by: Paige Anderson
Celebrated scientist and microbiologist Rita Colwell has a new book out that reveals her struggle against sexism in the sciences. Now 85 years old, Dr. Colwell is the former director of the National Science Foundation, a distinguished professor at the University of Maryland and John Hopkins University and is the leading source of a breakthrough in the study of cholera. She hopes that revealing her own struggle with sexism will inspire other women to push forward in the field of science.
The coronavirus pandemic has also kept Dr. Colwell very busy. She is working with Maryland’s department of health to measure traces of Covid-19 in the states wastewater – a practice that researchers are conducting around the world to track the pandemic’s spread and predict future outbreaks. “Science is still male dominated and a good deal of persistence is still required”, said Dr. Colwell. Her book “A Lab of One’s Own: One Woman’s Personal Journey Through Sexism in Science” includes tips for how women can navigate implicit bias and get ahead.