New York Women Become Mentors To Local Scientists

A survey conducted by the National Science Foundation found that women represented only 19 percent of the science and engineering workforce. One of the reasons cited was a lack of viable mentors and role models – a vital part of career development for women.

In response, more than 200 prominent women---with and without science degrees---are doing their best to fill that void for the remarkable female scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory by attending the annual Women's Partnership for Science luncheon and lecture on Sunday, June 29th, 2003.

At the June 29th luncheon, Dr. Phillip Reilly will deliver a relevant lecture for this historic year, “Ethics and the Genome: Are We Prepared For What We Are About To Discover?” On February 28, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s President Dr. James D. Watson celebrated the 50th anniversary of his Nobel-prize winning discovery of the structure of DNA. In April, it was announced that the human genome project was completed. The information from these achievements will continue to revolutionize biological science, and raise some serious ethical issues.

Dr. Reilly is CEO of the biotechnology company Interleukin Genetics, Inc. and an assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. In his new book Abraham Lincoln’s DNA and Other Adventures in Genetics (published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press), Reilly tells twenty-four stories about history, justice, human behavior, plants and animals, diseases, and ethical dilemmas. Dr. Reilly draws on real life examples to discuss these issues in human behavior.

Most attendees live between Manhattan and Cold Spring Harbor where the Laboratory is located, but many will drive in from the Hamptons or arrive from Connecticut by boat. Among the lunch attendees will be Silda Wall Spitzer, founder of Children for Children and the wife of New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

“The Women’s Partnership for Science was founded to support and encourage women scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and to develop outreach programs encouraging young women to pursue careers in science,” said Women’s Partnership for Science co-founder Kristina Perkin Davison.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has a long history of supporting female scientists. One of the greatest molecular biologists, Dr. Barbara McClintock, conducted her groundbreaking genetic research at CSHL and was one of only six women to ever receive the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. For many years, CSHL’s Postdoctoral Fellows program; Partners for the Future program for Long Island high school students; and Undergraduate Research Program have exposed young women to important role models and mentors at early points in their careers. Today, one-third of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s scientists are women. With the help of the Women’s Partnership for Science, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory will be able to continue to instill an inquisitive attitude about science for young women in elementary and secondary school students through its Long Island outreach program.

“Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory works hard to embrace women, and is one of the few places in the world where women of all ages are instructed in the techniques of molecular biology while becoming integrated members of a viable scientific community,” said Holly Cline, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Associate Director for Research.

The June 29th event will be held on the grounds of Peacock Point, a historic waterfront estate on the North Shore of Long Island, which has been the private home of the Davison family for 100 years. The estate has been written about in several books including Ron Chernow's House of Morgan and Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Caro's The Powerbroker. Tickets for the event, which include lunch by caterer Tink Mortimer, start at $175 per person. Tickets can be ordered by calling 516-367-6822.

Women’s Partnership For Science 2003 COMMITTEE
Co-Chairmen
KRISTINA PERKIN DAVISON
CRISTINA MARIANI-MAY
DEBORAH NORVILLE
NANCY TILGHMAN
Committee
SOPHIE B. AYRES
HYUNJA F. LASKIN
RHONDA BANKER
SIMONE MAILMAN
JAMIE NICHOLLS BIONDI
DR. GILLIAN SHEPHERD MESTRE
MEG BRAFF
JENNIFER T. NAYLOR
BETH BURRUS
MARIANNE PERKIN
LINDA H. CALABRESE
NICOLE GRESHAM PERRY
CATHERINE COLLEY
MARY S. PHIPPS
ISOBEL COLEMAN
BETSY PITTS
MARY DARLING
ALEXIA HAMM RYAN
MRS. DANIEL P. DAVISON
DEBBIE STEVENSON
WHITNEY FAIRCHILD
GRACE STILLMAN
SOMERS FARKAS
HELENE SUOZZI
PATRICIA FARMAN-FARMAIAN
JANE H. SUSSMAN
CAROLINE V. GERRY
LIETA URRY
LOLA GRACE
JENNIFER VANDEVENTER
BARBARA MATTHEWS HANCOCK
KATHLEEN BLAKEWAY WEBB
HEIDI HOLTERBOSCH
ELIZABETH WATSON
PAULA RAND HORNBOSTEL
ALISON WILSON
BLAIR HUSAIN