her, and she returned each summer, until she finally just never left. She writes about life and love and how this place has kept its grip on her, in her amazing piece for Vela, The Postcard Days.
Now, looking up from my clumsy feet, shuffling around the porch in clunky white boots, what painted itself around me was not a scene from a postcard, but a scene from a life, shifting with every breath.

Marguerite Del Giudice writes in National Geographic about the importance of women in science and why we should continue to ensure that more young women are taking that career track. In her piece, Why It's Crucial to Get More Women Into Science, she explains that it's more than simply a matter of encouraging women. It's about how women tend to approach science differently and bring different issues to the fore.
"We can be interested in women and science, and their participation, and how many are here and there," [Stanford science historian Londa Schiebinger] says. "But the big difference is, what knowledge and technologies do you have? What's the outcome? Who are things designed for?"

Please feel free to leave links to what you're reading and enjoying the comments!


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