2,000 Women Speakers Worth Listening To

This is a list of over two thousand women, from different parts of the world and with different areas of expertise, who would make excellent speakers at atheist, skeptic, scientific or human rights events. If you can’t invite any of them specifically, the list may trigger ideas of similar women who you can invite.

It began as a list of a thousand women speakers that I compiled in 2012, after a debate on an atheist forum in which I was arguing for a better gender balance in speakers at such events. One particularly enlightened contributor disagreed because: “There are – and I am counting – no female scientists I would turn up for at a skeptics convention. Well, maybe Alice Roberts. The rest are male.”

There were two more rational counter-arguments: that there should be no discrimination on the grounds of gender, and that speakers should be chosen purely on merit. But in practice there currently is discrimination on the grounds of gender, speakers are not chosen purely on merit, and a better gender balance would introduce audiences to excellent new speakers.

Another counter-argument was that event organisers, because they want to focus on merit, simply don’t think of the gender of their speakers. This may be both true and also part of the problem. Organisers may just think of the established names that immediately come to mind, and then think of other speakers who are like these, which perpetuates the current bias.

I was then asked the question: how do organisers invite women speakers if they are not aware of them? Well, really, it’s not that hard. You just do a bit of research. I began this list with a thousand potential speakers, mostly from publicly available online sources, and I have since updated it to include two thousand women worth listening to.

This is not a list of potential speakers for any specific event, as each event has its own unique mix of requirements. But it shows that you can improve the quality of the list that you choose your speakers from by doing some research. For practical reasons, you may not be able to invite many of the specific women on this list to your particular event, but reading this list may trigger some ideas of similar women who you can invite.

Finally, I should add a caveat that I do not agree with the politics of all of the speakers on this list. This is similar to the caveat that the organisers of the Black Women in Europe Power Lists (which I link to on this list) have on their website. They say: “Please note that the criteria is that they wield power, and you may disagree with the politics of how some of them wield this power.”

If you would like to add any names, please do so in the comments.



  • Speakers at Atheist Ireland Empowering Women Through Secularism International Conference Dublin 2013
  • Organisers of Empowering Women Through Secularism Conference
  • Speakers at other Atheist Ireland Events
  • Promoters of Reason, Science, Human Rights and Secularism
  • Members of the National Women’s Council of Ireland
  • Members of the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment


  • Promoters of Reason, Science, Human Rights and Secularism
  • Ginetta Sagan and Anna Politkovskaya Human Rights Awards
  • Women Nobel Laureates of the 21st Century
  • Members of UN Expert Group on Gender, Science and Technology
  • UCL Inspiring Women in Science speakers programme
  • Guardian/UKRC list of Women Bloggers in Science, Engineering, Technology
  • Alice Bell’s list of Women Tweeters in Science, Technology, Environment
  • The Guardian list of Women Scientist Role Models
  • Women in Technology International Hall of Fame
  • Global Women Inventors and Innovators Hall of Fame
  • Women Mayors of major cities around the world
  • Black Women in Europe Power Lists
  • L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science International Awards
  • Organization for Women in Science in the Developing World Awards
  • Graduate Women International Speakers

United States

  • Speakers at CFI Women in Secularism Conferences 2012-2016
  • The Secular Women Speakers Bureau, USA
  • University of Minnesota Distinguished Women Scholars Awards
  • U of Minnesota Women Scientists & Engineers Speakers Program
  • APS Physics Women Speakers Program, USA
  • Women Scientists who give Awesome Seminars


Speakers at Atheist Ireland Empowering Women through Secularism International Conference 2013

Organizers of Empowering Women through Secularism Conference

Speakers at other Atheist Ireland Events

Promoters of Reason, Science, Human Rights and Secularism

  • Benedicta Attoh, Louth African Women’s Group
  • Mariaam Bhatti, Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland
  • Mairin de Burca, social and political activist
  • Emma Brannlund, NUIG Feminist Society
  • Sabina Brennan, Dept Psychology TCD
  • Elaine Byrne, Dept Political Science TCD
  • Jennifer DeWan, Cork Feminista
  • Joan Collins TD, Independents For Change
  • Jessica Connor, Irish Feminist Network
  • Ruth Coppinger TD, Solidarity
  • Eilish Corcoran, Development Officer, Women’s Manifesto project
  • Mary Cullen, Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies, TCD
  • Clare Daly TD, United Left Alliance
  • Eve Darcy, Comedian
  • Roja Fazaeli, TCD
  • Clara Fischer, Irish Feminist Network
  • Erin Gell, Irish Feminist Network
  • Patty Gray, anthropologist, NUI Maynooth
  • Noeleen Hartigan, Amnesty Ireland
  • Grainne Healy, Chairwoman of Marriage Equality
  • Kitty Holland, journalist and author
  • Roisin Ingle, journalist
  • Anele Jakiel, DWAG
  • Ann James, Humanist Association of Ireland
  • Sinead Kennedy, Coalition to Repeal 8th Amendment
  • Vanessa Lacey, Transgender Equality Network Ireland
  • Mary Lawlor, campaigner for rights of adoptees
  • Sandra Lewis, Coalition to Repeal 8th Amendment
  • Camille Loftus, socio-economic researcher
  • Fiona Looney, journalist
  • Miriam Lord, journalist
  • Catherine Lynch, Irish Network Against Racism
  • Kathleen Lynch, UCD
  • Catherine Martin TD, Green Party
  • Salome Mbugwe, AkiDWA
  • Susan McKay, former CEO Nat Women’s Council of Ireland
  • Mary McAuliffe, Pres Women’s History Association of Ireland
  • Helen McCormack, journalist and radio producer
  • Catherine McGuiness, former Supreme Court Judge
  • Catherine Phil McCarthy, poet
  • Dearbhail McDonald, journalist
  • Mamo McDonald, Hon Pres of Age and Opportunity
  • Mary Lou McDonald TD, Sinn Fein
  • Anthea McTiernan, editor of Irish Times Ticket Magazine
  • Alice Maher, artist
  • Catherine Morris, curator of Alice Milligan exhibition
  • Una Mullally, journalist
  • Catherine Murphy TD, Social Democrats
  • Fionnuala Murphy, Dublin Skeptics in the Pub, Skeprechauns
  • Siobhan O’Donoghue, director Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland
  • Elisa O’Donovan, UCD Students Against Sexism
  • Kathleen O’Neill, Kilbarrack CDP
  • Rebecca O’Neill, Dublin Skeptics in the Pub, Skeprechauns
  • Jane Ohlmeyer, TCD
  • Lynne Parker, theatre director
  • Averil Power, Fianna Fail Senator
  • Emma Regan, Irish Feminist Network
  • Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland
  • Fiona Ross, director of the NLI
  • Genevieve Shanahan, former UCC Atheists
  • Roisin Shortall TD, Social Democrats
  • Ailbhe Smith, Coalition to Repeal 8th Amendment
  • Brid Smith TD, People Before Profit
  • Anne Speed, SIPTU
  • Alison Spillane, Irish Feminist Network
  • Sonja Tiernan, Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies
  • Clare Treacy, chairperson of NWCI
  • Jillian van Turnhout, Independent Senator
  • Margaret Ward, Women’s Resource and Development Agency
  • Katherine Zappone, Independent Senator

Members of the National Women’s Council of Ireland

The National Women’s Council of Ireland’s vision is of an Ireland and of a world where there is full equality between women and men. Its mission is to to lead and be a catalyst for change in the achievement of equality between women and men. It has over 150 member organisations, some of which are listed here. You can get further information and contact details of all of its member organisations at this link.

Members of the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment

The Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment was an alliance of over 60 organisations including human rights, feminist and pro-choice organisations, trade unions, health organisations, NGOs, community organisations and many others, who successfully campaigned to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution, which made abortion unconstitutional.

  • Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC)
  • Action for Choice
  • AIMSI (Association for Improvements in Maternity Services Ireland)
  • Akidwa
  • ASLEF the Union
  • Amnesty Ireland
  • Anti-Austerity Alliance
  • Anti-Racism Network
  • Atheist Ireland
  • BeLong To
  • Bray and District Trade Council
  • Choice Ireland
  • Communications Workers Union
  • Community Workers Coop
  • Cork Pro-Choice
  • Doctors for Choice
  • Dun Laoghaire Repeal the 8th
  • Equality & Rights Alliance (ERA)
  • Galway Pro-Choice Group
  • Humanist Association Ireland
  • HUN Real Issues
  • ICCL (Irish Council for Civil Liberties)
  • ICTU (Irish Congress of Trades Unions)
  • ICTU Youth
  • IMPACT Trade Union
  • Kerry for Choice
  • Labour Women
  • Lawyers for Choice
  • Limerick Feminist Network
  • LINC (Advocating for Lesbian and Bisexual Women)
  • Mandate Trade Union
  • Medical Students for Choice
  • Midwives for Choice
  • National Traveller Women’s Forum
  • NWCI (National Women’s Council of Ireland)
  • Need Abortion Ireland
  • Northern Ireland Alliance for Choice
  • One Family
  • Parents for Choice
  • People before Profit Alliance
  • Rape Crisis Network Ireland
  • Re(al)Productive Health
  • Repeal Project
  • ROSA (Reproductive Rights Against Oppression Sexism & Austerity)
  • School of Social Justice UCD
  • Sligo Repeal the Eighth
  • Socialist Party
  • Socialist Workers Party
  • SWAI (Sex Workers Alliance Ireland)
  • TCD Students Union
  • TFMR Ireland (Terminations for Medical Reasons)
  • TENI (Transgender Equality Network Ireland)
  • The Workers’ Party Ireland
  • TUC (UK)
  • Trade Union Campaign to Repeal the 8th
  • USI (Union of Students in Ireland)
  • ULA United Left Alliance
  • UNITE the Union
  • UL Medical Students for Choice
  • Waterford Trade Council
  • X-ile Project


Promoters of Reason, Science, Human Rights and Secularism

  • Jessica Ahlquist, secular student activist
  • Rain Ashford, expert in wearable technology, digital futures
  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali, writer and activist
  • Athena Andreadis, Prof of cell biology and author
  • Trinity Aodh, Secular Women
  • Natalie Angier, science writer
  • Deirdre Barrett, Psychologist and author of Supernormal Stimuli
  • Sharon Begley, Science columnist Newsweek
  • Biodork, liberal blogger
  • Susan Blackmore, author
  • Brandi Braschler, Co-Founder & VP Secular Woman
  • Ann Brusseel, parliamentarian, Belgium
  • Leslie Cannold, author, columnist and ethicist, Australia
  • Kelly Carlin, Writer/Performer. Host of The Kelly Carlin Show
  • Jane Caro, writer, Australia
  • Miranda Celeste Hale, English educator and blogger, USA
  • Beth Ciesielski, ex-CFI, Belgium
  • Nell Cole, podcast producer
  • Jessica Constantine, Humanist Hour podcast
  • Anne Marie Cunningham, GP & clinical lecturer, Wales
  • Nonie Darwish, Founder and Director of Former Muslims United
  • Catherine Deveney, writer, comedian and author, Australia
  • Mariette DiChristina, Editor in Chief, Scientific American
  • Kate Donovan, Teen Skepchick blogger, Secular Woman
  • Barbara Drescher, Contributor to Insight blog at Skeptic Society
  • Ann Druyan, science writer
  • Rachel Dunlop, Blogger and Skeptic Zone podcaster
  • Sonja Eggerickx, IHEU, Belgium
  • Barbara Ehrenreich, writer and political activist
  • Lone Frank, Neurobiologist & science writer, Denmark
  • Karen Garst, author and blogger, USA
  • Bridget Gaudette, Co-Founder & VP Secular Woman
  • Pamela Gay, Astronomer and Astronomy Cast host
  • Annie Laurie Gaylor, Freedom From Religion Foundation, USA
  • Melinda Gebbie, comics artist of Lost Girls
  • Adrianne George, founder Black Women in Europe Blog
  • Noelle George, Foundation Beyond Belief, Secular Woman
  • Susan Gerbic, Organiser of Wikipedia editing project
  • Felicia Gilljam, Skepchick Sweden
  • Jane Goldman, writer and TV presenter, England
  • Rebecca Goldstein, philosopher and novelist
  • Susan Haack, Prof of philosophy and law
  • Harriet Hall, Science Based Medicine blogger and SkepDoc
  • Jennifer Hancock, author The Humanist Approach to Happiness
  • Tracie Harris, Atheist Experience show
  • Colleen Hartland, Victorian Greens, Australia
  • Sharon Hill, Doubtful News blogger
  • Arni Hole, philosopher and civil servant, Norway
  • Dana Hunter, science fiction writer and blogger
  • Deborah Hyde, The Skeptic magazine & Westminster Skeptics
  • Gulalai Ismail, Awaregirls, Pakistan
  • Rabbi Miriam Jerris, Society for Humanistic Judaism
  • Ellen Johnson, Former President American Atheists
  • Leila Johnston, technologist in Res, The Site Gallery, Sheffield
  • Kelly Jolkowski, founder of Project Jason
  • Zinnia Jones, writer and videoblogger
  • Wendy Kaminer, writer
  • Jennifer Keane, blogger (ZenBuffy)
  • Tracy King, Skepchick, England
  • Paula Kirby, Secular consultant & activist, UK
  • Bobbie Kirkhart, Author and Activist, USA
  • Asa Kleveland, Norwegian Humanist Association and singer
  • Joan Konner, Editor of The Atheist’s Bible
  • Nica Lali, author of Nothing: Something to Believe in
  • Carolyn Leighton, Founder Women in Technology International
  • Lyz Liddell, Secular Student Alliance, Secular Woman
  • Lori Lipman Brown, politician
  • Elisabeth Loftus, psychologist and memory expert
  • Stef McGraw, activist and blogger
  • Emma McKenna, film editor and producer, Australia
  • Shiela McLean, writer and ethicist
  • Marion Maddox, theologian and philosopher, Australia
  • Maria Maltseva, attorney, writer and blogger (Blu Harmony)
  • Molleen Matsumura, co-author Raising Freethinkers
  • Sara E Mayhew, Illustrator and storyteller
  • Gea Meijers, IHE Youth Org, Belgium
  • Daniela Meli, Eskeptica, Spain
  • Adele Mercier, philosopher
  • Gia Milinovich, TV presenter, England
  • Maggie Millar, actress and artist, Australia
  • Ashley Miller, writer and blogger, Secular Woman
  • Sarah Morehead, Dep Exec Director Secular Woman
  • Sharon Moss, Alumni Director Secular Student Alliance
  • Maryam Namazie, British Council of Ex-Muslims
  • Meera Nanda, secular writer and philosopher, India
  • Taslima Nasrin, writer, poet, activist, Bangladesh
  • Betty Nassaka, rights campaigner, Uganda
  • Jennifer Ouellette, science writer
  • Christine Overall, philosopher and writer, Canada
  • Sumitra Padmanabhan, Humanist Association of India
  • Ashley Paramore, Dev Director Secular Student Alliance
  • Fiona Patten, Founder Australian Sex Party
  • Jen Peeples, Atheist Experience show
  • Katha Pollitt, American feminist poet, essayist, critic
  • Carrie Poppy, Skeptical activist and podcaster
  • Sue Ann Post, Australian comedian
  • Laura Purdy, Philosopher, Canada
  • Cristina Rad, video blogger, Romania
  • Catherine Redfern, The F Word, England
  • Rosie Redfield, University of British Columbia
  • Natalie Reed, skeptical blogger
  • Shabana Rehman, comedian and writer, Norway/Pakistan
  • Ann Reid, National Center for Science Education, USA
  • Kim Rippere, Co-Founder & President Secular Woman
  • Chris Rodda, author and blogger
  • Rose St Clair, activist and blogger
  • Eugenie Scott, National Center for Science Education, USA
  • Eve Seibert, Editor and Blogger at Skeptical Humanities
  • Sarah Silverman, comedian
  • Nina Shea, human rights lawyer, religious freedom advocate
  • Ariane Sherine, journalist, UK
  • Abbie Smith, scientist and blogger
  • Joan Smith, columnist, critic and novelist
  • Tanya Smith, former President Atheist Alliance Int, Australia
  • Kate Smurthwaite, British comedian and activist
  • Jill Sobule, singer
  • Karen Stollznow, Linguist and paranormal investigator
  • Nadine Strossen, former ACLU President
  • Kylie Sturgess, founder of Token Skeptic podcast
  • Diane Swanson, children’s author
  • Julia Sweeney, comedian
  • Carol Tavris, author of Mistakes were Made
  • Emma Tom, Australian journalist and author
  • Polly Toynbee, British journalist and Humanist
  • Silvana Ulrich, IHE Youth Org, Germany
  • Nora Volkow, Director US Nat Institute on Drug Abuse
  • Ann Marie Waters, One Law for All Campaign, UK
  • Christine Winterbourn, biochemist, Rutherford Medal winner, NZ
  • Stella Young, comedian and disability advocate, Australia

