Nora Sabelli, 65 and a native of Buenos Aires, was named after a character in Ibsens A Dolls House, and has often thought about how fortunate she was to escape the expectations that might have prevented her becoming a theoretical chemist. But raising girls so that they believe they can become scientists is only the beginning, says Sabelli, who retired as a researcher and professor from the University of Illinois, and now is co-director of a nonprofit educational research center in Menlo Park, CA.
Expectations are only the starting point, says Sabelli, who has also written extensively about science education. The human and organizational infrastructure must be in place for individuals to succeed in the face of the challenges they will face.
Maria Josefina Coloma, 36, was born in Quito, Ecuador, where she realized early on that, the path closes after a Licenciatura, or Masters degree. Recently, the microbiologist has been working in a laboratory at the University of California in Berkeley studying the structure and development of dengue, an infectious disease that every year causes hundreds of thousands of cases of hemorrhagic fever around the world, killing thousands of people. Although she loves the bench work, Coloma dedicates herself to building bridges between, first-world science and third world problems.
Coloma, Espinosa and Sabelli are in the first of three groups of women scientists invited to speak in Latin America by AAAS and Interciencia, a federation of associations for the advancement of science in the Americas. Two other groups of three women scientists will be sent to scientific meetings in the coming monthsone in Panama in November, and a second in Recife, Brazil in July 2003. The goal of the initiative, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) is to increase the visibility of the careers of U.S. wo
Contact: Lisa Onaga
American Association for the Advancement of Science