The John Deere Chapter of Sigma Xi is pleased to announce the following program.

"Should We Tell our Daughters to Become Scientists?"

Dr. Talat Rahman
Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer
Physics Department, Kansas State University

7:00 pm, Sunday, Apr. 30, 2006
Science Building Room 102
Augustana College

According to some, scientists are among the highly regarded in society. They may not be rich, but they enjoy authority, credibility, and respect. Yet, the doors to this esteemed profession are only obliquely open to women and there is often talk of a chilly climate. On the other hand, simple rationales are also often sought to explain why women (and minorities) do not abound in the field. Could it be that the problem lies in the discipline and in the culture that it is made to promote?

In this talk I will examine some of the perspectives that girls and women (and minorities) themselves offer about the profession and what I see as obstructions to their smooth sailing in the field. I will also offer some thoughts on systemic changes that would help encourage more young women (and minorities) to consider professions in the sciences. My answer to the question is yes, not only for the sake of gender equality, but also because the more women join the profession the better the profession will be. While I will focus on women, my comments should apply equally to individuals from historically underrepresented groups.

Dr. Rahman is a condensed matter theorist who investigates the physics of nanomaterials and solid surfaces and interfaces. This work is important for solving technological issues such as thin film growth, new materials development, tailoring of properties of nanomaterials, controlling characteristics of catalysis and corrosion.  Dr. Rahman earned her first degrees in physics from Karachi and Islamabad universities in Pakistan and a doctorate in physics from the University of Rochester.

Special ceremony. Several student members of Sigma Xi are graduating this spring. In a brief ceremony preceding the talk, they will be honored with the presentation of a Sigma Xi honor cord, to be worn with their graduation gown on the day of commencement. Each student will bring us up to date on their plans for the future.  We wish them the very best in their future research projects.

Directions. Parking is available in Lot H, just north of the Science Building. You may enter on the ground floor at either the north or south entrance. The lecture hall is at the south end of the building. There is handicap parking at the north entrance.