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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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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!


  †  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)



     Bad Archaeology (Keith Fitzpatrick Matthews)

     Elfshot: Stick and Stones (Tim Rast)

     Middle Savagery  (Colleen Morgan)

 †  Biblical Archaeology (Rob Bradshaw)


    Astrobog (Ian Musgrave)

    Tom's Astronomy Blog

    .py in the sky (Thomas Robitaille)

†  Star Stryder (Dr. Pamela L. Gay)


†   An Evangelical Dialogue on Evolution (Steve Martin)

†   BioLogos Blog

     The Biology Blog (Jordan Yaron)

     The Sea Blog (Kevin Nelstead)


     ChemBark (Dr. Paul Bracher)

     The Sceptical Chymist

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

     Chemistry World Blog


  †  Naturalis Historia

  †  The GeoChristian

     Clastic Detritus (Brian Romans)





     Bits of Language (Adrien Barbaresi)

 †  Sunshine Mary

     The Seuren Blog (Pieter Seuren)


  †  Christena Cleveland (Social Psychology)

  †  Society of Christian Psychology

  †  Musings of a Christian Psychologist (Phil Monroe)

     Evolutionary Psychiatry (Emily Deans)


     Quantum Diaries

     Antimatter (Cormac O’Rafferty)

     Nanoscale Views (Douglas Natelson)

     The Reference Frame (Luboš Motl Pilsen)


  †  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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Gender Inequality in the Sciences

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Tuesday, December 03, 2013

New York Times, September 2013

Last summer, researchers at Yale published a study proving that physicists, chemists and biologists are likely to view a young male scientist more favorably than a woman with the same qualifications. Presented with identical summaries of the accomplishments of two imaginary applicants, professors at six major research institutions were significantly more willing to offer the man a job. If they did hire the woman, they set her salary, on average, nearly $4,000 lower than the man’s. Surprisingly, female scientists were as biased as their male counterparts.


The new study goes a long way toward providing hard evidence of a continuing bias against women in the sciences. Only one-fifth of physics Ph.D.’s in this country are awarded to women, and only about half of those women are American; of all the physics professors in the United States, only 14 percent are women. The numbers of black and Hispanic scientists are even lower; in a typical year, 13 African-Americans and 20 Latinos of either sex receive Ph.D.’s in physics. 


Read it all here.

Tags:  gender 

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Goals of Christian Women in Science (CWIS)

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Saturday, November 30, 2013
Updated: Thursday, November 28, 2013

Goals of CWIS

Women earn fewer than a third of the PhDs in computer sciences, earth, atmospheric, and ocean sciences; mathematics and statistics; physical sciences; and engineering. Many of the women with PhDs in science and engineering leave the workforce or academia soon after they begin employment.

The extent of this problem is described in Rosser, S.V., Taylor, M. Z. "Why Are We Still Worried about Women in Science?” in Academe, magazine for the American Association of University Professors, May-June 2009. CWIS exists to help correct this problem. Here are our goals:

• Encourage more Christian women to go into science, technology, engineering, or math and to remain active in their careers

• Encourage more women in the sciences to be bolder in sharing their faith or to seek Christ for the first time

• Help more Christian women move into leadership or management positions in science

• Grow ASA by outreach to Christian women in science, increasing gender diversity of ASA membership and leadership

• Provide connections, encouragement, information, and role models for pre-career and early-career women in science

• Support mid-career women with work/life problems related to being a Christian, a woman, and a scientist

• Provide opportunities for our established leaders to make a difference in the lives and careers of other Christian women in science, to share their wisdom and experience, and to be recognized for their service

Tags:  CWIS goals 

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Faith Tucker on CWIS for Students and Early Career Women

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Thursday, November 28, 2013
Faith Tucker

As a young organization, the CWIS Board has spent a lot of time thinking about our goals and aims. We seek to be a home to women from a broad range of scientific disciplines, professional positions, and faith backgrounds where we can share of love of science and of Christ together as part of a rich, diverse community. As a current graduate student myself and the youngest member of the CWIS Board, it is my responsibility and pleasure to help provide support and engage the student and early career contingent of our growing community. 

