Inside WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY Waterloo | Brantford | Kitchener | Toronto Photo: Tomasz Adamski DECEMBER 2012 Laurier students perform hands-on science demonstrations during the official launch of the Centre for Women in Science in the Science Building on the Waterloo campus. Centre for Women in Science officially opens Centre will provide grants, support and networking opportunities for female scientists By Mallory O’Brien Wilfrid Laurier University’s Centre for Women in Science (WinS) celebrated its official launch Nov. 8 with a visit from Melissa Franklin, Mallinckrodt professor of physics and chair of the Physics Department at Harvard University. Guests also 5 met the centre’s advisory board and faculty, and participated in hands-on science demonstrations conducted by Laurier students. “I love that this is coming out of Wilfrid Laurier University,” said Franklin. “I’m really looking forward to all the students at Laurier — both men and women — becoming scientists, because we Investment icon Ira Gluskin speaks to business students about careers in finanace. “It’s been suggested that the have a lot of science to do in the Computer Science at Laurier and lack of female representation in next century. We need everybody director of WinS. “We should not prestigious research positions is we can get because we have a lot exist because we should not have not due to active choices made of serious problems [to tackle].” to exist. Our goal is, in fact, to during the selection process alone, shut ourselves down as soon as The WinS mission is to build but the result of many factors a strong community for women possible.” that contribute to the ongoing in science and the mathematical WinS will provide grants and challenge of attracting and social sciences through research, support to female scientists and retaining women in science, from action and communication. to scholars studying the role the earliest stages of their training of women in the sciences. In Franklin is a fitting example of all the way through their careers.” the centre’s goals. Born and raised addition, it will organize seminars, in Canada, Franklin is a pioneer as workshops and conferences, Other facts showcased during a scientist and a woman: she was develop partnerships with other the event: the co-discoverer of the top quark, • Studies show zero difference educational institutions and with a fundamental particle of nature, industry, facilitate networking in science aptitude between and the first woman to achieve and mentoring opportunities for school-aged boys and girls tenure in Harvard’s Physics female scientists, and support • Only three per cent of Department. community outreach to female women in the Canadian In 2008, only 30 per cent youth considering careers in workforce work in natural of mathematics, computer science. sciences and engineering science and information science “We’re here today to launch the • It could take an entire graduates in Canada were female, Centre for Women in Science, and century before women hold which represents a decrease from in particular recognize the hard 50 per cent of university 35 per cent in 1990. work that Shohini has put into faculty positions in science “Although women make up the centre,” said Paul Jessop, dean and engineering more than a third of full-time of Laurier’s Faculty of Science. “We recently celebrated faculty in Canada, fewer than “It’s gratifying to see the degree Laurier’s 100-year anniversary 20 per cent of Tier 1 Canada of enthusiasm and support, as … in another 100 years, let’s not Research Chairs are held by evidenced by the crowd here celebrate the 100th anniversary women,” said Abby Goodrum, today. The centre has really of this centre,” said Shohini Laurier’s vice-president: research. resonated with people.” Ghose, professor of Physics & 6 Meet Suszanne Luke, curator of Laurier’s Robert Langen Art Gallery and art aficianado. 7 Do parenting magazines provide good advice? Linda Quirke wants to find out.