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Women in STEM – we need all hands on deck to tackle climate change

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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Carter Wall is a biochemist in Massachusettes who manages the clean energy division of Broadway Electrical Company, one of the largest solar developers in the Northeast. When Wall was in junior high, she went to the library in search of biographies on female scientists. She was looking to discover female role models, but in the end discovered just one book for inspiration – a biography on Marie Curie, a famous European scientist and pioneer in radioactivity research.

But, this didn’t stop Wall, who went on to study biochemistry in college. She now mentors young women and girls who are interested in the energy field. Today, Wall was highlighted in the United States Department of Energy (DOE) brand new “Women in STEM” video series. DOE hopes is that these videos will not only highlight women working in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, but also inspire a new generation of STEM leaders.

In today’s video, Wall shares her excitement for and appreciation of the clean energy field. She also sums up her best piece of career advice, saying “there is no substitute for passion. You can learn any kinds of facts. You can learn any kind of technical stuff. But you can’t learn passion. You gotta find something that you want to do and the rest of it is easy.

Melissa C. Lott About the Author: An engineer and researcher who works at the intersection of energy, environment, technology, and policy. Follow on Twitter @mclott.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. Uncle.Al 1:18 pm 01/14/2014

    Science requires objective qualification of the few. Social activism requires subjective disqualification of the many. As murderous Rome was followed by 1000 years of European-purifying penury, so science must be ended in the name of compulsory degradative egalitarianism.

    STEM is vastly oversubscribed, depressing labor costs and uncreating lives. It is not possible for 10% of the population to be as smart as 2%. The goddess universe kisses a toad to make two toads.

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  2. 2. schatzieD 2:58 pm 01/14/2014

    I applaud this movement and agree wholeheartedly.

    I can hear the roaring of denier hooves on their way over here from the last Scientific American article that had the words, “climate change” in the title. Stand back!!

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  3. 3. maritadalton 2:59 pm 01/14/2014

    as Kenneth implied I’m blown away that a stay at home mom can earn $6418 in one month on the internet. you could try here… Fb39.COM

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  4. 4. Scian reader 505 5:19 pm 01/15/2014

    To young people who are reading this, I want to tell you what three things that few others will:

    1. STEM is HARD. Very hard. This is why so few people pursue it despite the high pay, and why the dropout rate is so high, and why STEM colleges require high SAT scores.(Adjusted for race, of course) Women’s mathematical ability has been found to be less than men’s at the high end, but this explains very little of the “gap.”

    2. STEM is BORING. It is nothing like these videos portray it. I have known many STEMers in many fields, and some of them love their jobs, some of them don’t. But it usually consists of sitting at a desk, working alone, on a problem(which involves math) that usually isn’t very interesting even to science nerds. This, really, is the source of the gap, many women don’t see it as a desirable occupation.

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  5. 5. Jack Wolf 3:06 pm 01/16/2014

    Maybe the problem is that men have been the captains of industry, rather then women. All I see are male faces on most Boards, even now and certainly in the past.

    Men are going to have a miserable existence once wives figure out how stupid their husbands have been behaving at work these past decades when something still could be done.

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