March is Women’s History Month. This issue of Nature Immunology celebrates the contributions of women in immunology by presenting specially commissioned content from women across the globe.
Women in Immunology
Nature Immunology celebrates Women’s History Month by highlighting the contributions of women in immunology with specially commissioned content from women across the globe. In this Collection, we feature World Views from immunologists who offer reflections and advice on navigating careers. Also included is a Comment on championing immunology to governmental policy makers in the UK and a Perspective from intramural researchers at the US National Institutes of Health on the achievements of and challenges for women. We include archival content by past contributors of Comments featuring women in immunology.
World Views and Comment
As a female faculty member with experience at academic institutions in the United States and in China, I reflect on the challenges encountered along the way.
Male immunologists are scientists and nothing more; female immunologists are scientists and nothing less.
The greatest discoveries in science often come from unexpected findings based on curiosity and passion, rather than a precise plan. The same is true of our careers.
As scientists, we develop technical expertise and design experiments to support (or refute) our hypotheses. With experience, we appreciate that science can be conducted in a variety of ways — each with different key questions. All are critical for advancing biomedical research.
Men have a role to play as well in leveling the playing field for women scientists. This includes creating inclusive environments and accepting women as equal partners in the pursuit of science.
Ann Ager is chair of its Forum and a trustee for the British Society for Immunology, and council member of the International Union of Immunological Societies. She discusses her role as an advocate for immunology to governments and other policy makers.
Schwartzberg and colleagues discuss the advances and challenges for female scientists working in the field of immunology at the US NIH.
From the archive
The immunology research community lacks diversity, particularly at the top. Here I discuss diversity, inclusion and equity and their benefit to science. I suggest steps we can take to achieve a more diverse and inclusive community.
Omissions of qualified women scientists from major meeting programs continue to occur despite a surge in articles indicating persistent gender-discriminatory practices in hiring and promotion, and calls for gender balance in conference organizing committees.
Physician scientists bridge the gap between biomedical research and clinical practice. However, the continuing decrease in number of people who choose this career path poses a threat to the advancement of biomedical science and the translation of research findings to clinical practice.
The NIH, FDA and CDC offer a wide spectrum of job opportunities focused on improving public health through the discovery and translation of research, the regulation of safe and effective medicines, and the protection of health security.
Women are underrepresented in the science and engineering fields. Difficulties in balancing family life and work have a big role in women's opting out of scientific career paths. Institutions and funding agencies need to work harder to reverse this disparity.
How have women fared at Harvard since the events of four years ago? Here, Judy Lieberman and Laurie Glimcher reflect on progress made and barriers still to be breached.