March 2013

Happy International Women’s Day

Today is an International Women’s Day. This day started more than 100 years ago (in 1909). It is a day when women around the world are recognized. The newspapers publish different stats on women’s successes or unresolved issues related to women: women in politics, women in the family, abused women (just remember the rage that the issue of a bus rape of an Indian woman caused a few weeks ago, yet it is happening daily and not just in India), women (girl) brides, women’s wages and women’s right.

However, on my blog I would like to say a few words about women scientists (physicists) who have inspired me. I would like to start wit the photo you see on the right. It is an art work of my mom, who has a M.Sc. in physics. Having a mother who is a scientist is the biggest inspiration you might have. Of course women like Marie Curie or Lise Meitner are very inspirational, but they are women in a far away land and in a far away time. Yet, a woman who is your mother is something very different. Since my mother studied physics, she also had a lot of women-friends who also chose a career in science. Thus I happened to know a lot of women-scientists while growing up and I believe it affected my choice of career as well. My sister, on the other hand, is not a natural scientist (she chose a career in social sciences), but a big part of her research is doing statistical analysis on large data sets. Thus she ended up using statistical science to analyze the results of surveys in social sciences… Her aptitude towards mathematics and logic also was influenced by our parents.  I would like to finish my personal digression with mentioning my father. While growing up I never thought that being a girl might be a disadvantage – our parents always instilled in us that we can be whoever we want to be. Only later, did I realize how lucky it was to have such a supportive family. We are two sisters, both of us have PhD’s, both do what we love and both of us have families (we have 2 sons each). And this would not have happened if not for our parents. I wish all the girls to have parents like we do.

The more mothers-scientists we have and fathers who support their daughters (and sons) in their pursuits, the more chances we will have that our daughters (and sons) will be interested in science… I think mothers who do things they love in science or in other walks of life are great inspiration to their children and to all other girls and boys they interact with. Today I would like to wish a happy International Women’s Day to all women – in science and outside of it. Be happy, healthy, beautiful and successful (however you define success).

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