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TWU to host seventh annual Celebration of Science

While history might find the term “women in science” to be an oxymoron, this year’s Celebration of Science event is aimed at celebrating women at the forefront of scientific achievement.

Friday, Oct. 19 marks TWU Denton’s seventh annual Celebration of Science. The day-long event will feature the theme “women in science,” and discussions will focus on women’s struggles, achievements and possibilities in biology, chemistry and biochemistry.

The CoS will include three main events including a 9 to 10 a.m. poster session with science students and faculty in the Anne Stuart Science Center (ASSC) atrium, a forum and panel discussion with students, “Pathways and Challenges for Women in Science,” at 10:30 a.m. in ACT 301 and a Research Symposium, “Women in Science: Research at the Interface of Biology and Chemistry,” from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. in ASSC 259.

The morning poster session will allow speakers to preview the scientific research TWU is doing and give students the opportunity to showcase their work.

“We have 10 from biology, and 10 from chemistry and biochemistry…students will be there and explain what they’re doing, hopefully in ways our speakers will appreciate,” said one of the events facilitators Dr. Richard Sheardy, professor and chair of the department of chemistry and biochemistry at TWU.

Guest speakers at the symposium include Dr. Anne Jerse, professor of microbiology and immunology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, Dr. Alison Smith, chief engineer of materials analysis for the Naval Service Warfare Center in Crane, Indiana and TWU’s own Dr. Juliet Spencer, professor and chair of the department of biology.

Sheardy, who has been working closely with other faculty to put this year’s event together, emphasized the importance of this year’s theme in highlighting the underrepresentation of women in the science community.

“Biology and chemistry, particularly chemistry, have been dominated by men for years, so we’re trying to bring in people who are doing work at the interface of chemistry and biology that are women who have had very successful careers,” Sheardy said.

The annual event is presented courtesy of the Ann Stuart and Ray R. Poliakoff Celebration of Science Series established by Chancellor Stuart in 2011. The program will continue through 2032 thanks to the two-decade funding commitment and is aimed at “develop[ing] a sustained program of promoting and celebrating the wonders, truths and mysteries of science,” according to the TWU event page for the series.

A reception will follow the symposium and will be held from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in ASSC Atrium.

The event is open to all students, faculty and staff, and the public is encouraged to attend. Those unable to attend in person can watch a live stream of the panel discussion here.

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