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Calendar

7/21/2014 » 7/31/2014
C.S. Lewis Summer Institute, Oxford & Cambridge, England

7/25/2014 » 7/28/2014
“From Cosmos to Psyche: All Things Hold Together in Christ,” Hamilton, ON

7/25/2014 » 7/28/2014
2014 ASA CSCA CiS Annual Meeting

7/26/2014
“Science & Faith: Friends or Foes?,” Alaskan cruise. Sponsor: Discovery Institute

7/28/2014
“Academy Regained,” McMaster University and Redeemer University College, Hamilton, ON

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CWIS: Christian Women in Science
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CWIS is an affiliate of the American Scientific Affiliation and is open to all interested Christian Women in Science.

 

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Top tags: STEM  CWIS  Lynn Billman  science education  astronomy  ASA  CWIS Board  Jennifer Wiseman  Mary Anning  Ruth Bancewicz  Alice C. Linsley  American Association for the Advancement of Scienc  Amy Julia Becker  Anges Giberne  Archaeology  Arden Wells  Bible  biology  chemistry  CWIS goals  CWIS logo  Dorothy Boorse  ecology  Ellen Sturgess  Emily Ruppel  faith evolution survey  Faith Tucker  faith. evolution  fossils  gender 

CWIS and ASA: A Place to Connect

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lynn Billman

President CWIS


Do you want to get acquainted with other Christian Women in Science in your area? Would you like to connect with other ASA-CWIS supporters in your state? Would you like to connect with other Christian women chemists, astronomers, or physicists? 

As a professor at a Christian college, would you like to know other Christian women professors near you?  Well, you can do all that and more by searching the ASA Membership Directory at the ASA website. 

The ASA Membership Directory is for members only and only appears when you sign in. It is not public information and this is the membership data the search engine depends on. So, if you are not receiving information from ASA or CWIS it may be that your addresses are not current. Check out the Membership Directory and update your ASA profile.

The search fields I find most useful are:

Name – to find one person

Location (i.e., State) – to find who is in my state

Profession – to find someone in the clergy, medical, government research,  and other professions.

Discipline – to find people in biology, astronomy, engineering, or other areas


After you decide how these search elements may be helpful to you, you have a choice of searching the entire ASA membership list, or you may search "Affiliate:  Christian Women in Science.”  Checking CWIS will help you find others who have signed up as members of our ASA group, thereby demonstrating their interest and commitment to the challenges faced by Christian women in STEM. 

While you’re at it, check out the ASA website in general. You’ll find a lot of interesting information – major science headlines, God and Nature magazine, information on the upcoming ASA annual conference (July 2014 in Ontario), and loads of great articles, blog posts, news feeds, etc., on science and Christianity.  Check it out today!  And use the ASA Membership Directory to find other CWIS members in your area.

 


Tags:  CWIS  Lynn Billman 

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Gender Gap in Biblical Archaeology

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Thursday, January 16, 2014

 BAR helps reveal Biblical archaeology’s gender gap

Biblical Archaeology Review’s annual dig issue has long directed readers to excavation opportunities in Israel and beyond. To help readers decide which dig is for them, we provide a list of sites, together with the dates of the excavation seasons and the name of each dig’s director.

Jennie Ebeling, associate professor of archaeology at the University of Evansville in Indiana, however, used our 2011 list of dig opportunities for a different purpose: to highlight the growing gender gap between male and female archaeologists in Biblical archaeology.

In an article for The Bible and Interpretation Web site (www.bibleinterp.com), Ebeling found that only six of the 22 excavations listed for Israel for the summer of 2011 were either directed or codirected by women, including famous female archaeologists like Jodi Magness and Suzanne Richard. The gender gap among dig directors held steady when she added the handful of other excavations listed on the Web sites of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) and the Archaeological Institute of America. Ebeling also found that fewer than a third of the licenses granted by the Israel Antiquities Authority for 2011 were issued to female archaeologists.

"[A dig’s] director provides the ‘face’—and often, in our field, the personality—of a dig,” wrote Ebeling. "The [statistics suggest] that there are many fewer female than male ‘faces’ representing the field of Syro-Palestinian archaeology.”

Given that Biblical archaeology has such a strong tradition of famous female archaeologists, from Kathleen Kenyon to Trude Dothan, why, asks Ebeling, are so few famous female archaeologists now at the forefront of the field?

From surveys she conducted with both men and women who direct excavations in Israel, Ebeling found that while many believe starting a family or having children can often delay a woman’s archaeological career, such factors alone cannot account for the relatively small number of women who lead excavations.

