Female scientists' research shines at Army Science Conference
December 10, 2008
By Lindy Kyzer
ORLANDO, Fla. (Army News Service, Dec. 4, 2008) -- At the 26th Army Science Conference, attended by leading defense researchers from across the globe, some were surprised to learn that female scientists are stepping into the spotlight more than ever for their discoveries.
Female scientists speaking at the 26th Army Science Conference, held Dec. 1-4 in Orlando, Fla., included:
Aca,!Ac Dr. Vijayalakshmi Ravindranath, the founding director of the National Brain Research Centre in India, a unique institution that's the first of its kind in the country
Aca,!Ac Dr. Eve Marder, the Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield Professor of Neuroscience and Chair of the Biology Department of Brandeis University
Aca,!Ac Dr. Evelyn Hu, Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Materials, University of California, Santa Barbara
At the conference, female scientists found equal footing with their male counterparts, with research and developments that have taken them to center stage.
Dr. Evelyn Hu has done innovative research with light, and discussed that research in a presentation at the conference as well as a Webcast at www.blogtalkradio.com/asc-2008.
"We do everything with light - we see with light, we sense with light," said Hu, who restructures light in order to make it accomplish new things. Her research into restructuring and manipulating light could lead to more efficient energy sources, lasers that turn on with a touch and more.
Dr. Angela Belcher, Germeshausen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, gave the keynote address Dec. 3, addressing how biological engineering can give nature new life.
Belcher has done groundbreaking research on how organisms can be manipulated to make useful devices for humans - from batteries to medical device applications.
Through genetic evolution and selection, we can get organisms to make complex devices, and improve them through evolution, said Belcher, who first became involved in the field because of her interest in evolution and the origin of life in high school.
It's the idea of passing on - how you have a genetic code that passes on information, and helps build who you are, said Belcher.
Belcher has equated her research to expanding the opportunities of nature by asking the question: if an organism can make one kind of oxide or element, why can't it build other structures, as well'
Belcher and the other female researchers at the 26th Army Science Conference are leaders in their fields and role models for the next generation of students and scientists. To listen to their webcasts, visit <a href="http://www.blogtalkradio.com/asc-2008"target=_blank>www.blogtalkradio.com/asc-2008</a>.