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Women who inspire and encourage science


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As the International Day of Women and Girls in Science approaches on February 11, it is essential to recognize and celebrate the women who have made their mark in the history of science, as well as those who continue to inspire future generations. Professors Anne Gangloff and Michèle Desjardins, two researchers from the CRC, share their thoughts and experiences on the importance of women's involvement in science and how to encourage young girls to pursue a scientific career.

Anne Gangloff expresses her admiration for Rosalyn Yalow, a pioneer in the field of medical research and Nobel laureate in 1977. Dr. Gangloff highlights the revolutionary impact of Rosalyn Yalow and her colleague Salomon Berson, who developed the first immunoassay, a biochemical test that uses antibodies to accurately measure minute quantities of biological molecules, thereby paving the way for numerous crucial medical discoveries. Pregnancy tests, drug detection in urine, and at-home COVID testing are just a few examples among thousands of immunoassays. Dr. Gangloff underscores the visionary nature of Rosalyn Yalow, who, despite her humble origins and modest lifestyle, left an indelible impact on the world of medicine and research.

Michèle Desjardins, on the other hand, attests to the importance of female role models in her own scientific formation. She emphasizes the crucial role her physics professors played in her journey, especially one she could identify with personally. This personal connection helped shape her vision of becoming a physicist, illustrating the positive impact female role models can have on young girls' career aspirations.

When asked how to encourage young women to consider a scientific career, they offer unique yet complementary perspectives. On one hand, Dr. Gangloff emphasizes the importance of being drawn to science and the scientific method. She highlights the beauty of science in its ability to create enduring knowledge and solve complex problems. On the other hand, Prof. Desjardins encourages young girls to explore their passions and reflect on what motivates them. She underscores the diversity of opportunities offered by a scientific career, ranging from solving environmental problems to understanding the mysteries of the universe. Prof. Desjardins encourages young girls to explore various scientific topics through accessible resources such as YouTube videos, thus highlighting the richness and diversity of scientific fields.

Together, the testimonies of Anne Gangloff and Michèle Desjardins illustrate the crucial importance of female role models in science and the positive impact of early encouragement for young girls to pursue a scientific career. On this International Day of Women and Girls in Science, let us honor these remarkable women and continue to inspire future generations of scientists.