Ginetta Sagan Award for Human Rights Activism

Amnesty International USA makes an award each year to a woman campaigning for human rights in an area where rights violations are widespread. The award is in honor of Ginetta Sagan, who worked with Amnesty International on behalf of prisoners of conscience.

  • 2017 Charon Asetoyer, USA, Native American Community Board
  • 2016 Julienne Lusenge, Congo, Female Solidarity for Peace & Development
  • 2015 Amal Habbani, Sudan, No to Women’s Oppression Initiative
  • 2014 Magda Adly, Egypt, El Nadim Center for Victims of Violence
  • 2014 Suzan Fayad, Egypt, El Nadim Center for Victims of Violence
  • 2012 Jenni Williams, Women of Zimbabwe Arise
  • 2010 Rebecca Masika Katsuva, Congo APDUD
  • 2009 Yolanda Becerra Vega, Colombia Popular Women’s Organization
  • 2008 Betty Makoni, Zimbabwe, Girl Child Network
  • 2007 Lydia Cacho Ribeiro, Mexico, CIAM crisis centre
  • 2006 Ljiljana Raicevic, Serbia/Montenegro Women’s Safe House
  • 2005 Hawa Aden Mohamed, Somalia, Galkayo Education Center for Peace
  • 2004 Nebahat Akkoc, Turkey, Ka-Mer Women’s Center
  • 2003 Sonia Pierre, Dominican Republic, MUDHA
  • 2002 Jeannine Mukanirwa, Congo/Canada PAIF
  • 2000 Helen Akongo, Uganda, Gulu Support the Children Organization
  • 2000 Giulia Tamayo Leon, Peru/Spain, human rights lawyer
  • 2000 Hina Jilani, Pakistan, Women’s legal aid program
  • 1999 Sima Wali, Afghanistan/USA, Refugee Women in Development
  • 1999 Adriana Portillo-Bartow, Guatemala/USA Children’s rights
  • 1998 Beatrice Mukansinga, Rwanda, Speak, I am Listening
  • 1997 Mangala Sharma, Bhutan/Nepal/USA, BRAVE

Anna Politkovskaya Award for Human Rights Activism

The human rights organization Reach All Women in War makes an award each year to a woman human rights defender from a conflict zone. The award is in honor of Anna Politkovskaya, the Russian journalist and human rights activist who was murdered in 2006.

Women Nobel Laureates of the 21st Century

Members of UN Expert Group on Gender, Science and Technology

  • Monia Cheikh, Tunisia, Prof of Physics U of Tunis El Manar
  • Flavia Franconi, Italy, Prof of Pharmacology U of Sassari
  • Sophia Huyer, Canada, Exec Dir WIGSAT Women, Technology, Society
  • Kong-Ju-Bock Lee, Korea, DG Nat Inst for Supporting Women in Science
  • Verdiana Grace Masanja, Tanzania, Prof Applied Maths Nat U of Rwanda
  • Mereseini Seniloli, Fiji, Secretariat of the Pacific Community
  • Nikolina Sretenova, Bulgaria, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Sofia

UCL Inspiring Women in Science speakers programme

UCL’s Inspiring Women in Science speakers programme aims to introduce girls to science in an appealing way and to show how science directly relates to their lives, To book a speaker for your school, please contact UCL’s Equality and Diversity Team at equalities@ucl.ac.uk. Examples of speakers are:

  • Claire Crowley, tissue engineer, development of organ replacements
  • Clare Elwell, Professor of Medical Physics at UCL
  • Eva Sorensen is a Professor in Chemical Engineering at UCL
  • Flavia Mancini, neuroscientist investigating how we perceive pain
  • Jennifer Bizley, neuroscientist working at UCL’s Ear Institute
  • Larissa Suzuki, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
  • Martina Micheletti, Biochemical Engineering
  • Snezana Djordjevic, Structural and Molecular Biology
  • Ines Pineda-Torra, control of lipid metabolism by receptors

The Guardian/UKRC list of Women bloggers in Science, Engineering and Technology

Guardian blogger Martin Robbins, inspired by Jennifer Rohn, compiled a list of women bloggers in Science, Engineering and Technology. The UK Resource Centre for Women in SET, which runs the GetSET Women blog, alphabetized it.

Alice Bell’s list of Women Tweeters in Science, Technology, Environment

Alice Bell (@alicebell)’s list of 50 ace women tweeters who have some connection to science, technology, environment and/or health

  • Kate AG @RadioKate Freelance radio geek/producer/journalist
  • Emily Anthes @EmilyAnthes Science writer, author Frankenstein’s Cat
  • Kat Arney @harpistkat The Nigella of Science
  • Hayley Birch @gingerbreadlady Freelance science writer & editor
  • Jessica Bland @pesska Technology futures @nesta_uk
  • Deborah Blum @deborahblum Book author, science journalist, blogger
  • Jo Brodie @JoBrodie Likes science communication and film music
  • Michelle Brook @MLBrook thinker, writer, researcher
  • Joanna Bryson @j2bryson Artificial & natural intelligence
  • Karen Bultitude @karenbultitude Sci comm academic and practitioner
  • Sophia Collins @sophiacol http://nappysciencegang.wordpress.com
  • Zoe Corbyn @ZoeCorbyn journalist writing about science, technology
  • GF Davies @gailfdavies Prof in Human Geography at Exeter University
  • Catherine de Lange@catdl Feature editor at New Scientist
  • Hannah Devlin @hannahdev The Guardian’s Science Correspondent
  • Tori Herridge @ToriHerridge dwarf elephant expert & palaeobiologist
  • Rebekah Higgitt @beckyfh Historian of science @KentCHOTS
  • Mariette DiChristina @mdichristina Editor in Chief and Senior VP, @sciam
  • Athene Donald @AtheneDonald Physics Professor Cambridge University
  • Vanessa H @HPS_Vanessa Historian and Guardian Science Blogger
  • Lou Hurst @lou_hurst ukpolicymatters.thelancet.com
  • Louise Johnson @LouiseJJohnson Evolutionary geneticist
  • Viki Johnson @victoria_plumb researcher of energy transitions
  • Aleks Krotoski @aleksk Raising $¥€£ for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Soc
  • Hilary Leevers @HLeevers working to improve science education
  • Xameerah Malik @xmalik
  • Jo Marchant @JoMarchant Science journalist and author
  • Zita Martins @ZitaMartins Astrobiology researcher. Science communicator
  • Naomi McAuliffe @NaomiMc Head of @AmnestyScotland
  • Sylvia McLain @girlinterruptin Runs biophysics research @ Oxford Uni
  • Brigitte Nerlich @BNerlich humanities and social sciences
  • Rebecca Onion @rebeccaonion Staff writer @Slate, history & culture
  • Christine Ottery @christineottery Feminist and ex-Energydesker
  • #Hellomynameis Petra @DrPetra Agony Aunt at Telegraph
  • Christina Pikas @cpikas Science & engineering librarian
  • Becky Purvis @BeckyPurvis Head of Public Affairs at the Royal Society
  • Elin Roberts @elinoroberts enjoying science isn’t just for scientists
  • Jennifer Rohn @JennyRohn cell biologist at UCL. broadcaster, writer
  • Sophie Scott @sophiescott UCL professor, neuroscience of voices
  • Marieclaire Shanahan @mcshanahan Assoc Prof Science Education
  • Beck Smith @beck_smith Adviser @savechildrenuk
  • Olivia Solon @oliviasolon journalist covering tech, science & digital culture
  • Kaitlin Thaney @kaythaney programs at @mozilla foundation
  • Elvira Uyarra @euyarra Manchester Institute of Innovation Research
  • Gaia Vince @WanderingGaia Writer, broadcaster, author
  • Christie Wilcox @NerdyChristie Author of Venomous & Science Sushi
  • Alexandra Witze @alexwitze Correspondent for Nature
  • Lou Woodley @LouWoodley Community Engagement @trelliscience

The Guardian list of Women Scientist Role Models 2010

Science commentator Alom Shaha compiled this list for the Guardian in 2010 under the heading Where’s the female Brian Cox? and commenters added other suggestions.

Recommendations from commenters:

Women in Technology International Hall of Fame

Women in Technology International is a professional support network for women in all sectors of technology. Every year it adds new inductees to its Hall of Fame to recognize, honor and promote the contribution of women to the scientific and technological communities that improve and evolve our society.

Global Women Inventors and Innovators Hall of Fame

The Global Women Inventors and Innovators Network has a Hall of Fame. Follow the link for further details.

Europe – Inventors

  • Federica Migliardo, Italy, biotechnological applications
  • Joan Bree, Ireland, new product for sun-care market.
  • Marika Mikelsaar, Estonia, medical microbiology
  • Maire McLoone, UK, Electronic Engineering
  • Christiane Mentrup, Germany/Switzerland, occupational therapist
  • Virpi Roto, Finland, Minimap web browser

Europe – Innovators

  • Cintra Jaggan-Vince, UK, social entrepreneur
  • Giselle Rufer, Switzerland, creator of the Delance watch brand
  • Maria Conceicao, Portugal/Dubai, Started the Dhaka Project
  • María Kristin Magnusdottir, Iceland, luxury shoe designer
  • Myriam Tamagni, Belgium, founded Tamarico
  • Ndieme Ndao, Switzerland/Senegal – founder Dieme Cosmetics Sarl
  • Nicola Hochgruber, Germany, Accor Hotellerie Deutschland GmbH
  • Petra Moske, Germany, social entrepreneur.
  • Patricia O’Sullivan, Ireland, runs the M50 Enterprise Programme
  • Runa Magnusdottir, Iceland, interior design import company
  • Sharon Adler, Germany, founder and editor of Aviva-Berlin e-zine
  • Vanessa Hannen, Germany/Italy, Master of Arts in Design in Milan

Pan-African Women Invent & Innovate 2005

  •  Nella Kumafo, Ghana, 2005 Overall Winner Award
  • Tomilola Awoniyi, Nigeria, Product Development
  • Aissa Dione Tissus, Senegal, Textile, Craft, Furniture Design
  • Zoe Dean-Smith, Swaziland, Managing Director of Gone Rural
  • Bisi Adeleye Fayemi, African Women’s Development Fund
  • Dr Hilda Tadia, African Women’s Development Fund
  • Joanna Foster, African Women’s Development Fund
  • Lara Cookey, Nigeria, Managing Director of Context Design
  • Margaret C. A. Owino, Kenya, Oywa Cookit solar cooker
  • Gloria Asare Adu, Ghana, Global Bamboo Products
  • Alexandra Graham, Nigeria, La Gray pharmaceutical production
  • J.M Ghartey, Ghana, Juliette’s Garden Floriculture
  • Heather Badger, Ghana, high end gift items
  • Simi Belo, Nigeria, NewHair wig design
  • Elizabeth Maldini, Ghana, Elsa Foods
  • Mary C. Kalikawe, Tanzania, ecotourism
  • Ester Afua Ocloo (posthumous), Ghana, Nkulenu Industries

Women Mayors of major cities around the world

As compiled in August 2016 on the Women in International Politics website.


