Read this. Read all of it. If you're very busy and must read it later, read this bit right now.

These stories also remind us not to sit back and wait for some unseen hand to slowly right the wrongs of the past, because when we do, we allow those wrongs to be perpetuated and inflicted on new generations of women and minorities. And we are talking about generations: As a female scientist in the mid-to-late 20th century, my mother faced blatant discrimination and harassment. As a female scientist of the early 21st century, I’ve experienced more subtle, but still pernicious discrimination and harassment too. At the current rate of change, my daughter, whether should she choose to pursue a career in the sciences or focus on her passions in the political field, will be discriminated against and harassed too. I’m not going to wait for that to happen, instead I’m going to use all the voice I have to push our society, and particularly those with power in it, to make things better, faster. And if someone tries to silence me, there will be more voices raised, more calls to arms. Now is the time we raise our voices and say “The way we treat women and people of color is not acceptable. We will not be silenced any longer.”

This is why these matters are very much about discovering science. How can science be discovered when you shut out well over half of the human race?

So no, no silence. Silence isn't always golden. Not for women, not for people of color, and not for the science they will discover and bring to the world. No silence, not ever again.

“Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes” Image courtesy Maggie Kuhn via Flickr.

“Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes” Image courtesy Maggie Kuhn via Flickr.