Lost Women of Science Launches Nonprofit Organization to Promote the Remarkable Stories of Forgotten Women of Science

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Journalist and author Katie Hafner, and bioethicist Amy Scharf, today announced the launch of the Lost Women of Science Initiative, a new educational nonprofit organization created to research and promote the stories of the forgotten women of science. The initiative’s mission is to raise awareness of the pivotal role women have played in scientific discoveries and innovations, and to promote interest in STEM education and careers – especially among girls and young women. Harvey Mudd College, long a leader in STEM education, has signed on as fiscal sponsor, and early funding has come from The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Schmidt Futures. The initiative will also partner with Barnard College, one-third of whose graduates are STEM majors.

Also announced today: the Lost Women of Science podcast will launch to listening audiences in fall 2021, in partnership with public media organization PRX and the award-winning Scientific American magazine. Hosted by Hafner, co-executive producer with Scharf, the series will present deeply reported narratives of female scientists previously unrecognized by the general public for their accomplishments. The first season will include four in-depth episodes centered on Dr. Dorothy Andersen (1901-1963), a brilliant pathologist and pediatrician who discovered and named cystic fibrosis in the 1930s. The podcast will be available free on-demand across all major podcast listening platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Amazon Music.

Scharf said: "We’re proud to announce that both PRX and Scientific American see the value of our mission, and are partnering with us to distribute our podcast to engaged audiences with great interest in this kind of in-depth scientific work about remarkable women." 

Jason Saldanha, Chief of Business Development and Content at PRX, said: "Lost Women of Science’s work is inspiring. We’re thrilled to serve as a partner alongside ‘Scientific American’ to bring essential history, science, and storytelling to life."

Laura Helmuth, Editor in Chief of Scientific American, said: "Scientific American is partnering with the Lost Women of Science Initiative and podcast at a critical moment of self-reflection in science. We hope sharing the legacy of these women will help bring down barriers for women who are in or entering science today. The Lost Women of Science podcast will play a critical role, not just in widening out the scope and ambition of Scientific American’s podcast storytelling, but, more importantly, it will do the historical detective work to uncover stories that should never have been lost and show all interested listeners—in science and beyond—that our world would be different without these rediscovered women and their work."

Hafner said: "Our kernel of an idea to train a lens on the forgotten yet heroic women of science has resonated. Enthusiasm for this project from a wide array of STEM experts has been remarkable. We’re especially pleased to announce that Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College, was one of the first to endorse the project and has signed on as chair of our Advisory Board." 

Klawe said: "Lost Women of Science is paying it both ways – forward as well as back. Revisiting vital history, Lost Women of Science will also inspire young women working their way through the STEM pipeline, which is a core part of our mission. I am proud of the team and to serve with the other phenomenal women on the Lost Women of Science Advisory Board."

The Advisory Board:

  • Chair: Harvey Mudd College President Maria Klawe, Ph.D.;
  • Barnard College, Columbia University, President and Cognitive Scientist Sian L. Beilock, Ph.D.
  • Former Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann, M.D.;
  • Harvard Medical School Dean for Diversity & Community Partnership Joan Reede, M.D.;
  • Nature Journal Senior Editor Ursula Weiss, Ph.D.; 
  • Independent Board Member, ICON plc, Linda Grais, M.D., J.D.
  • International Advisory Board Member, Global Mental Health Programs, Columbia University, Ann Sacher, M.D.; 
  • Science Educator Ellen B. Lyon, Ph.D.; 
  • Former CMO of the Cadence13 Podcast Network; CMO, Voyager Digital, Pam Kramer; 
  • Partner, Perkins Coie, Paula Goodwin, J.D.
  • Former Editor-in-Chief of The Scientist; Founder & CEO of RapidScience.org, Sarah Greene M.S.;
  • Partner, Perkins Coie, Daphne Higgs, J.D.

To learn more about the Lost Women of Science Initiative, or to donate, please visit: www.lostwomenofscience.org

About Lost Women of Science:
The Lost Women of Science Initiative is a non-profit educational organization with the overarching goal of inspiring girls and young women — especially those from communities chronically underrepresented in the STEM professions — to embark on careers in STEM. The Initiative’s flagship is its Lost Women of Science podcast, producing four multi-episode seasons per year. As a full, mission-driven organization, the Lost Women of Science Initiative plans to digitize and archive our research efforts, and make all primary source material available to students and historians of science.

About Scientific American:
Scientific American covers the advances in research and discovery that are changing our understanding of the world and shaping our lives. Founded 1845, it is the oldest continuously published magazine in the United States and now reaches more than 10 million people around the world each month through its website, print and digital editions, newsletters and app. Authoritative, engaging features, news, opinion and multimedia stories from journalists and expert authors—including more than 200 Nobel Prize winners—provide need-to-know coverage, insights and illumination of the most important developments at the intersection of science and society. Scientific American is published by Springer Nature. As a research publisher, Springer Nature is home to other trusted brands including Springer, Nature Research, BMC and Palgrave Macmillan.https://www.scientificamerican.com/

About PRX:
PRX is a public media organization shaping the future of audio by producing and distributing content, building technology, and training talented, independent producers. With an award-winning portfolio of iconic public radio programs such as ‘The World," "This American Life," "The Moth Radio Hour," "Latino USA" "Snap Judgment," and "Reveal," PRX is also home to a growing body of podcast productions, including via the Radiotopia podcast network and the TRAX podcast network for tweens. https://www.prx.org/

About Harvey Mudd College: 
Harvey Mudd College is the premier liberal arts college specializing in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The College’s mission is to prepare engineers, scientists and mathematicians to become leaders in their fields and understand the impact of their work on society. Students learn to problem-solve in a hands-on, collaborative environment; do research alongside outstanding faculty; and develop leadership skills to benefit an increasingly technological world. Located in Claremont, California, Harvey Mudd College is a member of The Claremont Colleges consortium. https://www.hmc.edu/

Cathie Bennett Warner                                               Nikaline McCarley                
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SOURCE Lost Women of Science