  • Bulgaria, Sofia: Yordanka Fandakova
  • Czech Republic, Prague: Adriana Krnáčová
  • France, Paris: Anne Hidalgo
  • France, Lille: Martine Aubry
  • Germany, Cologne:  Henriette Reker
  • Germany, Dresden: Helma Orosz
  • Italy, Rome: Virginia Raggi
  • Italy, Turin: Chiara Appendino
  • Italy, Genoa: Marta Vincenzi
  • Luxembourg, Luxembourg City: Lydie Polfer
  • Norway, Oslo: Marianne Borgen
  • Norway, Bergen: Marte Mjøs Persen
  • Norway, Trondheim: Rita Ottervik
  • Poland, Warsaw: Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz
  • Romania, Bucharest: Gabriela Firea
  • Spain, Madrid: Manuela Carmena
  • Spain, Barcelona: Ada Colau
  • Switzerland, Geneva: Esther Alder
  • Switzerland, Zurich: Corine Mauch
  • Sweden, Malmo: Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh
  • United Kingdom, Glasgow: Sadie Docherty

North and South America

  • Argentina, Rosario: Mónica Fein
  • Brazil, Natal: Micarla de Sousa
  • Canada, Surrey: Linda Hepner
  • Canada, Mississauga: Bonnie Crombie
  • Chile, Santiago de Chile: Carolina Tohá
  • Mexico, Monterrey: Margarita Arellanes Cervantes
  • Peru, Lima: Susana Villarán
  • USA, Washington DC: Muriel Bowser
  • USA, Las Vegas: Carolyn Goodman
  • USA, Baltimore: Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
  • Uruguay, Montevideo: Ana Olivera

Asia and Australasia

  • Australia, Darwin, North Territory: Katrina Fong Lim
  • Australia, Sydney: Clover Moore
  • India, Pune: Vaishali Bankar
  • India, South Delhi: Savita Gupta
  • Iraq, Baghdad: Zekra Alwach
  • Japan, Tokyo: Yuriko Koike
  • Japan, Yokohama: Fumiko Hayashi
  • New Zealand, Wellington: Celia Wade-Brown
  • New Zealand, Christchurch: Lianne Dalziel
  • Philippines, Zamboanga City: Maria Isabelle Climaco Salazar
  • Taiwan, Kaohsiung: Chen Chu


  • Liberia, Monrovia:  Mary Broh
  • Sierra Leone, Koidu: Mary Musa
  • South Africa, Cape Town: Patricia de Lille

Black Women in Europe Power Lists

The website Black Women in Europe has compiled Power Lists in 201020112012201320142015, 2016, and 2017, to acknowledge powerful black women in Europe and to inspire others to reach their full potential. Please note that the criteria is that they wield power, and you may disagree with the politics of how some of them wield this power.

2017 Power List

  • Erma Manoncourt, France, Founder and President of M&D Consulting
  • Tokie Laotan-Brown, Germany/Nigeria, Architectural Technologist
  • Aysha Jones, Sweden/Gambia, social activist and fashion entrepreneur
  • Nicole Crentsil, UK, Co-founder of Black Girl Festival
  • Paula Akpan, UK, Co-founder of Black Girl Festival

2016 Power List

  • Amma Assante, UK, Award-Winning Filmmaker
  • Ellen Brudet, the Netherlands, Creator of dolls of color
  • Sophia James, UK, 1st Black Female Reading Councillor
  • Jennifer Tosch, the Netherlands, Founder of Black Heritage Tours
  • Monique Wells, France, Académie de l’Art Culinaire du Monde Créole

2015 Power List

  • Arabella Kiesbauer, Austria, Journalist and TV Personality
  • Arlette Bomahou, Ireland, world power lifting champion
  • Chi-chi Nwanoku MBE, UK, founder Chinike! music foundation
  • Maggie Aderin-Pocock, UK, space scientist and TV presenter
  • Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, Germany, Parliamentarian

2014 Power List

  • Tina Turner Bach, USA, singer and actor
  • Cecilia Gärding, Sweden, Film producer and director, musician
  • Alice Bah Kuhnke, Sweden, Minister for Culture and Democracy
  • Gloria Mika, Greece, Model and human rights advocate
  • Shanaze Reade, UK, three times BMX world champion

2013 Power List

  • Rioch Edwards-Brown, UK, Founder So You Wanna Be In TV?
  • Obiocha A. Ikezogwo, UK, 2013 MILEAD Fellow
  • Cécile Kyenge Kashetu, Italy, Minister for Integration
  • Emma McQuiston, England, Viscountess Weymouth
  • Justina Mutale, UK, Founder & CEO Positive Runway
  • Ade Onilude, UK, Founder Women in Marketing Awards
  • Claire Requa, Denmark Award winning jewelry designer
  • Susan Enie Muyang Tatah, Germany, Founder Int. African Festival

2012 Power List

  • Bola Agbaje, England, Award-Winning Playwright
  • Fatou Bensouda, Netherlands,  Chief Prosecutor Int. Criminal Court
  • Natalie Louise Brown, England, Talk Show Host
  • Baroness Cécile de Massy, Monaco, Philanthropist
  • Doreen Lawrence, England, Activist and Writer
  • Pauline Long, England Founder of BEFFTA
  • Loreen, Sweden,  Singer 2012 Eurovision Song Contest winner
  • Mariam Osman Sherifay, Sweden, Politician and Activist
  • Yvonne Thompson, UK, Entrepreneur
  • Mirel Wagner, Finland, Singer and Songwriter
  • Zuzana Tvarůžková, Czech Republic TV News Presenter

2011 Power List

  • Andrea Adams, Italy, Co-founder of Travelista TV
  • Urszula Bhebhe, Poland’s first black athletic champion
  • Malorie Blackman, UK, Literature, Award Winning Writer
  • Alina Buchschacher, Lifestyle, Miss Switzerland 2011
  • Maryse Condé, France, Literature, Award Winning Writer
  • Noella Coursaris, UK, Lifestyle, Model and Philanthropist
  • Rougui Dia, Lifestyle, France, Head chef at 144 Petrossian
  • Rokhaya Diallo, Social Activism, France, Founder of Les Indivisibles
  • Rose Dieng-Kuntz, France, Science (Posthumous Award)
  • Waris Dirie, Austria, Social Activism, campaigner against FGM
  • Melinda Victoria Elvenes , Lifestyle, Miss Norway Universe 2010
  • Huguette Fatna, France, Politics, member of National Front Party
  • Kathleen Ferrier, Netherlands, Politics, Member of Parliament
  • Carlene Firmin, UK, Social Activism, MBE
  • Mercedes Frias, Italy, Politics, First black member of Parliament
  • Steffi Jones, Germany, Athletics, Pres 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup
  • Iman Kerigo, Lifestyle, Miss Norway 2010
  • Brenda King, England, Social Activism, Commissioner WNC
  • Aïssa Maïga, France, Lifestyle, Actress
  • Kornelia Donato Mango, Russia, Music, Singer, Artist, TV Star
  • Inna Modja, France, Music, Pop star, fashion icon
  • Saido Mohamed, Finland, Social Activism, Finnish Somalia Network
  • Funmi Odegbami, England, Business  & Entrepreneurship
  • Lola Odusoga-Wallinkoski, Finland, TV Presenter
  • Safia Otokoré, France, Politics, VP Regional Council of Burgundy
  • Lorraine Pascale, England, Business & Entrepreneurship
  • George Pau-Langevin, France, Politics, Member of Parliament
  • Igiaba Scego, Italy, Literature, Award-winning author
  • Patricia Sellers, England, Law, Special Legal Advisor to UNHCHR
  • Mary Lee Sjönell, Sweden, Media, Producer
  • Hapsatou Sy, France, Business & Entrepreneurship
  • Pamela Thomas-Graham, Switzerland, Business & Entrepreneurship
  • Victoria Walldin, Sweden, Lifestyle , Anthropologist
  • Virginia Wangare-Greiner, Germany, Social Activism, Founder of Maisha
  • Rhoda Wilson, England, Media, TV Host

2010 Power List

  • Diane Abbott, Politics, England
  • Zahra Abdulla, Politics, Finland
  • Beatrice Achaleke, NGO, Austria
  • Glory Alozie, Lifestyle, Spain
  • Dounne Alexander, Business, England
  • Baroness Valerie Amos, Politics, England
  • Samata Angel, Business, England
  • Princess Angela, Lifestyle, Liechtenstein
  • Benedicta Attoh, Social Entrepreneur, Ireland
  • Floella Benjamin, Lifestyle, England
  • Grace Bumbry, Lifestyle, Austria
  • Naomi Campbell, Lifestyle, England
  • Sandy Cane, Politics, Italy
  • Rosemary Chileshe, Lifestyle, England
  • Lisa Cooper, Business, Norway
  • Othella Dallas, Lifestyle, Switzerland
  • Gaitana Essami, Lifestyle, Ukraine
  • Joan Ferrier, NGO, Netherlands
  • Trisha Goddard, Media, England
  • Naide Gomes, Lifestyle, Portugal
  • Tonya Graves, Lifestyle Czech Republic
  • Bonnie Greer, Lifestyle, England
  • Caroline Henderson, Lifestyle, Denmark
  • Barbara Hendricks, Lifestyle, Sweden
  • Dame Kelly Holmes, Lifestyle, England
  • Sirelda Jackson, Business, Netherlands
  • Danitzah Jacobs, Business, Netherlands
  • Yvette Jarvis, Politics, Greece
  • Yana Johnson, Business, England
  • Sandrine Joseph, Business, France
  • Yelena Khanga, Lifestyle, Russia
  • Grada Kilomba, Lifestyle, Germany
  • Kanya King, Business, England
  • Oona King, Politics, England
  • Matilda MacAttram, Social Activism, England
  • Gisele Mandaila, Politics, Belgium
  • Lucia Mwihaki Kimani Marcetic, Athlete, Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Ottey Marlene, Lifestyle, Slovenia
  • Caroline Marsh, Business, England
  • Salome Mbugua, Social Entrepreneur, Ireland
  • Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, Lifestyle, Netherlands
  • Alison Bethel McKenzie, Media, Austria
  • Marie Ndiaye, Lifestyle, France
  • Kay Oldroyd, Social Entrepreneur
  • England, Euzhan Palcy, Lifestyle, France
  • Audrey Pulvar, Media, France
  • Sandra Rafaela, Politics, Netherlands
  • Nyamko Sabuni, Politics, Sweden
  • Baroness Patricia Scotland, Politics, England
  • Zadie Smith, Lifestyle, England
  • Noah Sow, Lifestyle, Germany
  • Veye Tatah, Media, Germany
  • Christiane Taubira, Politics, France
  • Chika Unigwe, Lifestyle, Belgium
  • Valerie van de Kaa, Business, Netherlands
  • Lori van Echtelt, Business, Netherlands
  • Felicia Weathers, Lifestyle, Germany
  • Rama Yade, Politics, France

L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science International Awards 

L’Oréal and UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) make annual awards to promote science and identify outstanding women scientists. The following are the national awards for UK and Ireland, and the international awards for the five global regions of Africa and Arab States, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America.

L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards, UK & Ireland

  • 2018 Yanlan Mao, University College London, cell and tissue repair
  • 2018 Emma Liu, University of Cambridge, volcanology research,
  • 2018 Nicola Farrer, University of Oxford, anti-cancer drugs
  • 2018 Nathiya Muthalagu, Beatson Institute for Cancer Research
  • 2018 Lucia Prieto-Godino, Francis Crick, neuroscience
  • 2017 Radha Boya, University of Manchester, Nanoscience
  • 2017 Annie Curtis, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Immunology
  • 2017 Manju Kurian, UCL Institute of Child Health, Cerebral palsy
  • 2017 Bethan Psaila, University of Oxford, Haematology; Myelofibrosis
  • 2017 Priya Subramanian, University of Leeds, Non-repeating quasicrystals
  • 2016 Sophie Acton, University College London, tumour progression
  • 2016 Maria Bruna, University of Oxford, particle systems
  • 2016 Sam Giles, University of Oxford, early fishes
  • 2016 Tanya Hutter, University of Cambridge, chemical sensors
  • 2016 Louisa Messenger, London School of Hygiene, chagas disease
  • 2015 Paola Crippa, University of Newcastle, matter pollution
  • 2015 Joanne Durgan, Babraham Inst Cambridge, cancer research
  • 2015 Aarti Jagannath, University of Oxford, body clock
  • 2015 Rita Tojeiro, University of St Andrew, bright stars to dark energy
  • 2015 Tríona Ní Chonghaile, University College Dublin, breast cancer
  • 2014 Tracy Briggs, University of Manchester, single-gene disorders
  • 2014 Eva-Maria Graefe, Imperial College London, quantum systems
  • 2014 Clémence Blouet, University of Cambridge, obesity research
  • 2014 Sneha Malde, University of Oxford, matter and anti-matter
  • 2013 Emily Jones, Birkbeck University, Cognitive development
  • 2013 Suchitra Sebastian, University of Cambridge, Physics
  • 2013 Katie Hampson, University of Glasgow, Canine rabies
  • 2013 Tracey Gloster, University of St. Andrews, Biology
  • 2012 Silvia Giordani, Trinity College Dublin, Chemistry
  • 2012 Katrina Lythgoe, Imperial College London, Evo Epidemiology
  • 2012 Claire Spottiswoode, University of Cambridge, Evo Biology
  • 2012 Geetha Srinivasan, Queen’s University Belfast, Chemistry
  • 2011 Victoria Coker, University of Manchester, Environmental
  • 2011 Emily Flashman, University of Oxford, Oxygen sensing
  • 2011 Monika Gullerova, University of Oxford, Gene loop structures
  • 2010 Pia Mukherjee, University of Sussex, Astronomy
  • 2010 Nathalie Pettorelli, Zoological Soc of London, Conservation
  • 2010 Dora Biro, University of Oxford, Bird migration
  • 2010 Lourdes Basabe-Desmonts, Dublin City University, Stem cells
  • 2009 Jennifer Bizley, University of Oxford, Perception of sound
  • 2009 Patricia Alireza, University College London, Electronic transitions
  • 2009 Nathalie Seddon, University of Oxford, Animal communication
  • 2009 Elizabeth Murchison, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cancer
  • 2008 Sarah Bridle, University College London, Dark universe
  • 2008 Ashleigh Griffin, University of Edinburgh, Microbial infections
  • 2008 Tamsin Mather, University of Oxford, Volcanic volatiles
  • 2008 Sarah Reece, University of Edinburgh, Protozoan parasites
  • 2007 Theresa Burt de Perera, University of Oxford, Zoology
  • 2007 Seirian Sumner, Institute of Zoology, Evolutionary biology
  • 2007 Araxi Urrutia Odabachian, Cardiff University, Genetics
  • 2007 Anna Git, Cancer Research UK Cambridge, Oncology

L’Oréal-UNESCO Laureates, Africa and Arab States

  • 2018 Heather Zar, South Africa, Research in pneunomia, tuberculosis, asthma
  • 2017 Niveen Khashab, Saudi Arabia, Nanoparticles in detecting disease
  • 2016 Quarraisha Abdool Karim, South Africa, HIV research
  • 2015 Rajaâ Cherkaoui El Moursli, Morocco, High Energy and Nuclear Physics
  • 2014 Segenet Kelemu, Kenya, Insect physiology and ecology
  • 2013 Francisca Nneka Okeke, Nigeria, Climate change
  • 2012 Jill Farrant, South Africa, Plant molecular physology
  • 2011 Faiza Al-Kharafi, Kuwait, Electrochemistry
  • 2010 Rashika El Ridi, Egypt, Immunology
  • 2009 Tebelio Nyokong, South Africa, Cancer therapy
  • 2008 Lihadh Al-Gazali, United Arab Emirates, Clinical genetics
  • 2007 Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, Mauritius, Organic chemistry/phytochemistry
  • 2006 Habiba Bouhamed Chaabouni, Tunisia, Human genetics
  • 2005 Zohra Ben Lakhdar, Tunisia, Atomic and molecular physics
  • 2004 Jennifer Thompson, South Africa, Molecular biology
  • 2003 Karimat El-Sayed, Egypt, Physics
  • 2002 Nagwa Meguid, Egypt, Human genetics
  • 2001 Adeyinka Gladys Falusi, Nigeria, Molecular genetics
  • 2000 Valerie Mizrahi, South Africa, Molecular biology
  • 1998 Grace Oladunni L Tayor, Nigeria, Biochemistry

