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- Nancy Hopkins, PhD, a geneticist and cancer researcher who served as Professor of Biology at MIT for 40 years , was sexually harassed by Nobel Prize winning British molecular biologist, Francis Crick OM FRS, one of the two men credited with discovering the structure of DNA [3A]. Crick casually placed his hands on Hopkins’ breasts while inquiring about her research, as if that were a normal thing to do.
- Jane Willenbring, PhD, a geomorphologist and Assoc. Professor of Earth Sciences at Stanford University, winner of the prestigious Antarctica Service Medal , was sexually harassed by glacial geologist, David Marchant, PhD after whom the Matataua Glacier was originally named [3B]. Marchant expressed open hostility toward Willenbring, repeatedly referring to her by such derogatory terms as “slut”, “whore”, and “cunt”; denigrating her work; tormenting her with painful practical jokes; and ultimately denying her funding.
As of 2017, women constituted only 29% of the STEM (science/technology/engineering/mathematics) professionals in the United States [3C].
As research has now objectively demonstrated, major factors in this are the implicit and explicit gender discrimination and sexual harassment women face in these male dominated fields.
The assumption has been that the sciences are apolitical, and free of bias; that sexual harassment does not exist in the sciences. The assumption has been that women are simply unsuited for STEM; that they lack the necessary interest, dedication, and intellect to succeed; that their very biology makes them somehow inadequate to the task.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Continue reading