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Rachel Carson’s legacy is now widely known, but the challenges she faced are not as widely recognized. One of the challenges she faced was an establishment that was not yet welcoming to women in science. Much has changed in the past 50 years, but questions should be asked now about how far we have come and how far we have to go.
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Dr. Sears attended USC as an undergraduate and received her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She came to UCSD as a postdoctoral fellow and was appointed to the faculty in 2003. Dr. Sears has been conducting obesity and type 2 diabetes-related research for 16 years. Her long-term goal is to discover practical therapeutic solutions for the millions of people at risk for or who have type 2 diabetes. She has been an invited speaker at the National Institutes for Health, the Aegean Conference Series, the University of Wisconsin, University of Maryland, and other locations. Dr. Sears uses a variety of in vitro, in vivo, and computational approaches to identify molecular alterations that are associated with obesity, insulin resistance (pre-diabetes) and type 2 diabetes. She is also investigating dietary interventions for improving insulin resistance in mice and humans. Dr. Sears is Chair of the UCSD School of Medicine Recruitment and Admissions Committee, President of the American Diabetes Association Community Leadership Board, and President of the Association for Women in Science San Diego Chapter.
Lynne Friedmann is a freelance writer with 30 years of experience reporting on science and technology discoveries and advances. Trained as a journalist and a marine biologist (California State University, Long Beach), her work appears in newspapers, journals, magazines, and on the web with topics ranging from astrophysics to zoology. Friedmann has also written extensively on workforce issues that affect women scientists. Friedmann has held local and national leadership positions with the National Association of Science Writers (editor of ScienceWriters magazine); the Association for Women in Science (AWIS), putting in place many of the AWIS-SD chapter’s communication outreach efforts; and is a founding board member of Athena San Diego, which fosters professional growth for women executives and rising managers in the San Diego bioscience and technology sector. Among her numerous awards and honors, Friedmann has been named a Fellow by three scientific/professional societies for her “leadership and significant contributions to the public communication of science and technology.”
Christina Deckard is a native San Diegan and enjoys the beach and the Southern California weather. Ms. Deckard graduated top of her class in Physics from San Diego State University in 1983. She enjoyed learning so much that she kept going back for more and received a Master’s in Physics and a Master’s in Mathematics. Ms. Deckard has been working at SPAWAR Systems Center for over 25 years. She has worked in the areas of acoustics, lasers, surveillance, bullet tracking and RF exploitation. She has received numerous Navy awards for her efforts in research. Ms. Deckard has also been an instructor in physics and math at local colleges and universities. Currently, Ms. Deckard is active in creating a culture of STEM excitement through enabling Department of Defense scientists and engineers to reach out to the local K-12 community. Ms. Deckard also works closely with colleges and universities to promote more science and technology advancement. Ms. Deckard is a strong advocate for inspiring females to pursue science and engineering degrees and is active in the local Society of Women Engineers section.