Women in Science
A First-Year Ampersand Program
What Students Have to Say
"Women in Science is a great course for first years because you learn about how to deal effectively with and become aware of discrimination in schooling, workforce, and daily life. In addition, you form a very tight-knit community that you can turn to concerning concerns about STEM or any questions you may have being a first-year college student."
"We all get to know each other pretty well, and that is a good resource to have. We also get to know slightly older women who also have been through the program and are interested in similar careers. It's not just a class. It's a community, and this community is what makes the program special."
"Incoming freshmen should take Women in Science because it’s more than a class—it’s a community. WIS helped me find a place within the WashU campus starting from day one, and some of my fellow members are still my close friends three years later. Dr. Baumgartner and Dr. Frey have also been strong role models and advocates for us, and I know I can always turn to them when I need help. Between semesterly lunches, mentorship among WIS cohorts, and even volunteering together during Catalysts for Change, I feel strongly connected to the program!"
"Having been exposed to both academia and industry, it solidified my decision to pursue Ph.D. programs in plant biology. I'm excited to devote myself to valuable research topics and contribute my knowledge to help the world deal with serious societal challenges in the areas of food, environment, energy, and health."
how to apply
The application process for first-year programs and seminars opens on Tuesday, May 15, at noon (CT) and closes on Tuesday, May 21, at noon (CT). There will be a link to the application webform on the First-Year Programs homepage during this time for you to sign up.First-Year Programs homepage
Women in Science
Throughout the centuries, women were interested and involved in the sciences. Their scientific contributions, however, have often been overlooked and their abilities questioned. In this year-long course, we will read biographies of famous women scientists and mathematicians, in addition to scholarly articles, to examine women's involvement in science and mathematics from the nineteenth century to the present. We will explore the ways in which women have pursued scientific knowledge, look at the cultural factors that affected them, and investigate the impact of scientific theory and social conditions on their opportunities and identities. In addition to reading about women in science, we will hear a variety of women talk about their careers. Faculty from chemistry, biology, engineering, earth and planetary sciences, medicine, physics, and medical administration may visit, as well as female scientists who work in industry. This course is restricted to Women in Science Ampersand program participants who must have concurrent enrollment in Introduction to Women's Studies.
Women in Science: Contemporary Issues
Following the history of women in science that we explored in the fall semester, this class will discuss and analyze current issues in gender and science. We will look at the feminist critique of science and scientific objectivity and also examine women's careers in science. A few questions will be central to our inquiry: Could alternative science and mathematics education help increase women's representation in fields that continue to be male dominated like physics, engineering, and computer science? How do social expectations of men and women impact career choices and retention? In addition to exploring these issues, we will hear from several women scientists. Drawing from both the Danforth and Medical School Campuses, our visitors could include faculty members from chemistry, biology, engineering, earth and planetary sciences, medicine, physics, and medical administration, among others, who will share their reflections about women and science. This course is restricted to Women in Science Ampersand program participants.