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CWIS: Christian Women in Science
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Christians in Science and Math

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Sunday, July 31, 2016


Erasmus 1466-1536
Nicholas Copernicus 1473-1543
Francis Bacon 1561-1627
Galileo Galilei 1564-1642
Johannes Kepler 1571-1630
George Washington Carver 1864-1943

Roger John Williams (1893–1988) was Christian and a biochemist who named folic acid and discovered pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5). He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and President of the American Chemical Society. He founded and directed the Clayton Foundation Biochemical Institute at the University of Texas (now called the Biochemical Institute). In 1972, he served as a member of President Nixon's Advisory Panel on Heart Disease.

Roger's older brother, Robert Runnels Williams (1886–1965), also was a Christian and a chemist who discovered the cure for Beriberi. In 1936 Williams made the correct structural determination of vitamin B1 and designed a synthesis for it. Williams named vitamin B1 “thiamin” and submitted it for addition to the American Medical Association’s publication New and Non-Official Remedies. The American Chemical Society added an e to the end of the name to reflect the amine nature of the vitamin. Thiamine is found in whole-grain cereals, meats, yeast, and nuts and acts as a cofactor in the enzymatic reaction that breaks down carbohydrates, alcohol, and some proteins.

Robert and Roger were the sons of pioneer missionaries to India. Their only sister, Alice Williams Linsley, was a Professor of Philosophy at Redlands University in California.

Women should be portrayed equally in images such as the one above. Women scientists of the Christian Faith include:

Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)
Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718-1799)
Mary Anning (1799-1847)
Agnes Giberne (1845-1939)
Sister Mary Celine Fasenmyer (1906-1996)
Rhoda Hawkins (living)
Anne Marie Thro (living)
Leslie Wickman (living)
Jennifer Wiseman (living)

Today there are more opportunities for women to receive the education and training necessary to advance in the many fields of science. It has been claimed, however, that in the past women played a minimal role in Science and the contribution of Christian women is even more minimal due to male dominance in the Church. While science has certainly been dominated by men, there is no doctrine or tradition in Christianity that inhibits women from being involved in science. If men have dominated, it is because in centuries past they were the ones who received the more advanced education.

It is also likely that the contributions of women in science and technology have been overlooked rather consistently by both secular historians and Christian historians. If the historian is looking for inventions and discoveries that bring about paradigm shifts, they will miss the contributions of many women. For centuries, women were discovering the healing properties of plants (phytomedicine), experimenting in chemistry to create dyes (remember Biblical Lydia?), and exploring methods for creating fibers and developing textile technologies. They invented things like buttons and butter churns, but these do not lead to paradigm shifts, only to an improved quality of life.




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Live Streaming: Catch the Plenary Talks

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Saturday, July 16, 2016




The plenary talks will be live-streaming for those who are not able to attend the Annual Meeting at Azusa Pacific University. ASA Fellow Terry Gray will record and live-stream all the plenary talks. Join us virtually online at this link:


Tags:  annual meeting 

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Dorothy Boorse Joins the ASA Executive Council

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Wednesday, July 13, 2016


 Dorothy Boorse

Dear Ladies of CWIS,

The ASA Executive Council is very, very happy to announce that Dorothy Boorse has been invited, and has graciously accepted, to serve on the Council to fill the vacancy left by a recent resignation. Dorothy is Professor of Biology at Gordon College. She is a wetland ecologist, with an interest in salt marshes, vernal pools, and invasive species. She is also passionate about connecting science and faith communities, increasing the success of women and minorities in science, and supporting science literacy. She teaches, mentors students, communicates with Christians interested in environmental issues, does research with students, and has co-authored an environmental science textbook for undergraduates. She is contributing author in two recent publications of the National Association of Evangelicals: "Loving the Least of These—Addressing a Changing Environment” (2011) and “When God and Science Meet—Surprising Discoveries of Agreement” (2015) and  I’m sure I’ve missed some of her other accolades!

Dorothy has also been very active in ASA, contributing to God and Nature, attending and presenting at national ASA conferences, writing for the PSCF journal, serving on our development/membership committee and more. We are honored to have her serve with us. Please welcome her yourself by email to, and/or see her at the annual meeting at Azusa Pacific University next week!

Sincerely in Christ,

Lynn Billman
ASA Executive Council President


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Prayer for the 2016 Annual Meeting at APU

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Almighty God, Lord of heaven and earth; we seek your blessing on the 2016 annual meeting of the ASA and CSCA.

May the organizers see You working on their behalf and rejoice.

May those who attend travel to and from the meeting in safety.

May all gathered there enjoy loving and respectful fellowship, remembering that their first loyalty is to You, Lord Jesus, and to the building up of your Kingdom.

May all the presenters be inspired by the Holy Spirit, ever mindful of the ministry of reconciliation to which they have been called.

May those who attend desire to know You and to communicate your holiness and your love in their homes and in their workplaces.