Students and early-career scientists are a vital part of the CWIS community for myriad reasons. It is these younger members who are the future of their disciplines and of the expanding place of women, and particularly Christian women, in the scientific community. The academic and professional environments we experience today have been in large part shaped by the women that proceeded us, just as we have the opportunity to affect change for those who come after us. On a personal level, the choices we make today as students, post-docs, and young faculty will likely influence the trajectory of our careers, our personal lives, and the ways in which we serve God through our science. These early days certainly have many unique challenges and thrills of their own. 

One of the great benefits of CWIS is that we include many women who have walked before us through choosing a school to attend, finding an advisor, conducting research, searching for a position, and balancing work-life responsibilities. Most importantly, these women have navigated this jungle with a desire to see our Lord Jesus honored and served in all areas of their lives. This is no easy task, and the women of CWIS are a valuable resource. We hope that through this community we can build inter-generational relationships that support, encourage and inspire women of all ages.

So without any further ado, here are some of the CWIS programs you can be looking forward to as a student or early-career scientist:
  • CWIS Mentorship Program pairing students and early-career scientists with established Christian women in their discipline
  • Role Model Stories on the blog profiling the women of CWIS who blazed the trail before us
  • Virtual (and hopefully at times physical) community and support of other women in the same stage of their schooling or career
  • A platform to request answers to specific questions regarding school, research, career, family, faith, or anything else
  • And more!
If you're a student or early career scientist interested in getting involved or an established scientist willing to serve as a resource, email me at

   Student/Early-Career Webpage

Welcome to the CWIS Student and Early-Career page! Whether you're a high school student, a post-doc, or a junior faculty, this button will take you to current information about all CWIS resources for younger members. You will be able to connect with peers and mentors regarding the student and early-career experience. Watch for news about our upcoming programs and resources and check the CWIS website regularly to learn more.

Tags:  Faith Tucker  students  young career woman 

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INDEX of Topics

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Sunday, November 17, 2013
Updated: Saturday, December 21, 2013


INDEX (Current as of 20 May 2014)



Gender Gap in Biblical Archaeology


Articles by CWIS Members

Lynn Billman: CWIS is Launched!

About the CWIS Logo
Lynn Billman, CWIS and ASA: Place to Connect

Lin Allen Shares a Vision for CWIS

Gayle Ermer: Balancing Profession and Family

Faith Tucker: CWIS for Students and Early Career Women

Lynn Billman: A Leader With a Cause

Lynn Billman's First Huff Blog Post

Ruth Bancewicz, Laughter is Good Medicine

Alice C. Linsley, Good Science Blogs
How Emily Ruppel Came Into the Science-Faith Arena



Focus on Jennifer Wiseman

A Quaker Astronomer Reflects by Ruth Bancewicz

Bronwen Todd: Future Astronomer?


CWIS Board

2013 CWIS Board


CWIS Charter

Charter: Christian Women in Science


CWIS Facebook



Engineering Job Opening at Messiah College
Women Underrepresented in Science and Engineering

Embryo Selection: Some Ethical Concerns

Faith and Science
Dorothy Boorse on Interplay of Faith and Science
Lynn Billman, Faith and Science Communities in Conflict?


Arden Wells, Geologist-to-be, "On Dirt”



Christian Women in Science, Technology and Engineering

More Christian Women in Science and Math


How to Benefit From having a Mentor

Jennifer Wiseman on How to Help Young Christians in Science

Lynn Billman: Do We Really Need CWIS?

Kim Tweten: Drawing our Daughters into the Sciences


New York Times: Article on Women in STEM

Girls Reticent About Excelling in Science

New York Times: Girls Missing From Science Classes

International Academy of Quantum Molecular Sciences Accused of Sexism

Christian Women in STEM Are Not to Be Labeled
Science Education for Christian Children
This is What Inspires Girls in STEM


Liberating Women from the Three Stone Fire


Tags:  INDEX 

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Charter: Christian Women in Science

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Sunday, November 17, 2013

Revised August 12, 2013

Christian Women in Science is a fellowship of women in science and related disciplines who share a common fidelity to the Christian faith and a commitment to integrity in the practice of science. Christian Women in Science was founded in July, 2013. 


