Public Release:  New book celebrates women scientists in the Americas

National Academy of Sciences

WASHINGTON -- A new book featuring a series of interviews with prominent female scientists throughout the Americas is now available from the Inter-American Network of Academies of Sciences (IANAS). The book's release on International Women's Day highlights the inclusion and empowerment of women in science and technology.

IANAS co-chairs Michael Clegg and Juan Pedro Laclette say in the book's introduction that the goal of the organization's Women for Science Program is to encourage gender equity among IANAS member academies and to foster gender equality in science more broadly in the Americas. "One way of doing this is by telling the stories of outstanding women scientists," they wrote.

Women Scientists in the Americas: Their Inspiring Stories profiles remarkable women who have worked, sometimes against great odds, to make a career in a world that has not always been welcoming to them. It demonstrates that even under difficult political conditions and without abundant resources, determined women scientists developed strategies to establish eminent careers throughout the Americas.

"Failure or dropping out was not an option for these women," Canadian anthropologist Frances Henry says in the book. "Most expressed great satisfaction at lives well-lived, achievements made, and in most cases, great recognition in the form of honours and awards. These eminent women of science are now mature professionals who serve as inspiring role models for younger women."

The book includes interviews with female scientists from 16 IANAS member academies in North, Central, and South America -- including interviews with National Academy of Engineering member Eugenia Kalnay, distinguished university professor in the department of atmospheric and oceanic science at the University of Maryland, College Park, and National Academy of Sciences member Eugenia del Pino, professor at the School of Biological Sciences at Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador in Quito. Through these interviews, the book encourages students -- particularly young women -- to consider science as a career. Intended for the general public, the book is richly illustrated and produced in both English and Spanish.

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IANAS is a regional network of academies of sciences created to support cooperation toward the strengthening of science and technology as a tool for advancing research and development, prosperity, and equity in the Americas.

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