American Women of Science: Recovering History, Defining the Future

Attend this year’s Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative Virtual Symposium!

The American Women of Science: Recovering History, Defining the Future virtual symposium aims to 1) recover lesser-known histories of women in science, 2) share current research and programming breakthroughs, and 3) discuss opportunities to define a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive future. We hope this symposium will inspire and educate scientists and museum professionals, and support women on the ground.

This is a virtual symposium taking place from October 20–22 and 27–29, 2020. Sessions will include a mix of keynotes, panels, and lightning talks. These events are free, and you can register, here. Check back for any updated information on the symposium webpage, here.

A portrait of scientist Eva J. Pell smiling.

Given the Smithsonian's long history and growth over 175 years—into nineteen museums, nine research centers, and a zoo—the Institution's past and present provide a unique opportunity for internal reflection and external comparisons regarding the history of women in science. Program highlights include:  

  • Keynote from Dr. Eva Pell, former Smithsonian Under Secretary for Science, on Oct. 20 
  • A panel on the history of women in science, featuring Dr. Sally Gregory Kohlstedt, Oct. 20
  • A panel featuring Dr. Shirley Malcom on the price of being a minority woman in science, Oct. 20
  • A panel featuring pathbreaking female conservation biologists from the National Zoo, Oct. 21
  • An afternoon devoted to digital historical work surfacing stories of women in science, Oct. 22
  • A panel on the history and future of women in the space sciences with Dr. Kim Arcand, Oct. 27
  • A panel on lessons learned from diversity initiatives at U.S. scientific institutions, Oct. 28
  • Keynote from Dr. Oris Sanjur, Acting Director of Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Oct. 29 
  • A Conversation with Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch, III and Dr. Katrina Pagenkopp Lohan, Oct. 29 

Close-up photo of Oris I. Sanjur.

The Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, Because of Her Story, seeks to deepen our knowledge and appreciation of women’s contributions in American society in the contemporary moment and the historical past, to stimulate conversation about the ways in which they have changed, and to understand their continuing influence in American and global contexts. The Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative is inclusive, highlighting the stories of those who identify as women and those who were designated female but self-identify differently.

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