L’Oréal-UNESCO Laureates, Asia-Pacific

  • 2018 Meemann Chang, China, Fossil records on aquatuc vertebrates
  • 2017 Michelle Simmons, Australia, Quantum computers
  • 2016 Hualan Chen, China, biology of the bird flu virus
  • 2015 Yi Xie, China, Inorganic Chemistry
  • 2014 Kayo Inaba, Japan, Immune system
  • 2013 Reiko Kuroda, Japan, Neurodegenerative diseases
  • 2012 Ingrid Scheffer, Australia, Pediatric neurology
  • 2011 Vivian Wing-Wah Yam, China, Chemistry and energy
  • 2010 Lourdes J. Cruz, Philippines, Marine science
  • 2009 Akiko Kobayashi, Japan, Organic metals
  • 2008 V Narry Kim, Korea, Molecular biology
  • 2007 Margaret Brimble, New Zealand, Medicinal chemistry
  • 2006 Jennifer Graves, Australia, Mammalian genomics
  • 2005 Fumiko Yonezawa, Japan, Physics of disordered systems
  • 2004 Nancy IP, China, Molecular biology
  • 2003 Fang-hua Li, China, Electron microscopy
  • 2002 Indira Nath, India, Immunology
  • 2001 Susanne Cory, Australia, Molecular genetics
  • 2000 Tuneko Okasaki, Japan, Molecular biology
  • 1998 Myeong Hee-Yu, Korea, Microbiology

L’Oréal-UNESCO Laureates, Europe

  • 2018 Caroline Dean, UK, Adaptation of plants to climate change
  • 2017 Nicola Spaldin, Switzerland, Next generation electronic devices
  • 2016 Emmanuelle Charpentier, Germany, Infection biology
  • 2015 Carol Robinson, UK, Physical Chemistry & Mass Spectrometry
  • 2014 Brigitte Kieffer, France, Molecular biology
  • 2013 Pratibha Gai, UK, Chemistry
  • 2012 Frances Ashcroft, UK, Molecular physiology
  • 2011 Anne L’Huilleer, Sweden, Attosecond physics
  • 2010 Anne Dejean-Assemat, France, Cancer treatment
  • 2009 Athene M Donald, UK, Soft matter physics
  • 2008 Ada Yonath, Israel, Structural biology
  • 2007 Tatiana Brishtein, Russia, Polymer physics
  • 2006 Christine Van Broeckhoven, Belgium, Molecular genetics
  • 2005 Dominique Langevin, France, Soft matter physics
  • 2004 Christine Petit, France, Genetics/sensory physiology
  • 2003 Ayse Erzan, Turkey, Condensed matter physics
  • 2002 Mary Osborn, Germany, Cell biology
  • 2001 Anne McLaren, UK, Reproductive biology
  • 2000 Margarita Salas, Spain, Molecular biology
  • 1998 Pascale Cossart, France, bacteriology

L’Oréal-UNESCO Laureates, Latin America

  • 2018 Amy Austin, Argentina, Terrestrial ecosystem ecology
  • 2017 Maria Teresa Ruiz, Chile, Brown dwarfs
  • 2016 Andrea Gamarnik, Argentina, Molecular virology
  • 2015 Thaisa Storchi Bergmann, Brazil, Physics and Astronomy
  • 2014 Cecilia Bouzat, Argentina, Brain cell communication
  • 2103 Marcia Barbosa, Brazil, Proteins and disease
  • 2012 Susana Lopez, Mexico, Virology
  • 2011 Silvia Torres-Peimbert, Mexico, Astrophysics
  • 2010 Alejandro Bravo, Mexico, Biotechnology
  • 2009 Beatrice Barbuy, Brazil, Evolution of stars
  • 2008 Ana Belen Elgoyhen, Argentina, Auditory physiology
  • 2007 Ligia Gargola, Chile, Macromolecular chemistry
  • 2006 Esther Orozco, Mexico, Molecular pathology
  • 2005 Belita Koiller, Brazil, Condensed matter physics
  • 2004 Lucia Mendonca Previato, Brazil, Biophysics/parasitology
  • 2003 Mariana Weissmann, Argentina, Condensed matter physics
  • 2002 Ana Maria Lopez Colome, Mexico, Neuroscience/biochemistry
  • 2001 Mayana Zatz, Brazil, Molecular biology
  • 2000 Eugenia Marie Del Pino Veintimilla, Ecuador, Biology
  • 1998 Gloria Montenegro, Chile, Botany

L’Oréal-UNESCO Laureates, North America

  • 2018 Janet Rossant, Canada, Formation of developing emryo
  • 2017 Zhenan Bao, USA, Skin-inspired electronic materials
  • 2016 Jennifer Doudna, USA, Molecular and cell biology
  • 2015 Molly S. Shoichet, Canada, Polymer Chemistry
  • 2014 Laurie Glimcher, USA, Immune responses
  • 2013 Deborah JIN, USA, Cooling of molecules
  • 2012 Bonnie Bassler, USA, Microbiology
  • 2011 Jillian Banfield, USA, Geochemistry/microbiology
  • 2010 Elaine Fuchs, USA, Stem cells
  • 2009 Eugenia Kumacheva, Canada, Polymers
  • 2008 Elisabeth Blackburn, USA, Molecular biology
  • 2007 Mildred Dresselhaus, USA, Nanotechnology
  • 2006 Pamela Bjorkman, USA, Molecular biology/immunology
  • 2005 Myriam P Sarachik, USA, Condensed matter physics
  • 2004 Philippa Marrack, USA, Molecular biology/immunology
  • 2003 Johanna MH Levelt Singers, USA, thermodynamics
  • 2002 Shirley Tilghman, USA, Genetics
  • 2001 Joan Argetsinger Steitz, USA, Molecular biophysics/biochemistry
  • 2000 Joanne Chory, USA, Molecular biology

Organization for Women in Science in the Developing World Awards and Fellowships

OWSD (The Organization for Women in Science in the Developing World) strengthens the role of women scientists from the South in the development process and in scientific and technological leadership. It awards fellowships and grants in association with The Elsevier Foundation, and now also with TWAS (The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World).

OWSD & Elsevier Foundation Awardees


  • 2011 Biology Mahfuza Begum, Bangladesh, Bangladesh Agricultural U
  • 2011 Chemistry Farzana Shaheen, Pakistan, U of Karacji
  • 2011 Physics/Maths Rukmani Mohonta, India, U of Hyderabad
  • 2010 Biology Zeng Fanyi, China, Shanghai Institute of Medical Genetics
  • 2010 Chemistry Ilkay Orhan, Turkey, Gazi University, Ankara
  • 2010 Physics/Maths Priya Mahadevan, India, S.N. Bose Centre, Kolkata


  • 2011 Biology Denise Evans, South Africa, U of the Witwatersrand
  • 2011 Chemistry Aderoju Amoke Osowole, Nigeria, U of Ibadan
  • 2011 Physics/Maths Janet Ayobami Ademola, Nigeria, U of Ibadan
  • 2010 Biology Uchechi Ekweny Nigeria, Okpara U of Agriculture, Umudike
  • 2010 Chemistry Ndidiamaka Anthonet Ezejiofor, Nigeria, Abia State U
  • 2010 Physics/Maths Christine Margarete Steenkamp, SA, U of Stellenbosch


  • 2011 Biology Lubna Tahtamouni, Jordan, Hashemite U
  • 2011 Chemistry Nahla Ismail, Egypt, Nat Research Centre
  • 2010 Biology Ghada Abdel-Salam, Egypt, Nat Research Centre
  • 2010 Chemistry Lilyan Alsaka, Iraq, Mosul University
  • 2010 Physics/Maths Sakina Fakhraddin Adam Ali, Yemen, Sana’a U


  • 2011 Biology Lisset Hermida Cruz, Cuba, Centre for Genetics & Biotech
  • 2011 Chemistry Silvana Pellegrinet, Argentina, U Nacional de Rosario
  • 2011 Physics/Maths Maria Gonzalez Sanchez, Mexico, Inst Astronomia
  • 2010 Biology Myriam Adela Amezcua-Allieri, Mexico, Inst of Petroleum
  • 2010 Chemistry Aramis Rivera, Cuba, University of Havana
  • 2010 Physics/Maths Aimé Pelaiz-Barranco, Cuba, University of Havana

OWSD Fellowships 2012

  • Rokeya Begum, Bangladesh, Economic extraction of pectin
  • Jannatara Khatun, Bangladesh, Veterinary and Animal Sciences
  • Noor Shaila Sarmin, Bangladesh, Monitoring of forest for Tsunami
  • Alice Bonou, Benin, Climate change and indigenous edible plants
  • Koupamba Sinasson Sanni, Benin, Mimusops andongensis Hiern
  • Sylvie Djiomba Njankou, Cameroon, HIV-Related Lymphomas
  • Aurelie Djoumessi Songfack, Cameroon, Anti-cancer evaluation
  • Sonia Kenfack Voukeng, Cameroon, Biotic factors in Eich-crassipes
  • Stanard Mebwe Pachong, Cameroon, Cancer Tissue Growth
  • Clarisse Yafi Njua, Cameroon, Malaria Research
  • Kikongo Ntabugi, Congo, Pollution in water of Bukavu rivers
  • Cynthia Nkoua-Badzi, Congo, Congolese plants and malaria
  • Almaz Gezahegn, Ethiopia, Nutrients in Wheat Cropping System
  • Rediet Sitotaw Kebede, Ethiopia, Wild edible Mushrooms in Ethiopia
  • Tigist Shonte, Ethiopia, Nutritional quality of stinging nettles
  • Cynthia Laar, Ghana, Hydrogeochemical Pathways in wetlands
  • Ann Mwaura, Kenya, Genetic structure of three land snail species
  • Martha Okumu, Kenya, weed density and diversity in crop rotations
  • Zaliah Ahitantsoa, Madagascar, Sustainable dev of fish farming
  • Jacqueline Kazembe, Malawi, Genetic variation and aquaculture
  • Nene Galle Kide, Mauritania, Genetic differentiation of Cichlidae
  • Cho Cho Htay, Myanmar, Biological Control Activities of Trichoderma
  • Nan Su San, Myanmar, rice blast resistance in Myanmar rice
  • Wah Wah Lwin, Myanmar, QTL analysis for yield related traits
  • Foluso Abiodun Adedeji, Nigeria, Security in Cognitive Radio Network
  • Bridget Aito Bobadoye, Nigeria, afrotropical stingless bees
  • Olufemi Ajagun-Ogunleye, Nigeria, dietary intakes during stress
  • Abidemi Demehin, Nigeria, organometallics and new drugs
  • Uregwu Edia-Asuke, Nigeria, hazard analyses of pig abattoirs
  • Omasan Ejoh, Nigeria, Biodegradation of Polychlorinated Biphenyls
  • Mutiat Ibrahim, Nigeria, major constituents of endophytic fungi
  • Omobolanle Janet Jesumoroti, Nigeria, Anti-HIV Protease
  • Amarachukwu Obayiuwana, Nigeria, antibiotic-resistance of bacteria
  • Ayokunmi Oyeleye. Nigeria, protection of Milicia exelsa
  • Agnes Mbonyiryivuze, Rwanda, Indigenous natural dyes for solar cells
  • Henriette Niragire, Rwanda, sorption properties of chitosan
  • Sara Abdalla Khidir Saeed, Sudan, Strucutre of Phlebotomus orientalis
  • Edam Manahil, Sudan, Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia
  • Wegdan Mohammed Mustafa Ahmed, Sudan, brain morphometry
  • Nahla Shamseldin Elsiddig, Sudan, T helper-17 cells, disease activity
  • Sahar Sharef, Sudan, alterations of temporal lobe in autism
  • Esther Agatha Marijani, Tanzania, Prevalence of mycotoxins in fish feeds
  • Ruth Nahurira, Uganda, vegetation of Lake Mburo National Park
  • Sylvie Tebitendwa, Uganda, Waste stabilization in ponds and wetlands
  • Josephine Jere, Zimbabwe, controling Xam causing bacterial blight
  • Zviregei Jiri, Zimbabwe, Active biomonitoring of rivers in Zimbabwe

OWSD Fellowships 2011

  • Afsana Ansari, Bangladesh, in Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
  • Mst. Tuhina Khatun, Bangladesh, in University Putra Malaysia (UPM)
  • Sesede Houefa Norliette Zossou, Benin, in Université Cheik Anta Diop
  • Angele Sorel Achounna, Cameroon, in Uni Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
  • Amoin Cecile Bieri, Côte d’Ivoire, in CSIR Biosciences, South Africa
  • Banchiamlak Kebede, Ethiopia, Institute of Pure and Applied Maths, Brazil
  • Betelehem Wondwosen, Ethiopia, in Insect Science for Food/Health, Kenya
  • Mildred Awuor Airo, Kenya, in University of Witswatersrand, South Africa
  • Nancy Unjemo Madigu, Kenya, in University of Botswana
  • Joyce Kanini Omari, Kenya, in University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Lovanomenjanahary Marline, Madagascar, in University of Cape Town SA
  • Khin Mar Oo, Myanmar, in Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
  • Amy Thein, Myanmar, in Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China
  • Grace Onyukwo Abakpa, Nigeria, in Universiti Putra Malaysia
  • Oluwasola Mary Fasan, Nigeria, in University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • Racheal Odiri Ogbodu, Nigeria, in Rhodes University, South Africa
  • Andree Prisca Ndjoug Ndour, Senegal, in Rhodes University, South Africa
  • Samah Kamil Hussein Abd El-Rahim, Sudan, in Universiti Putra Malaysia
  • Mei Musa Ali Omar, Sudan, in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • Nodar Osman Khalifa, Sudan, in Council for Scientific/Ind Research, India
  • Nozipho Mgcibelo Motsa, Swaziland, in University of KwaZulu Natal SA
  • Racheal Athieno, Uganda, in Rhodes University, South Africa
  • Namayanja, Uganda, in Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, China
  • Fiona Banda, Zimbabwe, in Rhodes University, South Africa
  • Patience Chatukuta, Zimbabwe, in North-West University, South Africa

