News Release

REF NO.: 0


DATE: March 12, 2010

         Women in Science will be the subject of a lecture to be held Thursday, March 18, 7 p.m. in AS328 (Arts and Science Building, Grenfell College).

          Dr. Svetlana Barkanova, an associate professor at the Department of Physics of Acadia University, will speak about three inspiring women from the last century: mathematician Emmy Noether, physiologist Gerty Cori, and physicist Maria Goeppert-Mayer. All three, although highly accomplished researchers, were not able to secure full-time work in their field until later in life.

          The situation for women scientists is unquestionably better now, but some problems still remain. For example, in Canada, only one in five PhD holders in science or engineering is a woman. Although the unemployment rate for physicists with graduate degrees negligible, the few unemployed are mostly female. Why is this the case? Several possible reasons, such as the lack of role models, social and cultural context, and family responsibilities, will be discussed in Dr. Barkanova’s presentation.

          “I will also reflect on my experience on engaging female students, and briefly describe Techsploration, a program designed to increase the number of women working in science and technology related occupations,” she said.

          The group discussion will follow. All are welcome. There is no admission charge.

Dr. Svetlana Barkanova is an associate professor at the Department of Physics of Acadia University. She is passionate about both research and teaching. Her research path started with a graduate degree from Latvian University, followed by work as a research associate at the Nuclear Research Center of Latvian Academy of Sciences. She moved to Canada in 1998 to get a PhD from the University of Manitoba. Since 2003, Dr. Barkanova has been teaching at Acadia University, with courses ranging from introductory astronomy for 270 students to subatomic physics for six and advanced quantum mechanics for three. Dr. Barkanova is a recipient of the Acadia Student Union Teaching Recognition Award, has twice won first place in the Faculty Research Showcase (2004 and 2007), is an NSERC-funded researcher, and is the first female physicist at Acadia since the university was established in 1838.

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