Many archaeologists believe pervasive and longstanding cultural factors within the discipline are to blame. Despite the pioneering achievements of famous female archaeologists such as Kenyon and Dothan—and others like Ruth Amiran and Claire Epstein, as well as current directors like Sharon Zuckerman and Jodi Magness—Biblical archaeology, particularly in Israel, has long been dominated by male dig directors, while women have frequently been "shuffled off into specialist studies,” like pottery and small finds analysis. And even though female dig directors and codirectors, including Jodi Magness at Huqoq and Eilat Mazar at the City of David, are now more common, Ebeling notes that almost all of the "big digs” focusing on major Biblical sites—Ashkelon, Megiddo, Gezer, Rehov and others—are still run primarily by men.

Others point to an academic and professional environment, both in Israel and the U.S., that tends to favor men over women. Despite the fact that women tend to outnumber men in archaeology graduate programs, far fewer women ultimately complete their programs and earn Ph.Ds. As a result, women fill just over a third of the tenure or tenure-track faculty positions in institutes and departments of archaeology at major Israeli universities; Ebeling says a similar number likely exists for U.S. institutions. And even though women regularly deliver 40 percent of the papers at ASOR’s annual conference, and also serve on the body’s board of trustees and numerous committees, the organization has never elected a female president in its 110-year history.

So will there be more female dig directors on Biblical Archaeology Review’s 2012 list of dig opportunities? Probably not. Ebeling’s survey found that many archaeologists, both male and female, believe that the gender gap in Biblical archaeology has widened in the past 25 years and will only continue to grow.


Tags:  Archaeology  gender gap 

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Objectivity lacking among secular scientists?

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Tuesday, January 07, 2014

 

"If ideas are just patterns of nerve impulses, then how can one say that any idea (including the idea of materialism itself) is superior to any other? One pattern of nerve impulses cannot be truer or less true than another pattern, any more than a toothache can be truer or less true than another toothache.”--Stephen M. Barr (From here.)

 

The following article is posted to stimulate conversation. The failure of the writer to define terms like "creationist" and "tradition" is problematic and provides a clue as to why many doubt journalistic claims on science. People often fail to distinguish popular science and true science and do not detect ideological bias. At the end of the blog post are links to articles that I believe provide balance to Adam Frank's perspective. -- Alice C. Linsley

 

The Age of Denial: Our society no longer values the integrity of scientific fact

New York Times

By ADAM FRANK

August 21, 2013


ROCHESTER — IN 1982, polls showed that 44 percent of Americans believed God had created human beings in their present form. Thirty years later, the fraction of the population who are creationists is 46 percent.


In 1989, when "climate change” had just entered the public lexicon, 63 percent of Americans understood it was a problem. Almost 25 years later, that proportion is actually a bit lower, at 58 percent.


The timeline of these polls defines my career in science. In 1982 I was an undergraduate physics major. In 1989 I was a graduate student. My dream was that, in a quarter-century, I would be a professor of astrophysics, introducing a new generation of students to the powerful yet delicate craft of scientific research.


This is not a world the scientists I trained with would recognize. Many of them served on the Manhattan Project. Afterward, they helped create the technologies that drove America’s postwar prosperity. In that era of the mid-20th century, politicians were expected to support science financially but otherwise leave it alone. The disaster of Lysenkoism, in which Communist ideology distorted scientific truth and all but destroyed Russian biological science, was still a fresh memory.


Read it all here.

Related reading: Kansas Bill Calling for Objectivity in Science FailsScientists Against ScientismThe Trouble with ScientismScientism's Irrational Attack on Religion

Tags:  science education 

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Bronwen Todd: Future Astronomer?

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Thursday, January 02, 2014



Hi.


My name is Bronwen. I am seven years old. I am a girl. I would like to be a Space Scientist when I grow up. I am interested in this because I am in love with science! I love science because it is very interesting and awesome. I would like to explore outer space so I can discover and name some planets.  I wonder how many planets are not named yet. I bet 100’000’000’000! Well, probably more.


I would like to learn how fast the earth moves. I want to learn if oxygen can be made in space. I know that the universe is super large and that it is still expanding like a balloon that you blow up.


Another reason that I think it is important to study space is because we can learn about the history of the universe.


My family loves science too. We read science books, watch science shows, and even tell science stories. I was talking about this report earlier to my family and they told me I should write this down.


I hope that some girls my age will read this and get interested in science.