Graduate Women International Speakers

Graduate Women International (formerly the International Federation of University Women) promotes women’s rights, equality and empowerment through access to quality education and training. It hosts a major conference every three years. The last four have been in South Africa, Turkey, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

Selected speakers in South Africa 2016

  • Catherine Bell, President Graduate Women International
  • Matsie Angelina Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education, South Africa
  • Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology, South Africa
  • Saniye Gulser Corat, UNESCO’s Director of Gender Equality
  • Baratang Miya, GirlHype
  • Carla Licciardello, International Telecommunications Union
  • Sally Chamberlain, Women Graduates USA
  • Apoorv Bamba, Startup Safari
  • Deirdre Ahern, Assistant Professor and Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin
  • Felicity Coughlan, Independent Institute of Education
  • Rovani Sigamoney, UNESCO
  • Anisa Khan, British Council’s Newton Project
  • Jade Mathieson, Sea Monster

Selected speakers in Turkey 2013

Selected speakers in Mexico 2010 and UK 2007

  • Kyung-wha Kang, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Olga Sánchez Cordero, Justice of the Mexican Supreme Court
  • Patricia Espinosa, Mexican Foreign Secretary
  • Eileen Fegan, law lecturer at Oxford and Queen’s Belfast
  • Felicity Coughlan, Director Independent Instit of Education South Africa
  • Helen Sunhee Kim, Organizational development consultant and trainer
  • Frances Kunreuther, Director of the Building Movement Project
  • Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland
  • Gillian Martin Mehers, Coordinator for World Conservation Union
  • Shirley Randell, Convener of IFUW Projects Committee
  • Christina von Furstenberg, UNESCO
  • Elaine Unterhalter, University of London School of Education
  • Conchita Poncini, Co-ordinator of IFUW Reps at the UN in Geneva
  • Elisabeth Rehn, United Nations Under-Secretary General

Selected papers from IFUW, Mexico 2010

Selected papers from IFUW, UK 2007


Speakers at CFI Women in Secularism Conference 2012

New speakers at CFI Women in Secularism Conference 2013

New speakers at CFI Women in Secularism Conference 2014

New speakers at CFI Women in Secularism Conference 2016

  • Rafida Bonya Ahmed, activist and author, Bangladesh
  • Robyn Blumner, CEO Centre for Inquiry, President RDFRS
  • Melanie Brewster, professor of psychology and education
  • Johnetta Elzie, protester and organiser, Ferguson
  • Sarah Haider, writer, speaker, and activist
  • Rebecca Hale, president American Humanist Association
  • Wendy Kaminer, lawyer, author and social critic
  • Linda LaScola, author and qualitative research consultant
  • Ashley Miller, writer, activist, and communications scholar
  • Maryam Namazie, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
  • Kavin Senapathy, author, cofounder of March Against Myths
  • Janet Stemwedel, professor of Philosophy
  • Kayley Whalen, Digital Strategies Manager US LGBTQ Task Force
  • Emily Willingham, science writer, editor, university instructor

The Secular Woman Speakers Bureau, USA

  • See here for further topics and contact details
  • Trinity Aodh: Social justice, queer/transgender issues, bullying
  • Brandi Braschler: Secular woman, organizing groups, activism
  • Ania Bula: Pseudoscience and Women, Alternative Medicine
  • Charlotte Classon: Secular woman, atheism and feminism
  • Heina Dadabhoy: Islam, New Atheism, feminism
  • Kate Donovan: Pseudoscience, Alt medicine, mental health
  • Vyckie Garrison: Christian Polygamy and the Biblical Family
  • Bridget Gaudette: Secular woman, black atheism, cults, strategy
  • Noelle George: Team building, event planning, volunteering
  • Heatherly Hodges: Religion and child abuse, trauma
  • Jadehawk: Sociology and Social Theory topics relevant to secularism
  • Sarah Kaiser: Activism, blogging and other social media
  • Lauren Lane: Grassroots organizing, Women and Atheism
  • Lyz Liddell: Group-running, leadership, gender diversity strategies
  • Melanie Mallon: Humor as empowerment, secular parenting
  • MA Melby: Education, Navigating male dominated spaces
  • Ashley Miller: Film, TV, feminism, gay rights, activism, communication
  • Sarah Morehead: Recovering from religion, secular home-schooling
  • Autumn Reinhardt-Simpson: Reproductive Rights
  • Kim Rippere: Secular woman, atheism & feminism, feminism
  • Elsa Roberts: Secular woman, Christian fundamentalism
  • Brittany Shoots-Reinhardt: Applications of Psychology to Humanism
  • Corinne Zimmerman: Secular woman, atheism and feminism
  • Stephanie Zvan: Psychological pseudoscience, cognitive biases

University of Minnesota Distinguished Women Scholars Awards

The University of Minnesota gives annual Distinguished Women Scholars Awards named after Ada Louise Comstock, who was the University’s first Dean of Women in 1907. She later led Smith College, but was denied the title of president because she was a woman.

  • 2017 Ananya Chatterjea, Theater, Arts, and Dance
  • 2017 Lela Pierce, Painting
  • 2016: Sarah Hobbie, Ecology, Evolution, and Behaviour
  • 2016 Joan G. Cox, Painting
  • 2015: Anna Clark, History
  • 2015 Jil Evans, Painting
  • 2014 Carol A. Lange, Medicine and Pharmacology
  • 2014 DC Ice, Painting
  • 2013: Denise Guerin, Interior Design
  • 2013 Sara Balbin, Sculpture
  • 2012 Karen Mesce, Entomology
  • 2012 Nickdokht (Nicky) Torkzadeh, Painting
  • 2011: Sally Gregory Kohlstedt, History of Science and Technology
  • 2011 Jude Ryan Reiling, Ceramics
  • 2010 Deborah Swackhamer, Chemistry & Public Health
  • 2010 Jude Ryan Reiling, Ceramics
  • 2009 Rose Brewer, African American & African Studies
  • 2009 Ida Kumoji-Ankrah, Textiles
  • 2009: Jane Davidson, Mechanical Engineering
  • 2009 Stacy Kelly, Glass
  • 2008 Sara Evans, History
  • 2008 Joyce Lyon, Lithography
  • 2008: Maria Gini, Computer Science and Engineering
  • 2008 Margaret Bohis, Ceramics
  • 2007 Joanne B. Eicher, Design, Housing, & Apparel
  • 2007 Judith Kinghorn, Metal
  • 2007: Catherine French, Civil Engineering
  • 2007 Maren Kloppmann, Ceramics
  • 2006 Karlyn Kohrs, Communication Studies
  • 2006 Joyce Lyon, Drawing
  • 2006: Ruth-Ellen B. Joeres, German, Scandinavian & Dutch
  • 2006 Christine Baeumier, Painting
  • 2005 Catherine Verfaillie, Stem Cell Institute
  • 2005 Harriet Bart, Sculpture

University of Minnesota Distinguished Women Scientists and Engineers Speakers Program

The University of Minnesota has hosted an annual lecture series to create greater visibility for distinguished women in their respective fields of science and engineering. Speakers included:

  • 2013-14 Yayoi Takamura, UC Davis
  • 2013-14 Shelley Anna, Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon
  • 2013-14 Ruth Litovsky, COmmunicative Disorders, U Wisc
  • 2013-14 Joan Schmelz, NSF
  • 2013-14 Debra Rolison, US Naval Research Lab
  • 2013-14 Marti Hearst, Information and Computer Science, U Cal Berkeley
  • 2013-14 Suncica Canic, Mathematics, U Houston
  • 2012-13 Lisa Tauxe, UC San Diego
  • 2012-13 Paula Hammond, MIT
  • 2012-13 Anna Mazzucato, Penn State
  • 2012-13 Cindy Hasselbring, NSF Arlington VA
  • 2012-13 Lori Clarke, U Mass
  • 2011-12 Natalia Nikolova, Electrical & Computer Engineering, McMaster U
  • 2010-11 Aspasia Zerva, Civil, Architectural & Env Engineering, Drexel U
  • 2010-11 Kristi Kiick, Materials Science & Engineering, U of Delaware
  • 2009-10 Margaret Rossiter, History of Science, Cornell U
  • 2009-10 Margaret Martonosi, Electrical Engineering, Princeton U
  • 2009-10 Sheila Hemami, Electrical Engineering, Cornell U
  • 2009-10 Dawn Elliott, Orthopaedic Surgery & Bioengineering, U of Penn
  • 2008-09 Eva Andrei, Physics & Astronomy, Rutgers U
  • 2008-09 Joan Feigenbaum, Computer Science, Yale U
  • 2008-09 Mildred Dresselhaus, Electrical Engineering & Physics, MIT
  • 2008-09 Nancy Love, Civil & Environmental Engineering, U of Michigan
  • 2008-09 Margaret Tivey, Marine Chemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic
  • 2008-09 Sun-Yung Alice Chang, Mathematics, Princeton U
  • 2007-08 Leigh Royden, Geology & Geophysics, Mass Col of Science & Eng
  • 2006-07 Ann Karagozian, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, UCLA
  • 2006-07 Holly Rushmeier, Computer Science, Yale U
  • 2006-07 Richelle Allen-King, Geology & Geophysics, U of Buffalo
  • 2006-07 Mary Jane Irwin, Computer Science & Engineering, Penn State U
  • 2006-07 Yueh-Lin (Lynn) Loo, Chemical Engineering, U of Texas at Austin
  • 2006-07 Fran Bagenal, Atmospheric & Space Physics, U of Colorado
  • 2006-07 Julia Weertman, Materials Science & Engineering, Northwestern U
  • 2005-06 Naomi Oreskes, History and Science, U of California, San Diego
  • 2005-06 Helen Reed, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M U
  • 2005-06 Wendy Silk, Water Science and Plant Biology, U of California-Davis
  • 2005-06 Jane Maienschein, Life Sciences, Biology & Society, Arizona State U
  • 2005-06 Iwona Jasiuk, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, U of Illinois
  • 2004-05 Alexandra Navrotsky, Math & Physical Science, U of Cal Davis
  • 2004-05 Brenda Laurel, Media Design, Art Center Col of Design, Pasadena
  • 2004-05 Teresa Jordan, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell U
  • 2004-05 Jeannette Wing, Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon U
  • 2004-05 Jane Ammons, Engineering, Georgia Col of Science and Engineering
  • 2004-05 Meg Urry, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Yale U
  • 2004-05 Debra Rolison, Adv Electrochemical Materials, Naval Research Lab
  • 2003-04 Susan Coppersmith, Physics, U of Wisconsin, Madison
  • 2003-04 Maria Klawe, Engineering & Applied Science, Princeton U
  • 2003-04 Elaine Seymour, Ethnology, U of Colorado at Boulder
  • 2003-04 Alexandra Navrotsky, Math & Physical Science, U of Cal Davis
  • 2003-04 Vasu Varadan, Electrical Engineering, Pennsylvania State U
  • 2002-03 Barbara Grosz, Computer Science, Harvard U
  • 2002-03 Mildred Dresselhaus, Massachusetts Col of Science and Engineering
  • 2002-03 Geri Richmond, Chemistry, U of Oregon
  • 2002-03 Leslie Smith, Physics, Math & Eng, U of Wisconsin, Madison
  • 2002-03 Marcia McNutt, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Inst

APS Physics Women Speakers Program, United States of America

The American Physical Society has a Speakers List of women physicists who are willing to give talks on a variety of subjects. Physics Departments may qualify for travel grants if they host these speakers. I have listed below the names and abbreviated sample talks for US-based speakers. The full list, with more talks and contact details for the speakers, is here on the APS website.

APS Women Speakers, Alaska

  • Wackerbauer, Renate, U of Alaska-Fairbanks: Spatiotemporal chaos

APS Women Speakers, Arkansas

  • Allen, Susan, Arkansas State U: The Laser Dustbuster and Other Tools

APS Women Speakers, Arizona

  • Barlow, Nadine, Flagstaff, AZ: The Search for Water on Mars
  • Holbrook, Jarita, U of Arizona: Introduction fo African Cultural Astronomy
  • Levitus, Marcia, Arizona State: Conformational dynamics in biomolecules
  • Malhotra, Renu, U of Arizona: The architecture of the Solar system
  • Peng, Xihong, Arizona State: Predictive modeling for nanoscale system
  • Pitman, Karly, Planetary Science Inst:Producing Optical Constants
  • Sarcevic, Ina, U of Arizona: the Search for the Quark-Gluon Plasma

