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"What's a nice girl like you doing with a Nobel Prize?" Elizabeth Blackburn, "Australia's first women Nobel Laureate and women's scientific leadership

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Abstract


  • In 2009 Elizabeth Blackburn (along with two of her American

    colleagues) won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, confirming her

    position as a global scientific leader. She was immediately celebrated as

    Australia’s first woman Nobel laureate. However, although 2009 was a

    ‘bumper’ year for women Nobel laureates, with five winners in total, the media

    coverage soon became highly negative and discouraging. Much discussion

    focused not on Blackburn’s scientific work but on her gender – the difficulties

    it was assumed she must have faced individually as a woman scientist, and her

    wider leadership role in encouraging and supporting other women to overcome

    these obstacles. In this chapter I suggest the continuing highly negative ways

    the possibilities for women’s participation and leadership in science are

    discussed are counterproductive. Journalistic, policy and scholarly discussions

    of the ‘problem’ of women in science misconstrue the extent of women’s

    participation in the field and the nature of their experiences. In all these spheres,

    science continues to be understood and represented as an unhappy place for

    women to be. This misrepresentation, I argue, undercuts the leadership roles

    women scientists are seeking.

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • Carey, J. L. (2012). "What's a nice girl like you doing with a Nobel Prize?" Elizabeth Blackburn, "Australia's first women Nobel Laureate and women's scientific leadership. In R. Francis, P. Grimshaw & A. Standish (Eds.), Seizing the Initiative : Australian Women Leaders in Politics, Workplaces and Communities (pp. 271-289). University of Melbourne: eScholarship Research Centre. http://www.womenaustralia.info/leaders/sti/index.html

International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13


  • 9780734047977

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2787&context=lhapapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/1781

Book Title


  • Seizing the Initiative : Australian Women Leaders in Politics, Workplaces and Communities

Start Page


  • 271

End Page


  • 289

Place Of Publication


  • University of Melbourne

Abstract


  • In 2009 Elizabeth Blackburn (along with two of her American

    colleagues) won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, confirming her

    position as a global scientific leader. She was immediately celebrated as

    Australia’s first woman Nobel laureate. However, although 2009 was a

    ‘bumper’ year for women Nobel laureates, with five winners in total, the media

    coverage soon became highly negative and discouraging. Much discussion

    focused not on Blackburn’s scientific work but on her gender – the difficulties

    it was assumed she must have faced individually as a woman scientist, and her

    wider leadership role in encouraging and supporting other women to overcome

    these obstacles. In this chapter I suggest the continuing highly negative ways

    the possibilities for women’s participation and leadership in science are

    discussed are counterproductive. Journalistic, policy and scholarly discussions

    of the ‘problem’ of women in science misconstrue the extent of women’s

    participation in the field and the nature of their experiences. In all these spheres,

    science continues to be understood and represented as an unhappy place for

    women to be. This misrepresentation, I argue, undercuts the leadership roles

    women scientists are seeking.

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • Carey, J. L. (2012). "What's a nice girl like you doing with a Nobel Prize?" Elizabeth Blackburn, "Australia's first women Nobel Laureate and women's scientific leadership. In R. Francis, P. Grimshaw & A. Standish (Eds.), Seizing the Initiative : Australian Women Leaders in Politics, Workplaces and Communities (pp. 271-289). University of Melbourne: eScholarship Research Centre. http://www.womenaustralia.info/leaders/sti/index.html

International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13


  • 9780734047977

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2787&context=lhapapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/1781

Book Title


  • Seizing the Initiative : Australian Women Leaders in Politics, Workplaces and Communities

Start Page


  • 271

End Page


  • 289

Place Of Publication


  • University of Melbourne