Engineering Diversity

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  • RECOGNIZING EXCELLENCE
  • TRACKING PROGRESS
  • MENTORING
  • BUILDING EVIDENCE
  • WHAT WORKS
  • RESOURCES

ENGINEERING DIVERSITY

ENGINEERING DIVERSITY

Biomedical Engineering workforce diversity, capitalizing on the full spectrum of skills, talents, and viewpoints, is essential for solving complex human health challenges. The participation of underrepresented individuals in engineering and medicine is a critical issue affecting our nation’s health and the future of research. The urgent national challenge to diversify the scientific workforce calls for research universities, academic medical centers, and national stakeholders to take action.

Women receive only 37% of Ph.D.’s in Biomedical Engineering. (2016)

The American Society for Engineering Education 

 

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African Americans make up less than 2% of tenured/tenure-track faculty in biomedical engineering (2016).

The American Society for Engineering Education

The gender wage gap is within 3% for women in biomedical engineering.

–2016 American Community Survey, US Census Bureau

Turmeric May Be the Answer to Osteosarcoma Treatment
Susmita Bose | July 4, 2019

Turmeric May Be the Answer to Osteosarcoma Treatment
Susmita Bose | July 4, 2019

A new drug delivery system using curcumin, the main ingredient in the spice turmeric, successfully inhibited bone cancer cells while promoting growth of healthy bone cells, according to a study by the Washington State University. The work could lead to better post-operative treatments for patients with osteosarcoma.

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Duke biomedical engineering professor wins social impact award
Nimmi Ramanujam | June 20, 2019

Duke biomedical engineering professor wins social impact award
Nimmi Ramanujam | June 20, 2019

Nimmi Ramanujam, the Robert W. Carr, Jr., Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University, has won the 2019 Social Impact Abie Award.

Given by AnitaB.org, a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting, inspiring and guiding women in computing and organizations that view technology innovation as a strategic imperative, the award recognizes a woman whose work is making a positive impact on women, technology and society, and who has developed technology that caused social change.

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An unnatural way to make natural products
Ramon Gonzalez | June 11, 2019

An unnatural way to make natural products
Ramon Gonzalez | June 11, 2019

From medicine to fragrances, nature provides many of the key chemical compounds needed in an endless number of pharmaceuticals and consumer products. Now, a cutting-edge technique engineered by researchers at University of South Florida is changing the way scientists isolate these precious molecules.

“Plant natural products are already widely used across so many industries,” said Ramon Gonzalez, Ph.D., professor in the USF Department of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering and a Florida 21st Century World Class Scholar. “Taxus brevifolia, for example, the Pacific yew plant, contains molecules that are used to produce a chemotherapy drug for several cancer treatments. The problem is that many of these products are expensive and difficult to extract efficiently.”

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BU researchers develop new metamaterial that can improve MRI quality and reduce scan time
Xin Zhang | June 10, 2019

BU researchers develop new metamaterial that can improve MRI quality and reduce scan time
Xin Zhang | June 10, 2019

Could a small ringlike structure made of plastic and copper amplify the already powerful imaging capabilities of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine? Xin Zhang, Stephan Anderson, and their team at the Boston University Photonics Center can clearly picture such a feat. With their combined expertise in engineering, materials science, and medical imaging, Zhang and Anderson, along with Guangwu Duan and Xiaoguang Zhao, designed a new magnetic metamaterial, reported in Communications Physics, that can improve MRI quality and cut scan time in half.

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AIMBE Fellow inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame
Natalia Trayanova | June 11, 2019

AIMBE Fellow inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame
Natalia Trayanova | June 11, 2019

Natalia Trayanova, a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, will be inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame in a ceremony today in San Jose, California.

The WITI Hall of Fame was established in 1996 to recognize, honor, and promote the outstanding contributions women make to the scientific and technological communities that improve society. Each year, five women are selected from around the world to receive this honor, and Trayanova now joins the ranks of other scientists, engineers, and CEOs who have made an impact on society through their exceptional contributions to advancing their fields of inquiry.