The mission of Christian Women in Science[1] is two-fold:

· To encourage Christian women of all ages to pursue, sustain, and grow in a career in science, technology, engineering or math, and 

· To encourage women in these endeavors to pursue, sustain, and grow in the Christian faith.


Stakeholder Communities

Our community of stakeholders includes:

· We strive to serve those women involved or interested in science[2] in high school or college or just starting their careers, those in the middle of their careers, and those who are established leaders in their careers.

· We strive to benefit and support the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA[3]), of which we are an affiliate.

· We strive to bring special benefits to women who formally join our fellowship.

· We strive to serve the public with information and insight.


We have many specific goals related to our mission. The highest priority goals at any point in time will depend on the individuals that are available to help pursue those goals. 

· Encourage more Christian women to get into science and engineering

· Encourage more women in science to be bolder in sharing their faith or to seek Christ for the first time

· Encourage Christian women in science to remain active in their careers and in their faith

· Help more Christian women move into leadership or management positions in science and engineering 

· Grow ASA membership by reaching out to Christian women in science 

· Bring more gender diversity to ASA membership and leadership

· Provide connections, encouragement, information, and role models for pre-career and early-career women in science

· Support mid-career women with work/life problems related to being a Christian, a woman, and a scientist

· Provide opportunities for our established leaders to make a difference in the lives and careers of other Christian women in science, to share their wisdom and experience, and to be recognized for their service


As an affiliate of the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA), we support the ASA’s statement of faith and policies: [4]

· We accept the divine inspiration, trustworthiness and authority of the Bible in matters of faith and conduct.

· We confess the Triune God affirmed in the Nicene and Apostles' creeds, which we accept as brief, faithful statements of Christian doctrine based upon Scripture.

· We believe that in creating and preserving the universe God has endowed it with contingent order and intelligibility, the basis of scientific investigation.

· We recognize our responsibility, as stewards of God's creation, to use science and technology for the good of humanity and the whole world.


The general public will benefit from the work of CWIS through information provided on its public website, and specific activities that the Board makes available to the general public.

· CWIS members will become members by first joining ASA and then joining the CWIS affiliate. The ASA has several categories of membership, including Regular, Associate, Student, Friend, and Fellow.[5] ASA/CWIS members in any of these categories (except Friend, by definition) will sign the ASA statement of faith as given above under "Beliefs.” ASA/CWIS members will receive special incentives, such as being able to access the CWIS affiliate membership directory, participating in special activities open only to CWIS members, or other member-only privileges.

· People interested in CWIS but not interested in ASA membership can become ASA/CWIS Followers. A follower will provide email and other information about himself/herself, and does not need to sign the statement of faith, but will not have access to the CWIS member directory or other member privileges.

Organization and Management

Christian Women in Science will operate under the rules and requirements for affiliates of the ASA listed in the ASA By-Laws.

The affairs of Christian Women in Science will be led and managed by the Board. The duties of the Board are to:

· Set policy and direction of Christian Women in Science. 

· Determine the proposed activities for the next year that Christian Women in Science will initiate and sustain to achieve its mission and goals for its stakeholder communities. 

· Recruit, select, train, motivate, and guide volunteers to implement these activities as needed. 

· Respond to suggestions for new or additional activities as they are offered by the membership or others.

· As necessary, review official communications (blogs, newsletters, website material, etc) of Christian Women in Science before publication or dissemination. 

· Report periodically on activities to the membership and to the ASA leadership.

The Board will consist of at least three and no more than ten CWIS members, who are also officially members of ASA. The perpetuation of the Board will be decided at a later date. Also, any other structure of the Board (such as President, Vice President, Secretary, etc) will be decided at a later date.

The Board will conduct its business through email, teleconferences, and other electronic means as needed, and will meet in person at the ASA national meeting each summer to the extent possible. 

Directors receive no compensation for their services. Decisions about CWIS requiring dues of members, or some other type of financial transactions or funding, will be decided at a later date.

[2] References in this document to science, or to science and engineering, should be assumed to refer to all four areas of science, technology, engineering, and math.

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