APS Women Speakers, California

  • Abramzon, Nina, Cal Poly – Pomona: Plasma – the 4th State of Matter
  • Ackerman, Nicole, Stanford U Med Ctr: Particle Physics in Medicine
  • Acrivos, Juana, San Jose State U: Periodic Table in Cuprate Superconductors
  • Back, Christina, San Diego: Exps on Hot, Dense Laser-Produced Plasmas
  • Baljon, Aarlette, San Diego: Topological structure of a polymeric gel
  • Bell, Nicole, Pasadena: Cosmic Neutrinos from Highest Energies to Lowest
  • Belz, Andrea, Jet Propulsion Lab: On becoming a multi-disciplinary scientist
  • Brown, Nancy, Lawrence Nat Lab: Theoretical and Exp Chemical Kinetics
  • Budil, Kimberly, Lawrence Nat Lab: Hydrodynamic Instability Experiments
  • Caponi, Maria, TRW Redondo Beach, CA: Wind Generated Ocean Waves
  • Carlson, Jean, U of Cal-Santa Barb: Dynamics of Earthquake Faults
  • Chen, Mu-Chun, U of Cal – Irvine: Physics beyond the Standard Model
  • Chiang, Shirley, U of Cal- Davis: The Scanning Tunneling Microscope
  • Church, Jennifer, Lawrence Lab: Transport/Detection of Nuclear Materials
  • Cohen, Judith, Caltech: The Local High Redshift Universe
  • Coil, Alison, La Jolla: Clustering and Quenching: Galaxies & AGN at z=1
  • Cominsky, Lynn, Sonoma State: Exploring the Extreme Universe with Fermi
  • Erbacher, Robin, Cal- Davis: Searches for new physics in top quark samples
  • Fearn, Heidi, Cal State – Fullerton: General relatvity and curved space
  • Fygenson, Deborah, Cal-Santa Barb: Assembly of Nanotubes from DNA Tiles
  • Gallagher, Sarah, Los Angeles: Probing Quasar Outflows: X-ray Insights
  • Ghosh, Sayantani, Cal: Manipulating spin coherence in semiconductors
  • Hansen, Luisa, Lawrence Lab: Transport & Detection of Nuclear Materials
  • Hanson, Gail, Cal – Riverside: Physics at the CERN Large Hadron Collider
  • Hellman, Frances, Cal- Berkeley: Amorphous magnetic semiconductors
  • Ho, Pei-Chun, Cal State U- Fresno: Unconventional Superconductivity
  • Houle, Frances, Lawrence Nat Lab: Mass-producing Nanostructures
  • Hu, Chi-Yu, Cal State- Long Beach: Muon Catalyzed Fusion
  • Jenkins, Elizabeth, U of Cal- San Diego: Particle Physics
  • Johnson, Sarah, La Verne, CA: A Search for Truth
  • Jones, Barbara, IBM Almaden: The Future of Nanotechnology
  • Kelley, Anne, Cal – Merced: Visualizing Fast Motions with Slow Lasers
  • Kellogg, Louise, Davis: The Driving Force of Plate Tectonics
  • Lindenberg, Katja, Cal – San Diego: Noise in Physical and Chemical Systems
  • Luth, Vera, Stanford U: Symmetries in Particle Physics
  • Nikzad, Shouleh. Jet Propulsion Lab: To See the World in A Grain of Sand
  • Opher, Merav, George Mason U: How to describe collisions in Plasmas
  • Ramachandran, Vidhya, IBM: Why are we afraid of Physics?
  • Rebull, Luisa, Caltech: Star formation with the Spitzer Space Telescope
  • Roe, Natalie, Lawrence Nat Lab: What’s The Matter With Antimatter?
  • Rohlfing, Celeste, Livermore: Theoretical Studies of Fullerenes/Derivatives
  • Roy, Mou, Norwalk, CA: High Energy Neutrino Physics
  • Sargent, Anneila, Pasadena, CA: The Origins of Planetary Systems
  • Schneider, Marilyn, Lawrence Nat Lab: Turbulent Mix in R-T Instability
  • Selco, Jodye, Cal Poly – Pomona: Is it Magic or is it Chemistry?
  • Siegal-Gaskins, Jennifer, Caltech: Shedding light on the nature of dark matter
  • Sohn, Lydia, Cal- Berkeley: Measuring Single Cells One by One
  • Terebey, Susan, Los Angeles: From Protostars to Planets
  • Trimble, Virginia, Cal- Irvine: Cosmology: Man’s Place in the Universe
  • Troian, Sandra, Caltech: The Nanoworld Beyond Benard Instabilities
  • Williams, Lynda, San Francisco: Science Education via Entertainment
  • Woolum, Dorothy, Cal State-Fullerton: Nucleosynthesis of Heavy Elements
  • Yeh, Nai-Chang, Caltech: Recent Advances in Superconductivity
  • van der Veen, Jatila, Santa Barbara: Hist of Cosmic Microwave Background

APS Women Speakers, Colorado

  • Bagenal, Fran, U of Col – Boulder: New Horizons: Mission to Pluto & Charon
  • Buchanan, Kristen, Col State U: A glimpse into the nanoworld
  • Calbi, Maria, U of Denver: Phases of matter adsorbed on carbon nanotubes
  • Chasteen, Stephanie, U of Col – Boulder: The Art of Science Communication
  • Dowell, Marla, Boulder: Laser Metrology: Three Cautionary Tales
  • Gilbert, Sarah, Boulder: Optical Fiber Communications: future trends
  • Hasenfratz, Anna, U of Col – Boulder: Walking towards a rainbow
  • Joselyn, JoAnn, Boulder: How scientists collaborate
  • Ladanyi, Branka, Col State U: Dynamics of nanoconfined liquids
  • Levinger, Nancy, Col State U: Dynamics of Polar Solvation in Restricted Envs
  • Menoni, Carmen, Col State U: Exploring nano-world with extreme UV light
  • Whitten, Barbara, Col Coll: You can always find women in science, if you look
  • Ellingson, Erica, Boulder: Cosmology, Dark Matter and Dark Energy

APS Women Speakers, Connecticut

  • Chow, C C, Central Conn State U: Physics and Everyday Life
  • Freed, Denise, Schlumberger-Doll Res Ctr: NMR and Oil Wells
  • Natarajan, Priyamvada, Yale U: Assembly history of black holes
  • Salman, Fatma, Manchester, CT: Encouraging young women to do physics

APS Women Speakers, District of Columbia  

  • Gatica, Silvina , Howard U: Adsorption of gases in nanotubes
  • Hicks, Janice, Georgetown U: Stratospheric Ozone Depletion
  • Horn, Tanja Catholic U of America: Quark Imaging at JLab 12 GeV & beyond
  • Larkin, Teresa, American U: Using Writing to Confront Misconceptions
  • Novo-Gradac, Anne-Marie, NASA Headquarters: An Introduction to Lasers
  • Opper, Allena, George Washington U: Exploring the Subatomic World
  • Pardavi-Horvath, Martha, George Wash U: Magnetism of Small Particles
  • Stroud, Rhonda, Naval Research Lab: Extraterrestrial materials
  • Turner, Kathleen, Dep of Energy – US: Discovering the Structure of Matter
  • Weinberger, Alycia, Caltech: Dusty Circumstellar Disks and Planet Formation

APS Women Speakers, Florida

  • Baudis, Laura, U of Florida – Gainesville: Dark matter searches
  • Blessing, Susan, Florida State U: Elementary Particle Physics
  • Cheng, Hai-Ping, U of Florida – Gainesville: Physical Modeling and Sims
  • Leventouri, Theodora, Atlantic U: Properties of Biocompatible Apatites
  • Luo, Weili, U of Central Florida: Magnetic Properties of Buckyballs
  • Montgomery, Michele, Orlando, FL: Disks Around Various Celestial Objects
  • Popovic, Dragana, Florida State U: Metal-insulator transition in 2D systems
  • Rahman, Talat, U of Central Florida: Nanoscience: facts or science fiction?
  • Single Molecule Magnets: could they be quantum computers?
  • Turner, Niescja, Florida Inst of Tech: The Perfect (Magnetic) Storm
  • Yunger Halpern, Nicole, Perimeter Inst: Creating Your Physics Club

APS Women Speakers, Georgia

  • Dunning, Sarah, U of Georgia: Pulse Interaction with Dielectrics
  • Halka, Monica, Georgia Inst of Tech: The Rare and Disappearing Elements
  • Kolakowska, Alice, U of Memphis: Complexity of parallel computing
  • Sullivan, Amy, Agnes Scott Coll: 3D Imaging Without Lenses

APS Women Speakers, Iowa

  • Mallik, Usha U of Iowa: Mysteries of Matter and Anti-Matter
  • Morgan, Siobahn Cedar Falls, IA: Peculiar Polaris
  • Rosati, Marzia Iowa State U: Making Little Big-Bangs at RHIC
  • Schmittmann, Beate Iowa State U: Out of equilibrium: genes, stocks, traffic

APS Women Speakers, Idaho  

  • Sammarruca, Francesca U of Idaho: How to Look Inside A Nucleus

APS Women Speakers, Illinois  

  • Ansari, Anjum U of Ill – Chicago: Hairpin formation in polynucleotides
  • Avci, Sevda Argonne Nat Lab: Magnetoelastic coupling in Ba1-xKxFe2As2
  • Biedron, Sandra Chicago, IL: Particle Accelerators and Free-Electron Lasers
  • The Need for Synchrotron Radiation Facilities
  • Bordallo, Heloisa Hahn-M Inst Berlin: Crystalline N-Methylacetamide
  • El-Khadra, Aida U of Ill – Urbana: Charm & Beauty of Strong Interactions
  • Finney, Lydia Lemont, IL: Imagine Yourself a Scientist like Me
  • Freeland, Elizabeth U of Ill – Urbana: Pushing Limits of Standard Model
  • Greene, Laura U of Illinois – Urbana: High-Temperature Superconductivity
  • Hess, Cynthia Illinois Wesleyan U: From Hot Gas to Black Holes
  • Incera, Vivian U of Texas, El Paso: Magnetism in Color Superconductivity
  • Katsnelson, Esfir Northwestern U: Ferrospinels and Magnetic Ferroelectrics
  • Lamb, Susan U of Illinois – Urbana: Galaxy Collisions & Star Clusters
  • Nandkumar, Radha U of Ill – Urbana: Science through cyberinfrastructure
  • Olinto, Angela U of Chicago: The Mystery of the Highest Energy Cosmic Rays
  • Ren, Shang-Fen Illinois State U: My Career as a Women Scientist
  • Sanchez, Mayly Iowa State U: Catching Neutrinos
  • Silber, Mary Northwestern U: Pattern Formation in Nonequilibrium Systems
  • Srinivas, Sudha Northeastern Ill U: Modeling Properties of Metal Clusters
  • Todd, Judith Chicago, IL: Laser-Based Prototyping of Ceramic Materials
  • Wark, Candace Illinois Inst of Tech: Exp Methods in Fluid Mechanics
  • Willis, Suzanne Northern Illinois U: Science or Bunk? Telling the Difference
  • Young, Linda Argonne Nat Lab: Counting rare atoms in traps

APS Women Speakers, Indiana  

  • Aprahamian, Ani: From Exploding Stars to the Lab
  • Bortoletto, Daniela Purdue U: The quest for the Higgs
  • Koertge, Noretta Bloomington: Are Feminists Alienating Women in Science?
  • Science, Values and the Value of Science
  • Mitra-Kirtley, Sudipa Rose-Hulman Inst: Studio physics using HP tablets

APS Women Speakers, Kansas  

  • Behrman, Elizabeth: Quantum Neural Networks – Next Generation Comps?
  • Dunmore, Jessica Leavenworth, KS: Mining for Neutrinos

APS Women Speakers, Louisiana  

  • Daniels-Race, Theda, Louisiana State U-BR: Hybrid Electronic Materials
  • Gonzalez, Gabriela Louisiana State U- Baton Rouge: Gravitational Waves
  • Ioup, Juliette U of New Orleans: Applications of Wavelet Transforms
  • Johnston, Kathleen Louisiana Tech U: Particle Physics in a Nutshell!
  • Parashar, Neeti Northeastern U: Origin of Mass
  • Stuver, Amber LIGO Livingston Observatory: Education and Outreach

APS Women Speakers, Massachusetts

  • Adams, Laura Harvard U: Intelligent Microspheres for Everyone
  • Arndt, Martina Bridgewater Coll: Science of Total Solar Eclipses
  • Baliunas, Sallie Smithsonian Astrophys Observ: Past and future of Sun
  • Bansil, Rama Boston U: Kinetics of Phase Transitions in Block Copolymers
  • Bhatia, Surita U of Mass: Cells and Gels: Soft Materials in Medicine
  • Bolton, Sarah Williams Coll: Between Atoms and the World of the Big
  • Byers, Nina U of California-LA: 20th Century Women in Physics
  • Cadonati, Laura U of Mass – Amherst: LIGO: gravitational wave astronomy
  • Cebe, Peggy Tufts U: What Superman Sees With X-ray Vision
  • Chakraborty, Bulbul Brandeis U: Entropy of Granular Materials
  • Evans, Nancy Cambridge, MA: Don’t We Already Know all about Polaris?
  • Frebel, Anna Mass Inst of Tech-MIT: The origin of the elements
  • Hagen-Bauer, Wendy Wellesley, MA: The Life History of a Star
  • Herzfeld, Judith Brandeis U: Energy Transduction in Bacteriorhodopsin
  • Machacek, Marie Smiths Astrophys Observ: Golden Age of Cosmology
  • Matthews, June Mass Inst of Tech-MIT: Exploring the Three-Nucleon System
  • Ondrechen, Mary Jo NE U: Using Physics to Understand the Genome
  • Ruskai, M Lowell, MA: Quantum Information Theory
  • Sisterson, Janet Mass Gen Hosp: Medical Applications of Proton Beams
  • Vrtilek, Saeqa Smiths Astrophys Observ: The revolution in astrophysics
  • Welther, Barbara Harvard-Smiths CFA: Women Astronomers at Harvard
  • Wilkes, Belinda Cambridge, MA: Life Cycle of a Star
  • Zielinska-Pfabe, Malgorzata Smith Coll: Fundamental Charm and Beauty

APS Women Speakers, Maryland  

  • Asaro, Catherine: NASA’s Breakthrough Physics Propulsion Program
  • Beise, Elizabeth U of Maryland-Col Park: Strange Quarks in the Proton
  • Crannell, Carol NASA/GSFC: Solar Flares in Hard X and Gamma Rays
  • Engle, Irene US Naval Academy: Planetary Magnetospheres
  • Forbes, Nancy Innovative Analytics, LLC: Biology is Inspiring Computing
  • Greer, Sandra Col Park, MD: Structure of Living Polymer Solutions
  • Howard, Sethanne Columbia, MD: 4000 Years of Women in Science
  • Konkowski, Deborah US Naval Academy: Singularities in General Relativity
  • Lee, Patricia US Army Rsch Lab: Quantum Computation with Atoms and Ions
  • Lubkin, Gloria North Bethesda, MD: Adventures of a Physics Reporter
  • Martinez-Miranda, Luz U of Maryland-Col Park: Liquid Crystals
  • Messer, Sarah HyperV Tech Corp: The Maryland Centrifugal Experiment
  • Modeste Knowles, Arlene APS: How to publish physics papers
  • Noguchi, Constance Nat Inst of Health – NIH: Treating Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Satyapal, Shobita Greenbelt, MD: Infrared Extragalactic Astronomy

APS Women Speakers, Maine  

  • McKay, Susan U of Maine: Complexity Arising from Competition

APS Women Speakers, Michigan

  • Barone, Veronica Central Mich U: Electronic structure of low-D carbon
  • Berrah, Nora Western Mich U: Dynamics in Atoms, Molecules and Ions
  • Coney, Linda Holland, MI: How to Do Experiments with Invisible Particles!
  • Deng, Hui U of Michigan – Ann Arbor: Quantum Networking
  • Ghosh, Ruby Michigan State U: Fiber Optic Chemical Sensors
  • Goldman, Rachel U of Mich – Ann Arbor: Semiconductor Nanopatterning
  • Hampton, Jennifer Hope Coll: Magnetic Measurements of Thin Films
  • Mader, Cathy Hope Coll: Nuclear Forensics – the CSI Career for Physicists
  • Mycek, Mary-Ann U of Michigan Med Ctr: Biomedical Optical Diagnostics
  • Nunes, Filomena Michigan State U: Nuclear Theory Puzzles past and future
  • Sih, Vanessa U of Michigan – Ann Arbor: Spins and light in semiconductors
  • Simmons, Elizabeth Michigan State U: Women in Physics in the US
  • Tsang, Manyee Michigan State U: Isoscaling in nuclear physics
  • Woestman, Joanne Dearborn, MI: An Industrial Physics Career
  • Zellner, Nicolle Albion, MI: Impact History of the Earth-Moon System

APS Women Speakers, Minnesota

  • Kolan, Amy St Olaf Coll: An Introduction to Wavelets
  • Manning, Heidi Moorhead, MN: Expl Solar System with Mass Spectrometers
  • Williams, Liliya Minneapolis, MN: Formation of dark matter halos of galaxies
  • Womack, Maria Saint Cloud, MN: A Guided Tour of Five Exotic Exoplanets

APS Women Speakers, Missouri  

  • Chandrasekhar, Meera U of Miss – Columbia: organic conjugated molecules
  • Guha, Suchismita U of Miss – Columbia: Photophysics of Semiconductors
  • Hill, Margaret Southeast Miss State U: Developing New Magnetic Materials
  • Plummer, PL U of Missouri – Columbia: Clusters: A New Form of Matter?