Bronwen Todd


Tags:  astronomy 

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Something about STEM drives women out

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Friday, December 27, 2013
Updated: Saturday, December 21, 2013

 Nov 20, 2013 by Bill Steele

(Phys.org) —Just when the nation has a need for more workers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields, research at Cornell and the University of Texas, Austin, finds that women have often found those fields inhospitable, and left for other kinds of jobs.

In the first study to compare women in STEM with other professional women, Sharon Sassler, professor of policy analysis and management, and colleagues found that women in STEM fields have been more likely to move out of their field of specialty than other professional women, especially early in their careers; few women in either group completely leave the labor force. Their report, "What's So Special About STEM?" will appear in the December issue of the journal Social Forces.


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-11-stem-women.html#jCp


Tags:  STEM 

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Merry Christmas!

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Updated: Saturday, December 21, 2013

                                      The CWIS Board wishes all readers a blessed Christmas.

            May it be filled with joy in knowing that Christ our Savior has come among us and loves us. Hallelujah!


  

 


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Good Science Blogs

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Friday, December 20, 2013

Alice C. Linsley


I have been a blogger for eight years and I maintain six active blogs. I also serve as "blog mistress" for two other blogs. Obviously, blogging is a communication medium that I enjoy and appreciate for its versatility and potential to inform beyond my classroom.


What follows is a list of science blogs listed alphabetically by the field. I have not listed the science blogs maintained by mainstream media or science magazines as these are easy to find. This list will take the reader to lesser known blogs that deserve more traffic.


Some of the blogs listed are maintained by Christians. These are designated by † before the link. Christians in the sciences often offer a different perspective and sometimes their findings are not given much attention. I encourage readers to visit the sites in their field of interest and to participate in the discussions. Ask questions, challenge statements that you know to be false, and stir the pot!

 

Compiling this list has confirmed my suspicion that many scientists who are Christians are not blogging. Their research is not available for the general public. It is published in peer reviewed articles in science journals. This is a necessary part of the academic life, but it would benefit Christian seekers were they to have their own blogs where they can share their insights and knowledge. We especially need Christians in biology and physics to step up!



ANTHROPOLOGY

      Anthropology.net

  †  Biblical Anthropology (Alice C. Linsley)

  †  God is in the Details (Ingie Hovland)

      John Hawks' Weblog (Paleoanthropology)

  †  Just Genesis (Alice C. Linsley)

  †  Yam Suph (Susan Burns)

 

ARCHAEOLOGY

     Bad Archaeology (Keith Fitzpatrick Matthews)

     Elfshot: Stick and Stones (Tim Rast)

     Middle Savagery  (Colleen Morgan)

 †  Biblical Archaeology (Rob Bradshaw)


ASTRONOMY

    Astrobog (Ian Musgrave)

    Tom's Astronomy Blog

    .py in the sky (Thomas Robitaille)

†  Star Stryder (Dr. Pamela L. Gay)


BIOLOGY

†   An Evangelical Dialogue on Evolution (Steve Martin)

†   BioLogos Blog

     The Biology Blog (Jordan Yaron)

     The Sea Blog (Kevin Nelstead)


CHEMISTRY

     ChemBark (Dr. Paul Bracher)

     The Sceptical Chymist

 †  Daily Reactions of a Chemist (Dr. Amanda Nichols)

     Chemistry World Blog


GEOLOGY

  †  Naturalis Historia

  †  The GeoChristian

     Clastic Detritus (Brian Romans)

 

LINGUISTICS

     Ethnoblog

     LanguageHat

     Bits of Language (Adrien Barbaresi)

 †  Sunshine Mary

     The Seuren Blog (Pieter Seuren)


PSYCHOLOGY and PSYCHIATRY

  †  Christena Cleveland (Social Psychology)

  †  Society of Christian Psychology

  †  Musings of a Christian Psychologist (Phil Monroe)

     Evolutionary Psychiatry (Emily Deans)


PHYSICS

     Quantum Diaries

     Antimatter (Cormac O’Rafferty)

     Nanoscale Views (Douglas Natelson)

     The Reference Frame (Luboš Motl Pilsen)


SCIENCE and RELIGION

  †  Science and Belief (Ruth Bancewicz)

  †  Emerging Scholars Blog (InterVarsity)

  †  Rachel Held Evans

  †  Reasons to Believe

  †  Old Earth Creationism Homeschool

  †  Krista Bontrager's Blog

  †  Proslogion (Dr. Jay L. Wile)

 

STEM (General Interest)

     AWIS Blog: Championing the interests of women in STEM



If you know of other blogs of interest to Christians in the sciences, please let me know. I will add to the list.


