Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Feeling connected

I'm pretty much a neophyte when it comes to blogging but I'm learning through reading other blogs. I like this little applet which graphically represents websites . Despite the fact that only a few people actually read this blog, this makes me feel more connected to the web world.

Now back to the stuff I should be doing : reviewing a manuscript for a cancer research journal, data crunching in nightmarish microsoft excel, preparing a presentation for a lab meeting tomorrow, and remembering to call about those contacts which are supposed to allow me to actually read up close. On a tangent, that should be my question for the day: "Why do they make the writing on children's medicine so small? One of the problems with being an "older" parent I guess.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Anchors Away...

I'm angry. Yet another glass ceiling resealed. Tonight on the ABC World News broadcast, Elizabeth Vargas closed with this note
Before we leave tonight, a note about change. There's been a lot of it on this broadcast. From Peter Jennings' announcement that he had lung cancer, to his death, to the decision to name Bob Woodruff and me as the new anchors.

Bob's injury in Iraq forced us — yet again — to change the way we planned to cover the news and now, another new chapter will begin. As of Monday, Charles Gibson will be taking the helm of this broadcast as I focus on anchoring "20/20" and the arrival of my new child.

I have been a big fan of Elizabeth Vargas and was pleased when she was selected to co-anchor the news after filling in following the death of Peter Jennings. But now we find out she's been "replaced" and in essence demoted to just anchoring "20/20". It's my belief that this is not solely her choice and is in part due to the impending birth of her child. Sad again that a woman who has reached the pinnical of her career has it derailed when maternity leave hoovers.

Sad too now that Katie Couric will be taking over the CBS news. Now I think Katie was great on the Today Show where perkiness is required. But I can't warm up to her anchoring the evening news. It's said that CBS news is going for the younger demographics - which I am definitely not a part of - but maybe they don't realize that these kids are getting their news from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I have to say to Katie, "You go girl!". We've lost a talented newswoman from an important anchor position so we better support the other new girl on the block.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Taking the Initiative

One of my favorite bloggers Abel PharmBoy sent me a link to Duke University's Women's Initiative Project in response to some of my posts regarding women's issues in science. This was a study commisioned by the outgoing President of Duke, Nannerl O. Keohane. As stated by now President Richard H. Brodhead:
The comprehensiveness of the Women's Initiative report remains its most striking feature. Rather than studying a single segment of the university community, a team of task forces considered the full set of women's experiences within the university: the lives of women faculty, staff, graduate students, undergraduates, and alumnae as well. Through this breadth of focus, the report was able to highlight issues that link the experience of women across categories, such as the critical role of mentorship. At the same time, the study noted that the most salient issues for women in the university are often specific to their position, so that a women's agenda needs to have many different parts
I encourage readers to go look at this study and what Duke has done to address the issues of women in academia. It's an interesting and encouraging read. It brought up one of the issues I spoke about in an earlier blog on mentoring. Finding a mentor as a female scientist is difficult in general. Finding a senior female mentor even more so. I wish women in their respective academic institutions would form their own mentoring groups such that their names, contact information and/or meeting times could be given to recently recruited women faculty upon their arrival at their new Institutions.

I would love to hear from other academic women about programs that exist at their respective institutions, especially if they relate to the mentoring of women faculty at all levels.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Time to be Mommy

I have a few things I want to put on the blog but they'll have to wait. Today our two year old daughter goes into the hospital for eye surgery. We've had to postpone this twice before due to illness. In fact last fall was a terrible time for both children and sickness. It went way beyond the 6 month, "sick-all-the-time because of entering preschool" ordeal. I can't think of more than a month total that I had my "normal" working schedule from September 2005 through March 2006. It was tough on the science and the delays in research results in part cost me my R01 resubmission. Oh well, these are the struggles I have now that we have two children. Thankfully the cold she came down with last week has been a minor one and she is well enough for surgery. Of course, my son came down with the cold (who says kids don't share!) two days ago and so I'm concerned about him having to go to preschool slightly under the weather. I'm usually the Mom who keeps them out a day or two to give them time to recover by being home, and to try not to spread all the germs to the other kids. I've found this not to be the norm though - I've seen a lot of very sick kids being dropped off. I guess it's the product of our current society.

In any case, I will be out of work for the next few days as she recovers. I'll be glad when this is behind us and I can once again try to concentrate on my science and not worrying about her impending surgery.