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Some trash I found in my Email inbox

Elizabeth Harris chlamy at acpub.duke.edu
Mon May 10 09:45:03 EST 1993

In article <1993May8.225451.27662 at ncsu.edu>, nmodena at ncsu.edu (Stephen
Modena) wrote:
> I love getting email....it is amazing what some people are ashamed to
> say outloud in public!
>      ----cut here: trash follows-----
>    ------cut here: end of trash-------
> The difference between Elizabeth and Alex is that in a private email one
> told me to shut up and the other told me specifically how and why the
> nuturing and encouraging of our (collective) childern is so important.
> I aggree with one and disagree with the other.  :^)
> Steve

I resent the implication that it was I who told you to shut up in the
private e-mail, but now I think maybe it's time you did.  In my private
e-mail I tried to give you a reasoned argument and a clarification of my
original post, to which you responded charitably in private.  The public
posts today seem to have been written with blowtorch in hand, however.

Is the problem of "role models" an issue that needs discussion, even if it
takes some time away from the business of doing science?  I think so. 
There are plenty of talented young women who may never consider a career in
science, because there's no one there to tell them, "I did it and you can
too".  It's a waste of human resources and a loss to science in general if
they end up in dead-end jobs.  Boys are much more likely than girls to get
the reinforcement and encouragement they need to make a career choice that
realizes their full potential.  This was true years ago, and my experience
(subject of my original post) is that it's still true now.  Granted there
are exceptional girls who go it alone and succeed.  But discussing how we
can provide encouragement and assistance to all those other girls who might
otherwise drop out of science is an appropriate topic of discussion for

Elizabeth Harris
chlamy at acpub.duke.edu

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