APS Women Speakers, Mississippi

  • Bauman, Leslie: Physics Experiments over the Web using LabVIEW Player
  • Perkins, A Louise U of Southern Mississippi: Coupling Ocean Models

APS Women Speakers, North Carolina 

  • Coffey, Tonya Appalachian State U: Diet Coke and Mentos
  • Daniels, Karen North Carolina State U: Earthquakes in a Lab Fault
  • Frohlich, Carla North Carolina State U: The Life and Afterlife of Stars
  • Gan, Liping U of NC – Wilmington: Symmetries in Fundamental Physics
  • Krim, Jacqueline NC State U: The Atomic-Scale Origins of Friction
  • McNeil, Laurie U of NC – Chapel Hill: The physics of musical instruments
  • Scholberg, Kate Duke U: Neutrinos from the Sky and Through the Earth
  • Shukla, Deepshikha James Madison U: Neutron Polarizabilities on Nuclei
  • Thompson, Nancy U of NC – Chapel Hill: Fluorescence Microscopy

APS Women Speakers, North Dakota

  • Kryjevskaia, Lioudmila N Dakota State U: Enquiry-based course materials

APS Women Speakers, New Jersey  

  • Andrei, Eva Rutgers U: On magnetic vortices in superconductors.
  • Bahcall, Neta Princeton, NJ: The Dark Side of the Universe
  • Cizewski, Jolie Rutgers U: The Magic Numbers of Maria Goeppert Mayer
  • Cladis, Patricia Adv Liquid Crystal Tech: Tetrahedratic Banana Liq Crystals
  • Etkina, Eugenia Rutgers U: Learning community and teacher preparation
  • Lanzerotti, Mary Y ARDEC: Energetic Materials During High Acceleration
  • Loo, Lynn Princeton U: Structures in Semicrystalline Block Copolymers
  • Polymer Crystallization Templated by Self Assembly of Block Copolymers
  • Prodan, Camelia NJ Inst of Tech: Memebrane Potential of Live Cells
  • Raynor, Susanne Rutgers U: An Overview of Theoretical Chemistry
  • Sealfon, Carolyn Princeton U: Gravity on Cosmological Scales
  • Tabor-Morris, Anne Georgian Court U: History and Applications of X-rays
  • Thio, Tineke Arinna LLC: Diffracted evanescent wave model for hole arrays
  • White, Alice Alcatel-Lucent/Bell Labs: Intro to Optical Communications

APS Women Speakers, New Mexico  

  • Creech-Eakman, Michelle Socorro, NM: What to do with a physics degree?
  • Dingus, Brenda Los Al Nat Lab: Gamma-Ray Bursts: Blasts from the Past
  • Palounek, Andrea Los Alamos: Design a High-Energy Physics Experiment
  • Prestridge, Katherine Los Alamos: Fluid Phenomena in Everyday Life
  • Seestrom, Susan Los Alamos: Measurements using Ultra-Cold Neutrons
  • Seidel, Sally U of NM- Lab: Jets, Partons, and Search for New Physics
  • Sessions, Sharon NM Tech: Multiple equilibria in the tropical atmosphere

APS Women Speakers, Nevada 

  •  Kaplan, Gunes U of Nevada – Reno: Elasticity as a function of grain size

APS Women Speakers, New York  

  • Aprile, Elena Columbia U: Using Gamma-Rays to Understand the Universe
  • Bahukutumbi, Radha U of Rochester: Inspiration from the sun
  • Baum, Stefi Rochester Inst of Tech: Life Cycles of Activity in Galaxies
  • Berebichez, Deborah Stanford U: The Physics of High Heels
  • Chan, Siu-Wai Columbia U: Grain Boundaries in Superconductors
  • Cohen, Beverly Tuxedo, NY: All About Airborne Particles and Me.
  • Conwell, Esther U of Rochester: Conducting Polymers
  • Foster, Margaret American Physical Society APS: The Peer Review Process
  • Friedmann, Tamar U of Rochester: Shrinking radius of hadrons
  • Jackson, Shirley Rensselaer Polytech Inst: Semiconductor Superlattices
  • Kim, Eun-Ah Cornell U: Quantum Liquid Crystals
  • Lewis, Kim Rensselaer Polytech Inst: Functionality in Simple Circuits
  • Magnes, Jenny West Point, NY: Coherence Effects in Diatomic Molecules
  • Markelz, Andrea State U of NY – Buffalo: Terahertz Spectroscopy
  • Noz, Marilyn U NY: Local-Area Networks in an Imaging Environment
  • Prakash, Manju Stony Brook, NY: Space Weather
  • Rafailovich, Miriam State U of NY- Stony Brook: DNA electrophoresis
  • Rice, Emily New York, NY: Brown Dwarfs: Cooler than the Coolest Stars
  • Santos, Lea Yeshiva U: Randomization in Coherent Quantum Control
  • Sokoloski, Jennifer Columbia U: Observations of Stellar Explosions and Jets
  • Sreekala, Subbalakshmi Rensselaer Polytech Inst: Recrystallization kinetics
  • Van de Water, Ruth Upton, NY: Testing the Standard Model with Lattice QCD
  • Wang, Gwo-Ching Rensselaer Polytech Inst: Properties of 3D nanostructures

APS Women Speakers, Ohio

  • Bailey, Sheila NASA Glenn Res Ctr: Space Photovoltaics
  • Bayram, Burcin Miami U: Raman Spectroscopy with liquid nitrogen
  • Clark, B Ohio State U – Columbus: Relativistic Effects in Nuclear Physics
  • Dutta, Ruma Columbus, OH: Numerical Simualtion of Fluid Flow
  • Elster, Charlotte Ohio U: Three Nucleon Physics
  • Gates, Evalyn Cleveland Mus of Nat History: The Hunt for Dark Matter
  • Hanson, Margaret Cincinnati, OH: Forming the Most Massive Stars
  • Ijiri, Yumi Oberlin Coll: Magnetic nanoparticles
  • Nahar, Sultana  Ohio State U – Columbus: Atomic Radiative Processes
  • Piltch, Nancy Cleveland, OH: Measurements for Microgravity Combustion
  • Roche, Julie Ohio U: Strange quarks in the Nucleon
  • Sandler, Nancy Ohio U: Physics of graphene ribbons
  • Schmalbrock, Petra Columbus, OH: High Res Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Selinger, Robin Kent State U – Kent: Rubber that moves
  • Sellgren, Kristen Columbus, OH: Stellar Abundances and Populations
  • Shigemitsu, Junko Ohio State U-Columbus: Lattices in Particle Physics
  • Smith, Tracy Columbus, OH: Astrophysical Dust
  • Taylor, Beverley Ann Miami U: The Physics of Common Toys
  • Yarrison-Rice, Jan Miami U: Nanowires: Watch them giggle and glow

APS Women Speakers, Oklahoma  

  • Wood-Black, Frankie Phillips Petrol Co: Adventures of an Industrial Researcher

APS Women Speakers, Oregon

  • Manogue, Corinne Oregon State U: Rolling Relativistic Quantum Balls Uphill
  • Ostroverkhova, Oksana Case Western U: Photorefractive organic materials
  • Richmond, Geraldine U of Or: Nonlinear Optics and Solid/Liquid Interfaces
  • Siem, Ellen Southern Oregon U: Materials Science
  • Tate, Janet Oregon State U: Transparent conductors and transparent devices

APS Women Speakers, Pennsylvania  

  • Diehl, Renee Penn State U, U Park: Life in Flatland
  • Hornschemeier, Ann Penn State U, U Park: The Origin of the Elements
  • Lavarone, Maria Temple U: Interplay of superconductivity and magnetism
  • Kane, Suzanne Haverford Coll: Mobbing – Flocking and Deterrence
  • Laws, Priscilla Dickinson Coll: Teaching Intro Physics without Lectures
  • Luehrmann, Mia Temple U: Modernizing Astronomy Labs: The CLEA Project
  • Lyyra, A Temple U: All-Optical Alignment of Nonpolar Molecules
  • Poynor, Adele Allegheny Coll: Water at a Hydrophobic Surface
  • Praton, Elizabeth Franklin & Marshall Coll: Fingers of God & Bubble Walls
  • Romer, Kathy Pittsburgh, PA: X-ray Studies of Clusters of Galaxies
  • Singh, Chandralekha U of Pittsburgh: Understanding quantum mechanics
  • Stephenson, Sharon Gettysburg Coll: The Issue of Gendered Physics

APS Women Speakers, South Carolina

  • Kulkarni, Varsha Columbia, SC: Long Ago in Galaxies Far Away

APS Women Speakers, Tennessee

  • Nattrass, Christine U of Tennessee, Knoxville: The Quark Gluon Plasma
  • Sabri, Firouzeh U of Memph: Future Materials: what are we looking for?
  • Smith, Beverly Johnson City , TN: Galaxy Collisions

APS Women Speakers, Texas  

  • Cheung, Margaret U of Houston: Life in a crowd
  • Halas, N Rice U: The Nanoengineering of Optical Properties
  • Lin, Jingyu Texas Tech U: III-nitride UV/blue micro- and nano-photonics
  • Marom, Noa U of Texas, Austin: Density Functional Theory
  • Olafsen, Linda Baylor U: So You Want To Be a Quantum Mechanic?
  • Reed, Helen Texas A&M U: Stability and Transition of Laminar Viscous Flows
  • Torres, Cristina U of Texas, Brownsville: Advanced LIGO:
  • Vigliante, Assunta State U of NY- Stony Brook: X-rays of electronic materials
  • Yennello, Sherry Texas A&M U Radioactive Nuclear Beams
  • Zhang, Zhenrong Baylor U: Defect and Adsorbate Dynamics on TiO2(110)

APS Women Speakers, Utah  

  • Cheney, Janica ATK Launch Systems: Rocket Science Is Just Cool

APS Women Speakers, Virginia

  • Baski, Alison Virginia Com U: Nanometer Structures by Oxygen Etching
  • Blaisten-Barojas, Estela George Mason U: Simulation of Cluster Growth
  • Caldwell, C. Arlington, VA: Atomic Physics at Adv Synchrotron Radiation
  • Constantin, Anca Ohio U: The rise and fall of the power of galaxy centers
  • Dodge, Gail Old Dominion U: Looking Inside the Proton
  • Dworzecka, Maria George Mason U: Using Computers in Upper-Level Physics
  • Hoatson, Gina William & Mary Coll: Nuclear Magnetic Res Spectroscopy
  • Keppel, Cynthia Hampton U: Quark-Hadron Duality
  • Shinn, Michelle Jefferson Lab: Navigating your career in Physics
  • Tolstoy, Alexandra Atolstoy Sciences: What is mathematics good for?
  • Venkateswaran, Uma Nat Science Foundation: Carbon Nanotubes
  • Zheng, Xiaochao U of Virginia: Nucleon spin structure

APS Women Speakers, Washington  

  • Dexheimer, Susan Washington State U: Ultrafast Dynamics of Localization
  • Gossett, Cynthia Boeing: The Transition from Academic to Applied Physics
  • LaMadrid, Marissa AdaptiveTCR Tech: Biological Sequence Analysis
  • Lin, Huey-Wen U of Washington: A Lattice QCD Tour inside the Hadron
  • Lutz, Julie Seattle, WA: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life
  • McDermott, Lillian C U of Washington: Physics education research
  • Olmstead, Marjorie U of Washington: Confidence in Your Career
  • Zita, E Evergreen State Coll: Our magnetic Sun

APS Women Speakers, Wisconsin

  • Echeverria, Isabel DuPont Co: A study of physical aging
  • Howes, Ruth Ball State U: Women Physicists and the Manhattan Project
  • Korenic, Eileen U of Wisconsin, River Falls: The Science of Color
  • Kurahashi Neilson, Naoko U of Wisconsin, Madison: Neutrino Astronomy
  • Sheaff, Marleigh U of Wisconsin, Madison: Heavy Quark Physics
  • Williams-Norton, Mary Ripon Coll: Hands-On Physics for Young Children

APS Women Speakers, West Virginia  

  • Holcomb, Mikel, West Virginia U: Understanding Magnetism in Multiferroics
  • Leslie-Pelecky, Diandra, West Virginia U: The Science of Speed

Women Scientists who give Awesome Seminars

This list was compiled by gerty-z on Scientopia.org in 2011. It’s an online crowd-sourced list, so it is more personal and eclectic than the structured lists from organizations and awards bodies.

  • Cori Bargmann (Neurobiologist)
  • Brenda Bass
  • Bonnie Bassler (Princeton)
  • Angela Belcher, MIT
  • Elizabeth Blackburn
  • Frances Brodsky
  • Anne Brunet (Stanford)
  • Heather Cameron (NIH)
  • C. Sue Carter (oxytocin research at U Illinois-Chicago)
  • Angela Christiano (Columbia)
  • Nicola Clayton (spacial memory in scrub jays)
  • Anna Marie Cuervo (Albert Einstein)
  • Donna Dean, formerly of NIH
  • Rachel Green (JHMI)
  • Elaine Fuchs
  • Rebecca Heald
  • Hopi Hoekstra
  • Kelly Holley-Bockelmann (astrophysicist at Vanderbilt)
  • Nancy Hopkins
  • Luisa Iruela-Arispe at UCLA
  • Christine Jacobs-Wagner
  • Patricia Kuhl
  • Katja Lindenberg at UC San Diego
  • Susan Lindquist
  • Jennifer Lippencott-Schwartz
  • Karolin Luger (Colorado State)
  • Ann McDermott (Columbia U)
  • Trudy MacKay
  • Eve Marder (Neurobiologist)
  • Nergis Mavalvala
  • Susan Mango (Harvard)
  • Courtney Miller from Scripps Florida
  • Liz Miller (Columbia)
  • Jodi Nunnari
  • Shiela Patek
  • Kamala Patel (U of Calgary)
  • Carolyn Porco (Inst of the Southwest)
  • Erica Rosenblum (Uni of Idaho)
  • Barbara Schaal
  • Patricia Schulte (UBC)
  • Eugenie Scott of NCSE
  • Pam Silver
  • Lila Solnica-Krezel (Washington U)
  • Joan Straussman
  • Michelle Swanson
  • Joan Steitz
  • Phoebe Stewart
  • Gina Turrigiano (Neurobiologist)
  • Leslie Voshall
  • Rachel Wilson (Neurobiologist)
  • Xiaowei Zhuang (Harvard)
  • Huda Zoghbi (Neurobiologist)


This is not a list of potential speakers for any specific event, as each event has its own unique mix of requirements. But it shows that you can improve the quality of the list that you choose your speakers from by doing some research on women speakers that you may not currently be aware of. For practical reasons, you may not be able to invite many of the specific women on this list to your particular event, but reading this list may trigger some ideas of similar women who you can invite. Finally, I should add a caveat that I do not agree with the politics of all of the speakers on this list.

