WFU to host symposium on women, science and technology

Woman scientistIn a two-day symposium Feb. 21 and Feb. 22 on “Women, Science and Technology,” Wake Forest University will bring three scientists to campus to discuss issues important to women scientists.

The symposium runs from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Feb. 21 and from 2:30 p.m.- 5 p.m. Feb. 22 in Olin Physical Laboratory, Room 101.

“The purpose of the symposium is to provide a place for discussion of issues specific to women scientists and to female students of the sciences,” according to the event organizer Sherry Durren, science librarian at Wake Forest’s Z. Smith Reynolds Library.

The first speaker, Mary Frank Fox, is an expert on gender, science and the science professions. She will speak about the effects of gender on higher education in the sciences at 4 p.m.

A sociologist from the School of History, Technology and Society at Georgia Institute of Technology, Fox co-authored the book, “Women at Work” and serves as a liaison to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

At 5 p.m., posters highlighting scientific research by Wake Forest students will be on display in the Reynolds library atrium. Then, events will continue in Olin, Room 101.

Sue V. Rosser will discuss “Re-engineering Female-Friendly Science” at 7 p.m. She is the dean of the Ivan Allen College, the humanities and social sciences arm of Georgia Tech. Her talk is based on her 1997 book of the same title. Rosser’s research and teaching focus on the convergence of gender, the humanities, the social sciences and technology. In 1994-95, Rosser was the senior program officer for women’s programs at the National Science Foundation. She earned a doctorate in zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1973.

On Feb. 22, Penelope Manasco, vice president of worldwide clinical genetics, communications and education at Glaxo Wellcome Inc., will discuss “Medicine for the Millennium.” Her talk will begin at 2:30 p.m. Manasco has been a leader in the establishment of international multidisciplinary teams to develop and implement genetics communication, education and public policy initiatives.

To conclude the symposium, the three speakers will participate in a panel discussion of “Education and Career Issues for Women in Science.” In addition to Fox, Rosser and Manasco, Dr. Sally Shumaker from the Women’s Health Center for Excellence at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center will join the panel. Carole Browne, Wake Forest associate professor of biology, will moderate the discussion. A reception will follow.

All events are free and open the public.

The symposium is sponsored by the Reynolds library in conjunction with the following departments: biology, chemistry, education, mathematics and computer science, physics, psychology, sociology and women’s studies.

The symposium is part of the university’s “Science and Technology: the Next Millennium,” a yearlong celebration of scientific inquiry. For information, call 758-4653 or visit the Web site at

Categories: Events, Research, Speakers