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women in science

Tue Jan 19 12:52:57 EST 1993

My mother and grandfather were chemists so science seemed like a good idea
even though I grew up in rural Indiana where girls took home ec and boys
took science. I suffered minimal prejudice in high school because my family was
well known to be full of eccentrics.  At Duke as an undergrad I was spoiled
rotton as one of five botany majors.  I knew all the faculty, including the
one woman there, and they encouraged me to go on.  I next went to Indiana
U. to study genetics and botany, was the only female student for a while, was
not taken seriously by anyone.  I got my PhD at Berkeley where the chairman
of the dept. told me how lucky I was to be there and assumed I would not get
married while a student because they were making such a generous gesture in
educating me. I know things are much better now except in terms of hiring
women onto biology faculties.  However, I suspect that the physical sciences
and engineering may be equal to my situation in thelate 50's, early 60's when
I had the audacity to go to graduate school.  I have been a faculty member here
at Colorado for 25 years now.  I think the situation was better for me than for my mother who went to grad school in the 1930's, and it is now improved over
what it was when I went to grad school, but we still have a long way to go.
Universities are run by 'boys' rules'.  There still exists a suspician that
brains and gonads are tightly linked and that a double X dose gives a weakening
of the intellect while bestowing our ovaries upon us.  Best, Jane Bock

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