From the Journal: The Journal of Chemical Physics
MELVILLE, N.Y., October 8, 2021 — Marie Curie. Rosalind Franklin. Alice Ball. Marie Maynard Daly. Chien-Shiung Wu. These women helped change the world through their knowledge, expertise, and drive to explore the physical sciences. Their stories and accomplishments resonate throughout history and help to inspire other scientists to chase after their own dreams of scientific achievement.
The Journal of Chemical Physics (JCP), by AIP Publishing, is showcasing research from leading women in physical chemistry and chemical physics through a collection of papers that highlight great scientific accomplishments in the fields and honor the women who inspired the scientists. The “Special Collection in Honor of Women in Chemical Physics and Physical Chemistry” received more than 250 submissions; most include a dedication to specific women in the field, past or present.
“Women scientists have made important contributions to the field of chemical physics and physical chemistry. These contributions have not been celebrated collectively, although special issues in honor of individual scientists have been published by various journals,” said Tim Lian, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Chemical Physics. “We are pleased that this special issue received enthusiastic support among the JCP community and are very proud to have been a part of this much deserved celebration of women scientists.”
In some instances, a paper was dedicated to a female scientist, who in turn also published a manuscript with its own dedication. This pathway of inspiration from female researcher to female researcher to female researcher highlights the important impact these scientists have on the next generation of brilliant female minds.
Vicki Grassian dedicated her paper, “Adsorption of constitutional isomers of cyclic monoterpenes on hydroxylated silica surfaces,” to several extraordinary women for “their excellence in physical chemistry/chemical physics as it has paved the way not only for us but for many others to build upon.”
One of those women who Grassian honored, Geraldine Richmond, has an article published in the collection, “Diol it up: The influence of NaCl on methylglyoxal surface adsorption and hydration state at the air-water interface,” and dedicated her work to Sandra Greer, a physical chemist who received awards for her advocacy for women in science. Grassian said Richmond is a great champion for many women’s careers in science, not just her own.
“Her research excellence and her leadership in working toward increasing the scientific success and leadership capacity of women scientists and engineers has inspired and empowered hundreds of early-career women scientists,” said Grassian. “I personally have followed her career path for decades. Just knowing how well a woman could do in academics, such as how Geri has done, is immensely important as it allows one to envision what they too can do in their careers.”
Though the number of women in the fields of STEM has been increasing over time, women are still underrepresented. However, in a December 2019 study, women identified social support as success factors in their careers, including family, friends, mentors, colleagues, and students.
Cristina Sanz dedicated her paper, “Multi-and single-reference methods for the analysis of multi-state peroxidation of enolates,” to Shirin Faraji, someone Sanz considers an influencer and inspiring figure in her career. She hopes young girls in STEM and physics also find someone to inspire them to do what they like.
“Collaborating with researchers and visiting places all over the world, learning from members of the community, transferring your knowledge, teaching students,” Sanz said. “It is all very comforting and fun.”
Grassian said STEM fields and physics have a lot of work to do to diversify the field. But for young women and girls considering a future in STEM, she hopes to inspire them to listen to their own inner voice and follow their passion and excellence in STEM.
“Because of you, physics will become a better field for future young woman and girls,” Grassian said. “Most importantly, physics will get the breadth of ideas and creativity needed to solve some of society’s greatest challenges.”
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