Grant that this time may be refreshing and encouraging to all who attend.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.




Tags:  annual meeting  prayer 

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STEM Education in Christian Schools

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Thursday, June 9, 2016


Girls from Wheaton Christian Grammar School in Winfield, Illinois have been attending STEM events at Argonne National Laboratory. This was organized in cooperation with the DuPage Regional Office of Education STEM Team. The girls and their mothers listened to presentations by women involved in STEM professions, participated in an interactive design activity, and observed a science demonstration. 

A successful STEM education provides students with science, math, and engineering/technology in sequences that build upon each other and can be used with real-world applications. STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and enables the next generation of innovators to create new products and processes that sustain our economy.

Most jobs of the future will require math and science and the fastest growing occupations require significant mathematics or science preparation.

Wheaton Christian Grammar School is committed to providing learning experiences that integrate science, technology, engineering, and math so that the students can serve the world for God’s glory. WCGS in Illinois and King's Ridge in Georgia are among a growing number of Christian schools committed to STEM education.


Tags:  Christian Schools  STEM 

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Azusa Conference and Women ASA Leaders

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Thursday, May 12, 2016


Dear Christian Women in Science,

2016 ASA Conference at Azusa Pacific University – Save $100 before May 31! 

Register before May 31 and get a $375 registration (regular member) for only $275!  Early Bird rates end May 31. This conference, celebrating ASA’s 75th year, features great field trips, excellent plenary speakers, a full plate of interesting talks, and two half-day workshops, one on genomic bioethics and one on practical Sunday School lessons on science.  Registration is open now here

Are you going to be at APU?  If so, please email Lynn at or and let her know so we can look for you. 

Faith Tucker, from the CWIS Board, is organizing a dynamite panel of discussion topics for the Azusa conference:

·       Oh! I Feel Like a Woman [Scientist] - Shania Twain might know what it's like to feel like a woman, but do you know what it's like to feel like a woman scientist? Women make up only one quarter of those working in the sciences, and their experiences in the laboratory, classroom and industry are unique and varied. Join the Christian Women in Science (CWIS) for a diverse panel of women discussing their experiences, joys and challenges of being a Christian woman working in the sciences.

·       Calling All Men! - There is more and more discussion about the lack of women working in the sciences, but is this issue only relevant to women? No! Come hear from both men and women about why increasing the number of women working in science is just as much of a men's issue and learn about how you can support your female colleagues, students, wives and daughters as they pursue their careers in science.

·       Ask Not What Your Students Can Do For You... -  But what you can do for your students. Today's students will be tomorrow's PIs, professors and project managers. But it is a long road from the undergraduate classroom to an established career in the sciences. In this session we will hear from current students and early career scientists about the challenges and questions they face and consider how ASA as an organization and we as individuals in our unique professional roles can support and encourage the next generation of Christians in the sciences.

In addition, ASA women will have a quick lunchtime together, a naturalist-led walk around the beautiful Azusa campus with its exotic flowers and foliage (open to all), a booth in the exhibitor area, and a State of CWIS meeting.  Hope to see you at Azusa!

Why is 2016 a Phenomenal Year for Women in Leadership in ASA!?  Do you realize what 2016 represents?  This year the three top leadership positions in ASA are being filled by women.  As of April 1, 2016:

·       Leslie Wickman became the ASA Executive Director

·       Vicki Best became the Director of Operations and Development, and

·       Lynn Billman became the President of the ASA Executive Council

While women have held the position of ASA Council President several times over ASA’s 75-yr history, Leslie’s appointment as Executive Director is an absolute first.  Leslie brings to us a wealth of experience as a researcher, teacher, and administrator, both in academia and in industry. She received her PhD in human factors and biomechanics from Stanford University and most recently was Program Director of Engineering and Director of the Center for Research in Science, both at Azusa Pacific University.

Her industry experience includes work at the Aerospace Corporation, the RAND Corporation, and Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space. Her work centered on the U.S. human spaceflight program, and she is a trained EVA/IVA test astronaut with over 100 hours of test time in a NASA spacesuit and an FAA private pilot's license. Last, but certainly not least, Leslie has a passion for reaching the church and our culture at large with the message that faith and science, rather than being in conflict with one another, instead complement one another.

Along with the appointment of Leslie as Executive Director, Vicki Best was appointed ASA's Director of Operations and Development. Vicki is already well known to the ASA family as Director of Business Development, where she has played a pivotal role in helping to manage the ASA's finances and to lead the ASA's development efforts.  Vicki brings to us a wealth of experience as an accountant, financial manager and business professional, both in the corporate world and the not-for-profit sector. She received her Bachelors in Arts in business administration with a concentration in accounting and mathematics from Gordon College. She most recently was Business/Property Manager  for Covenant Christian Academy (CCA), a PreK - Grade 12 classical, Christian school in the Boston area. She continues to work as Property Manager at CCA where she has served for 18 years and as Treasurer at First Congregational Church of Hamilton, her home church, where she has served for 20 years.

