Women, Science and What Might Have Been

Every time I interview a woman for this physics Web site I write for (and it's only happened 3 times in the past 1 year and 8 months), I think about what Might Have Been. I mean, I spent my entire high school career preparing for a career in science. And sometimes, when I think of the dearth of women in science, I wonder if maybe I shouldn't have left that path my second year in college.

The first clue that I wasn't going to join the ranks of women in science had to have been my school choice. I turned down an offer from an engineering school in the Midwest, and a scholarship to study physics at another school to go to a podunk school in southern Utah. After much prayer and thought, I opted for the school that offered a degree in “Physical Sciences – General.” Obviously different things were in my future.

And this morning, as I talked to a brilliant woman scientist, I considered how nice it would be to actually really understand what she was talking about. Oh, I get the gist of it. And I know enough that I am just there. But sometimes the full meaning manages to escape me. And I think about what I might be doing now.

Instead of writing about science, I'd be doing it and then talking about it. Probably to some journalist who sometimes wishes she was in a lab in Cambridge.

Tags: women science, woman scientist, physics web site, science journalism, writing about science

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