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K-State Today

November 12, 2012



KAWSE/ADVANCE hosts Debra Rolison on Nov. 16

By Kristin Kelly

Dr. Debra Rolison, Naval Research Laboratory

The K-State office for the advancement of women in science and engineering, or KAWSE, would invites you to attend Debra Rolison's public lecture "Creating Change in Scientific Institutions through Subversion, Revolution (Title IX) and Climate Change," — dubbed "uppity woman" talk — from 10:30 a.m. to noon Friday, Nov. 16, in Room 227 of the K-State Student Union.

The abstract below of her presentation provides more detail.

The slow crawl at which research-intensive universities diversify their faculty is a national disgrace in that they actively recruit for students that reflect the face of America. Similar difficulties are apparent among the scientific staff of national/federal laboratories. But how can one person change the world of science?

Subvert the standard operating procedure. Create a microclimate that shows ― over time ― how new patterns of operation and inclusiveness yield productive, innovative science. Use the scientific capital and street credentials accrued over time, thanks to the humane microclimate and research productivity of one's team, to challenge the status quo with reasoned and bold arguments for change. Remember the importance of uppity behavior and applying tipping point mechanisms to move beyond initial reactions of dismissal to ― over time ― accepted inevitability (such as greeted my audacious suggestion in March 2000 to withhold federal funds from non-diversified chemistry departments through application of Title IX). Ask the leaders of our science and technology institutions the following: how good can American science, engineering, mathematics, and technology, or STEM, be when we are missing more than two-thirds of the talent? Learn to demand that our world of science be one that truly relishes the talent innate to all of humanity for science and discovery.

We hope to see you all on Nov. 16.