At WIRED, one of our goals is to be your guide to the technologies shaping our world and the people behind them. From entrepreneurs and activists to clinicians and researchers, WIRED aims to shine a light on the people who are working tirelessly on the science that will benefit us all. Unfortunately, as with any profession, those who have the opportunity to be in the spotlight are often defined less by the impact and importance of their work than by their personal identifiers, such as their gender, ethnicity or their socio-economic origin.
In this special month-long series, WIRED will spotlight 10 incredible women, some of whom are changing the way we think about the universe and humanity’s place in it, or inventing next-generation genetic testing technology that can help doctors detect diseases early enough. to save lives. And it’s important that all of these brilliant scientists are women: not only are there fewer women in science, but women in science are also systematically underpaid and underrecognized; if they are women of color or immigrants, this is even more true. According to UNESCO, women make up about 33 percent of the world’s researchers, and only 4 percent of scientific Nobel Prizes have ever been awarded to women. Only 11 percent of top research positions in Europe are held by women.
And it’s not just the scientific community that suffers when women aren’t included. Science also suffers. Without the diversity of scientists, we cannot expect to have diverse data. Women are not a minority, but we live in a world designed and optimized for men. Our health and our lives depend on our participation in studies and research that will change the world for the good of all humans.
To shine a light on the scientists so often overlooked, WIRED will bring you experts at the top of their fields, including people like Ann McKee, the neuropathologist and neurologist who is the medical community’s authority. leading authority on head injuries like CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disease that has plagued contact sports for decades. We’ll also speak with Paula Johnson, who will discuss how she went from disinterested in medicine to a passionate advocate for women’s health, and ultimately the first black woman president of Wellesley College.
But let’s look beyond the body and to the stars. Jessie Christiansen, project scientist on NASA Exoplanet Archives, will seek your help to find other worlds in the cosmos that might reveal clues to how our own world formed or that might support life. And Nergis Mavalvala will share what it was like to be part of the team for the first time. gravitational waves detected– and thus changed our understanding of modern physics.
WIRED has always been about compelling storytelling that helps you understand our world. We don’t just report a story. We explore the people who make up the story. For this series, we look not only at the latest advances in astronomy, medicine, psychology, and healthcare, but also the scientists behind them.