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Not One More Generation: Women in Science Take on Sexual Harassment
ASBMB Today

Not One More Generation: Women in Science Take on Sexual Harassment
ASBMB Today

I was driven out of science by a harasser in the 1980s.”

Coming from a woman who has since helped to found a scientific society, served as director of the Genetics Society of America and presented her research on sexual harassment to a 2018 National Academies panel, it is a surprising statement. But Sherry Marts left academia after finishing her Ph.D. at Duke and never went back.

2018 has been a banner year for confronting sexual harassment in science. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine published a report on the high prevalence of harassment of women in science, and the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation are updating their sexual harassment policies. It appears that science might be catching up with the #MeToo movement, which has raised awareness of workplace sexual harassment. However, critics say that large institutions are moving too incrementally and could do much more.

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Why we’re editing women scientists onto Wikipedia
Nature

Why we’re editing women scientists onto Wikipedia
Nature

Marie Curie is one of the most famous women in science. But her first page on Wikipedia was shared with her husband — until someone pointed out that, perhaps, her scientific contributions were notable enough to warrant her own biography.

That’s the beauty of Wikipedia. It is the fifth most popular website in the world and notches up more than 32 million views a day. A community of volunteer editors collaboratively edit, update and add content to democratize access to a common and constantly updating collection of knowledge. But as with any democracy, results are determined by those who choose to participate. Who edits Wikipedia — and the biases they carry with them — matters.

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Closing diversity gaps in patenting is essential to innovation economy
The Hill

Closing diversity gaps in patenting is essential to innovation economy
The Hill

In 1871, Margaret Knight earned a patent for inventing a brown paper bag with a flat bottom, the same model that is used in most grocery stores across the country today. More than a century later, African American inventor Lonnie Johnson received a patent for his Super Soaker water gun, a toy that has generated more than $1 billion in sales and has been among the top 20 best selling toys in the world every year since 1991.

The commercial success these inventors enjoyed was based on a strong and open patent system. Except for individuals held in slavery, the U.S. patent system has always welcomed all inventors by awarding patents regardless of race, gender, or economic status. It is an essential engine of innovation. Economic activity from patents in the United States is estimated at more than $8 trillion and intellectual property industries directly and indirectly support 30 percent of all U.S. employment.

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New analysis of funding trends offers encouraging news for female investigators—with caveats
Science

New analysis of funding trends offers encouraging news for female investigators—with caveats
Science

Once female scientists receive a major research project grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), their funding futures are quite similar to those of their male peers, a new study reports. That suggests gender represents a small, and shrinking, barrier to success in a biomedical science career, the authors argue, and it emphasizes the importance of encouraging women to apply for grants in the first place. Yet these statistics belie the significant systemic hurdles that persist for many women, others say.

The study helps illustrate where work remains to be done to truly make opportunities in science equal for men and women, says Donna Ginther, a professor of economics at the University of Kansas in Lawrence who studies the scientific workforce, and who wasn’t involved with the study. “The more evidence we have about where [bias] is happening and where it’s not happening in the pipeline, the better we’ll be able to address those problems.”

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Bias, Diversity, Backlash, Manifestos, and Rebuttals
Code Like A Girl

Bias, Diversity, Backlash, Manifestos, and Rebuttals
Code Like A Girl

Have you ever been in a meeting where a colleague says “I’m a great supporter of gender equality, but I’m totally opposed to quotas!” Or, “I believe in diversity, but I won’t stand for positive discrimination.” Maybe you felt a bit troubled by such statements, thinking: that sounds fair, but somehow I don’t think it is… how do I rebut this?

Bias is omnipresent in our society, and some of us are keenly aware of rampant bias in sectors like technology, engineering and politics. Efforts to thwart the effects of bias in communities and institutions prompt a spectrum of diversity initiatives. Many times these lead to backlash. It’s been just a year since the memo “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” spread through the company’s internal channels, then became public. Yet, another wrangle is already blasting online with the article “Why Women Don’t Code,” by a university lecturer. What do we do when privileged individuals continue to turn a blind eye on the injustices around them? They insist on points like “women are less likely to choose computer science,” and that it’s just due to natural differences.

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