Martha Pollack Supports Women’s Role in Science and Engineering



Professor Martha Pollack supported the role of women in science and engineering in a recent New York Times letter to the editor, found on page A22 of the September 26 2006 issue.


About a previous opinion piece by John Tierney, a New York Times columnist who has written extensively about science and technology, including a recent article contesting the findings of the National Academy of Sciences that show biases against women in science, Pollack responded:


"John Tierney suggests that women choose not to go into science and engineering because they are interested in 'social values' and 'people contact,' and he quotes the social scientist Patti Hausman as saying, 'Reinventing the curriculum will not make me more interested in learning how my dishwasher works.'


Although I am an engineering professor, I am similarly uninterested in dishwasher mechanics. What fascinates me are wireless devices that can help older adults remain autonomous longer, artificial tendons that may enable people to recover from injury more quickly, methods of efficiently cleaning polluted rivers, and the design of computer systems that enable people working in remote sites to collaborate with one another - all projects that my female colleagues and I work on."


Read a press release of the report put out by The National Academy of Sciences, or the complete report, entitled, Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering (2006).