Vicki's additional not-for-profit experience includes accounting, development, tax and audit consulting for several faith-based organizations. Her corporate experience includes work at Putnam Investments, Health Reinsurance Management Partnership, and McNiff Real Estate Companies, LLC. She also serves as Treasurer of the Wazee Foundation and has just returned from a mission trip to Kenya with the organization's board of directors. Vicki has a genuine passion for her work with the ASA and believes she is uniquely suited to partner with Leslie to bring ASA to a new level of ministry effectiveness.

Hope you are having a wonderful spring, and congratulations to all of you graduating this month or next!  Blessings to you all.

Lynn Billman

CWIS President and President of the ASA Executive Council



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Recognition of Female Medical Researchers in Decline

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Tuesday, May 10, 2016


When you're settling in to watch a movie, and the music starts playing, it's hard to ignore the names that flash first in the opening credits: The Director. The Big Stars.

Name placement matters in academia, too. A recent study reveals there's a gender gap in who gets top billing on medical studies published in several of the most prestigious research journals.

Dr. Carolyn Lam, a cardiologist and faculty member of the Duke-NUS medical school in Singapore, says getting top billing isn't just about ego. The number of times you nab that "first author" spot on a research paper shapes how you're evaluated at work — everything from tenure possibilities to pay.

"This is our livelihood," Lam says. "It's important."

Traditionally, the last name in a series of authors on a science paper is also prestigious — it's reserved for the most established colleague. First and last in the series is best. That's why she was upset when she heard about the study in the British Medical Journal showing women are under-represented in that first position.


Read it all here: Top Medical Journals Give Women Researchers Short Shrift


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The 71st Annual Meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Friday, April 22, 2016


 Azusa Pacific University

“For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.” 1 Cor. 15:53

Take advantage of the early bird rate and register now for the Annual Meeting at Azusa Pacific University from July 22 through 25 at this link:

For details about workshops and field trip options check out the Annual Meeting brochure.




Tags:  ASA 

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April 2016 News From Vicki Best

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Thursday, April 21, 2016


Greetings from the ASA headquarters!

Spring time in New England is always a glorious time of year.  This week has been especially beautiful particularly in light of the Boston Marathon that took place this past Monday. Being a runner myself, I always love watching the 26.2 mile race and hearing the Boston Strong stories of hope, inspiration and victory. Similarly in the Christian faith, spring is a season when God brings new beginnings, fresh starts and expanded boundaries for us to grow in. It's a time of catapulted faith, fresh hope, new courage and rekindled passion.

As we have just concluded another fiscal year and a season in the life of ASA, I'd like to bring you a couple of important updates.

Giving At A Glance - For The Fiscal Year Ending March 31, 2016
I'm delighted to report the great news that we ended our fiscal year on a strong note - exceeding our annual fund goal by $9,585 and our capital campaign goal by $9,919 (see chart below). And we only need another $30,000 in gifts to fully fund our capital campaign. Thank you so very much for the generous and active participation of many faithful and dedicated members. We are truly grateful for your Christlike stewardship and God's provision!

                   Annual Fund         Capital Campaign
Budget              155,000              40,000
Actual               164,585              49,919
Difference        +   9,585            + 9,919

Farewell Reception for Randy Isaac and Meet and Greet for Leslie Wickman
We enjoyed a fabulous evening at the Ken Olsen Science Center at Gordon College on Friday, April 8 with 55+ guests in attendance including the ASA Executive Council who were in town for their semi-annual meeting. A special thanks to the many of you who contributed heart-felt tributes to Randy's memory book - that, YES, we managed to keep a surprise! You can check out the live-stream of the speeches and the wonderful photo collage at this link or directly from the ASA homepage

75th Anniversary Annual Meeting at Azusa Pacific University
Stay tuned for the registration roll out in the next few days. We hope to see you there!

As we enter the spring season and a new chapter in the life of ASA, I look forward with anticipation to the great things God has in store. This year in 2016, ASA is celebrating it's 75th anniversary - three quarters of a century of God's faithfulness. I'm fully confident and believe that God will continue His faithfulness to ASA and it's important ministry for the next 75 years.

Sincerely in Christ,


Vicki L. Best
Director of Operations and Development
American Scientific Affiliation
218 Boston Street
Suite 208
Topsfield, MA  01983


Tags:  ASA  Vicki Best 

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Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Thursday, April 7, 2016


Dear CWIS Members,

You may be aware that the CWIS Blog has an INDEX which is current as of today. This is a handy archive of articles written by or about Christian women in science. The articles are listed alphabetically by topic.

You may access this archive by clicking on the INDEX at the Group Page, or click here.

Wishing you all a blessed Eastertide.


Alice C. Linsley

CWIS Blog Administrator



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