My life as a scientist began in 1993, which was my senior year of college. My independent research project was a bit odd I suppose...genetic diversity in fresh water minnows, but the predominant discipline was molecular biology. As a result, I have been a molecular biologist in both a basic research setting as well as in industry. In both realms, I found I ran up against a distinct lack of women in science. Oh the winds of change.
I recently returned from a conference on human identification. Read that as forensic science because that is the field I am in now. I found myself looking around at the group of about 700 forensic scientists and was amazed to see that there were women there...*lots* of women. I'd go so far as to say that it was close to if not over 50% women. Now that is a sight I am not used to in science.
In fact, I am so used to not seeing that in science that I was forced to do some research here at home. And here is what I found. This trend is not going unnoticed. Now, what I find intriguing is the fact that no one knows why.
So, here is my challenge to the intrepid SI readers. Can anyone explain to me why women feel that forensic science is a discipline they can legitimately compete in versus the countless other scientific disciplines that are inherently underrepresented by women?