Tags:  science blogs 

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Girls Missing From Science Classes

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Thursday, December 19, 2013

From New York Times, Dec. 10, 2013

A big reason America is falling behind other countries in science and math is that we have effectively written off a huge chunk of our population as uninterested in those fields or incapable of succeeding in them.

Women make up nearly half the work force but have just 26 percent of science, technology, engineering or math jobs, according to the Census Bureau. Blacks make up 11 percent of the workforce but just 6 percent of such jobs and Hispanics make up nearly 15 percent of the work force but hold 7 percent of those positions. There is no question that women and minorities have made progress in science and math in the last several decades, but their gains have been slow and halting. And in the fast-growing field of computer science, women’s representation has actually declined in the last 20 years, while minorities have made relatively small gains.

 

Read it all here.


Tags:  science education 

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A Quaker Astronomer Reflects

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dr Ruth Bancewicz

 

As a young child I detected the cosmic microwave background – the radiation left over from the Big Bang. That doesn’t mean I was a child prodigy, it just shows that we had an old fashioned dial TV. About 10% of the static in between channels is caused by the remnants of that first explosion. I am staggered that even a five year old can detect the whisper of the universe’s origins.

The Astronomer Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell shared this fact during her presentation at the Wesley Methodist church as part of their Science Meets Faith lecture series this month. It was a fascinating talk, and she was very honest about her own faith and how her science had affected her beliefs.

In the beginning, said Bell Burnell, all of space, matter and energy was contained in a space smaller than a grain of sand. Then time began with bang, and space unfurled like a new leaf from its bud. As space expanded and the radiation from the big bang cooled, energy converted into mass and particles formed. After millions of years, those particles came together and began to form stars: immense flaming balls of gas fuelled by nuclear fusion reactions.

The first stars were made of hydrogen and helium, and when they had burnt themselves out they exploded, scattering their waste products across the universe. Those waste products included new elements, and when our own third generation star was formed there was enough carbon, oxygen and other elements around it to form rocky planets like Earth, and for life to develop.

These vast timescales always send my mind reeling. Bell Burnell said there is a sense of awe when she does Astronomy but you can’t think about the vast size and history of the Universe all the time, or you wouldn’t be able to function normally!

Astronomers noticed a long time ago that the Universe is still expanding. What they found more recently is that is the very distant galaxies are now much further away than expected. The expansion of Space is speeding up, and no one is quite sure why. When the galaxies eventually accelerate away from each other faster than the speed of light, everything outside of our galaxy will be invisible. So in a few billion years, we will appear to be alone in the universe.

This is a pretty bleak picture, and it gets bleaker when you realise that eventually all the hydrogen will be used up, having been converted to other elements, and no new stars will be able to form. There will only be black holes left. The long-term prospects for humanity are poor. The short-term prospects are also poor if you step outside a space ship without the right protective gear! The Universe is – outside of the thin atmosphere of our own planet – a deadly place.

So where is hope? Jocelyn is a Quaker, and it was interesting to hear how she made sense of this scenario. I didn’t agree with everything she said, but it was good to hear someone taking the history of the universe seriously when thinking about God’s character. She said that God either isn’t able or chooses not to be in day-to-day control of the world, but being present before God in worship is an encounter ‘beyond words’ that puts things in perspective.

I am unwilling to share more of what Bell Burnell said about her faith, partly because her lecture was not recorded and made publicly available, and partly because she made a point of saying that her thinking is still evolving. She did use a number of poems to explain her feelings, and I think this one by Michael Leunig reflects the tone of what she said very well.

 

Love is born with a dark and troubled face

When hope is dead

And in the most unlikely place

Love is born:

Love is always born

 

Source:  Science and Belief


Tags:  astronomy  Ruth Bancewicz 

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Girls Reticent About Excelling in Science

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Friday, December 06, 2013

New York Times, Sept. 2013

Peter Ostrander, the tireless coordinator and cheerleader for a renowned science and mathematics magnet program at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Md., was not satisfied. Over the past few years, the pool of applicants had included nearly as many girls as boys, and the acceptance rate — based largely on test scores and grades — had followed suit.

Yet when it came to which of the invitees ended up choosing Blair’s magnet option over other offerings in the area, the scales tilted male. In 2012, for example, 80 percent of the eligible boys said yes, but only 70 percent of the girls. In 2010, the figures had been 93 percent and 56 percent.

Convinced the program could do better at pitching its product to girls, Mr. Ostrander recruited teams of upper-class girls last spring to call their hesitant young counterparts. Extol the wonders of the program, he said. Dispel the tired geek myths.

"The stereotype is out there that the magnet is filled with nerdy people,” he said. "Whatever that means.”

Read it all here.


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