If you would like to add any names, please do so in the comments.

A draft Manifesto to promote Ethical Atheism

In July, I published an article on why atheist and skeptic groups should be inclusive, caring and supportive, and how to discuss this reasonably. After reading the feedback to that article, I have written this draft manifesto to promote ethical atheism. I will write a revised version based on the feedback to this draft.

The ideas in this draft manifesto are not new. Many atheist activists already promote many or all of them. This manifesto tries to combine the best of our existing ideas into a set of principles and aims that all ethical atheists can promote, regardless of our policy differences on how best to implement them.


1. Promoting reason, critical thinking and science
2. Promoting atheism over supernaturalism
3. Promoting natural compassion and ethics
4. Promoting inclusive, caring atheist groups
5. Promoting fair and just societies
6. Promoting secular government
7. Promoting local, national and global solidarity


In real life, atheism means more than mere disbelief in gods, or belief that there are no gods. If you disbelieve in gods, it necessarily follows that you also disbelieve that we get our ideas of truth and morality from gods. This is a significant approach to two central questions about life, in a world where most people believe the opposite.

This is a draft manifesto for ethical atheists who care about both truth and morality, and who want to promote reason, critical thinking and science; atheism over supernaturalism; natural compassion and ethics; inclusive, caring atheist groups; fair and just societies; secular government; and local, national and global solidarity.

Ethical atheism is more useful than dictionary atheism, because it applies the consequences of our atheism to real life. Ethical atheism is more precise than secular humanism, because religious people can be both secular and humanist, and because ethics affects all sentient beings and not just humans.

1. Promoting reason, critical thinking and science

It is important to actively promote reason, critical thinking and science, because they are the best ways to gradually approach the truth about reality.

  • When we apply reason and critical thinking to the apparent evidence of our senses, we can form beliefs that are proportionate to the best currently available evidence.
  • The best method of doing this is the scientific method. It proposes hypotheses about what is happening, then tests those hypotheses against evidence by using repeatable experiments that minimize human bias, then develops theories and predictions based on the outcomes of these tests, while always remaining open to revising these theories and predictions if new evidence becomes available.
  • We should rigorously promote reason, critical thinking and science, and defend them against challenges by those who reject these core approaches to seeking truth.

2. Promoting atheism over supernaturalism

It is important to actively promote atheism over supernaturalism, because ideas about supernatural gods corrupt our search for the truth about reality.

  • When we apply reason to the evidence of our senses, we find that there is no reliable evidence to suggest that supernatural gods exist, and there is a lot of reliable evidence to suggest that humans invented the idea of gods.
  • Atheism can be described as any position on a scale from passive disbelief in supernatural gods, to active belief that there are no supernatural gods. Any of these positions is proportionate to the best available evidence.
  • We should rigorously promote atheism as a core foundation of investigating reality, because once we permit supernatural ideas to corrupt our investigations, we are conceding that literally any claim can be made without the need for evidence to support it.

3. Promoting natural compassion and ethics

It is important to actively promote natural compassion and ethics, because ideas about supernatural gods corrupt our attempts to think and act morally.

  • If you disbelieve in gods, it necessarily follows that you also disbelieve that we get our morality and ethics from gods. This is a significant approach to a central question about life, in a world where most people believe the opposite.
  • Morality and ethics are products of our brains, part of the natural evolution of generations of living together as sentient beings. They are based on natural ideas such as compassion, reciprocity and justice.
  • We should seek to minimize suffering and maximize flourishing of sentient beings, and to treat ourselves and other sentient beings fairly and justly. We should challenge corruptions of natural morality and ethics, that are based on supernatural dogmas.

4. Promoting inclusive, caring atheist groups

When we form groups for any purpose (including but not limited to atheist groups) we should do so in an ethical manner. We should make our groups inclusive, caring and supportive of members and potential members.

  • Our groups should be inclusive, caring and supportive for people of all races, genders, sexualities and abilities. This should include policies on how to help people to feel safe and enjoy themselves at our activities.
  • We should include people of diverse backgrounds on our organizing committees and event panels, so that we gain from the variety of life perspectives that this brings to our decision making and our events.
  • We should communicate with each other respectfully, and work to eradicate harassment and bullying. In discussions, particularly online, we should start by assuming good intent, and respond to the issues rather than attacking the person.

5. Promoting fair and just societies

Religion has corrupted building fair and just societies. As ethical atheists, we should promote fair and just societies. We should each do this as individuals, and some atheist groups may also choose to do so collectively. We can each share this goal while having different specific ideas about how best to pursue it.

  • We should tackle specific injustices that are related to religious dogmas, such reproductive health rights, same sex marriage, blasphemy and apostasy accusations, genital mutilations and ‘honor’ killings.
  • We should build alliances with others who, like atheists, also face prejudice and social discrimination. We should identify and work together on specific issues of mutual interest, and support and empower each other.
  • We should objectively examine the impacts of social discrimination, and identify the best ways to promote fair and just societies, so that we can develop evidence-based arguments that can guide our ethical instincts.
  • We should directly take positive actions to help others through community outreach projects, such as holding charitable events, helping existing charities, visiting people in institutions without preaching to them, and doing new and imaginative activities.

6. Promoting secular government

Religion has corrupted secular government. We should actively promote separation of church and state, based on the principles in the Dublin Declaration on Secularism, adopted at the World Atheist Convention in Dublin in 2011.

  • Personal Freedoms: Freedom of conscience, religion and belief are private and unlimited. Freedom to practice religion should be limited only by the need to respect the rights and freedoms of others. All people should be free to participate equally in the democratic process. Freedom of expression should be limited only by the need to respect the rights and freedoms of others. There should be no right ‘not to be offended’ in law. All blasphemy laws, whether explicit or implicit, should be repealed and should not be enacted.
  • Secular Democracy: The sovereignty of the state is derived from the people and not from any god or gods. The state should be based on democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Public policy should be formed by applying reason, and not religious faith, to evidence. The state should be strictly neutral in matters of religion and its absence, favoring none and discriminating against none. Religions should have no special financial consideration in public life, such as tax-free status for religious activities, or grants to promote religion or run faith schools. Membership of a religion should not be a basis for appointing a person to any State position. The law should neither grant nor refuse any right, privilege, power or immunity, on the basis of faith or religion or the absence of either.
  • Secular Education: State education should be secular. Religious education, if it happens, should be limited to education about religion and its absence. Children should be taught about the diversity of religious and nonreligious philosophical beliefs in an objective manner, with no faith formation in school hours. Children should be educated in critical thinking and the distinction between faith and reason as a guide to knowledge. Science should be taught free from religious interference.
  • One Law for All: There should be one secular law for all, democratically decided and evenly enforced, with no jurisdiction for religious courts to settle civil matters or family disputes. The law should not criminalise private conduct because the doctrine of any religion deems such conduct to be immoral. Employers or social service providers with religious beliefs should not be allowed to discriminate on any grounds not essential to the job in question.

7. Promoting local, national and global solidarity

We should promote the above values and aims at local, national and global levels. And we should recognize that our personal experiences are not the same as the personal experiences of other people with whom we interact.

  • At a local level, we should work together to build strong atheist groups and host interesting events, where we can enjoy interacting with like-minded people, while helping to advance reason and secularism in wider society.
  • At a national level, we should lobby politicians to change laws that discriminate against people based on religion, and we should seek to promote our views in the national media and with other national organizations.
  • At a global level, we should work to help others who are more directly harmed by religion than we are. For example, we should highlight the injustices faced by women, gay people and members of minority religions in Islamic and third world countries.

This is a follow-up to my article last month on why atheist and skeptic groups should be inclusive, caring and supportive, and how to discuss this reasonably.

It tries to combine the best of our existing ideas into a set of principles and aims that all ethical atheists can promote, regardless of our policy differences on how best to implement them.

Please let me know what you think.

Five ways you can help Alex Aan, jailed in Indonesia for blasphemy

Indonesian civil servant Alexander Aan was charged with blasphemy for writing about atheism and Islam on Facebook, and has since been jailed for two and a half years for spreading information inciting religious hatred and animosity.

In light of the recent Center for Inquiry petition to the White House (which got 8,000 signatures but needed 25,000 to guarantee a response), here are some things that we can all do to maintain Alex’s morale and to intensify the international momentum for his release.

1. Write to Alex care of Atheist Alliance International

Keep your message uplifting and positive. In July Alex sent a message from prison, saying that he would feel alone without our support and love.

Say that you are pleased that, since then, 8,000 people have asked the American government to support him. Tell him what you personally are doing to support the campaign for his release. Read his old personal blog, which he referred to in his letter from prison (use google chrome or google translate to translate it from Indonesian), and tell him what you like about his writings. Say that you are looking forward to him being released from prison, and studying abroad with the help of the scholarship fund launched on his behalf by Atheist Alliance International.

To send a message of support to Alex, email info at atheistalliance dot org with “Message for Alex” in the subject line.

2. Talk to politicians directly in your own country

Don’t just write to your politicians. Arrange to meet them or their staff. If that’s not practical, telephone them. Give them a short written summary of the case, and ask them to raise the issue in your parliament and with your government. Remind them that Indonesia has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which protects the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of religion.

For example, we in Atheist Ireland have already briefed Irish politicians about Alex’s case, following which Senators Ivana Bacik and Jillian van Turnhout raised the issue in the Irish Senate. We will be holding another briefing for Irish politicians in the near future. These face-to-face meetings really make a difference to the amount of attention that politicians give to any issue.

3. Highlight the context of worldwide blasphemy laws

Highlight to politicians that blasphemy laws are not used only against atheists, but are also used against Christians, Muslims and members of other religions. Blasphemy laws do not protect religions, they infringe on the freedoms of religious and nonreligious people alike. And in some countries they are often used to settle personal grudges, with little or no due process. As well as Alex, some other important cases to highlight are:

Sanal Edamaruku – 57 year old Atheist Activist, India
Asia Bibi – 40 year old Christian Mother, Pakistan
Youcef Nadarkhani – 35 year old Christian Pastor, Iran
Hamza Kashgari – 23 year old Muslim poet, Saudi Arabia
Pussy Riot – three members of punk band, Russia

4. Start or support a campaign initiative

Write directly to the relevant Indonesian authorities. Individually written emails or letters have a greater impact than form letters. You can get contact details here on the Atheist Alliance International website.

Atheist Alliance International is continuing its appeal for funds to assist with Alex’s legal expenses and support his family while he is in jail. AAI has also launched a scholarship fund, along with Cleveland Freethinkers, for Alex to study outside Indonesia after his eventual release. You can contribute to either of these funds here.

Contact your local Amnesty International branch, and ask how you can help the campaign to have Alex released. Amnesty International has condemned the jailing of Alex as a serious setback for freedom of expression and religion in Indonesia, and has urged the Indonesian government to repeal the legislation.

Support the Indonesian Atheists group, founded by Karl Karnadi who is also active in Atheist Alliance International. Although most of the activities of IA are limited to the Internet, several public gatherings have been held in Jakarta and other cities.You can keep up to date with their work on their wordpress blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, and YouTube channel.

In Ireland, Atheist Ireland continues our campaign to support Alex and other victims of blasphemy laws. We have raised the issue with Irish politicians, the UN, the Council of Europe and the OSCE. In the coming months we will be lobbying politicians, speaking and holding a side event on blasphemy laws at the OSCE human dimension meeting in Warsaw in Poland, and bringing Sanal Edamaruku to Dublin. You can keep up to date with our initiatives here.

In the US, the Center for Inquiry continues its excellent campaign to raise national and international awareness of the case and to have Alex released. As well as organizing the recent White House Petition, CFI has lobbied American, Indonesian and international authorities, and has organized a protest in New York City in front of the Office of the Indonesian Consulate General. CFI is currently planning the next phase of its campaign. You can keep up to date with future initiatives here.

In Britain, the Council of Ex Muslims in Britain is campaigning for Alex’s release. You can read the CEMB statement on Alex’s jailing here. Also, in April, Maryam Namazie of the CEMB published this interview with Rafiq Mahmood, who had visited Alex in prison.

In Malaysia, the Malaysian Atheists Organization has sent a letter signed by forty Malaysian atheists to the Indonesian President and Justice Minister.

Many websites and individuals around the world supported the Center for Inquiry petition for Alex, including Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Freethought Blogs, Skepchick, Russell Blackford and Hehmant Mehta.

There was an active English language Facebook page for Alex which has closed down. There is another English language Facebook page here, and another one here, mostly conducted in Indonesian with some English posts.

Andrzej Dominiczak has started a petition on change.org directed to the President of Indonesia, seeking Alex’s release. You can sign it here.

Rob Hart has started a new international petition on change.org directed to the President of the United States. This has just started. You can sign it here.

5. Stay optimistic and keep on campaigning

The Center for Inquiry has expressed disappointment that 8,000 people signed its recent online petition to the US Government, which fell short of the 25,000 signatures required for the White House to be obliged to respond to it. I empathize with CFI’s disappointment. However, I think they are being too hard on themselves. They should be proud of their work on this campaign, and they certainly have nothing to apologize for.

This petition was a very useful part of a growing campaign. It has helped enormously to raise awareness of Alex’s plight. Yes, it would have been helpful to have had a White House response through this approach. But we should not over-emphasize the impact of one petition to the government of one country on an ongoing international campaign, regardless of whether or not it had succeeded in getting the number of signatures to require a White House response.

Actually, getting 8,000 people to sign this particular petition was a positive achievement. The White House launched the We the People website with a requirement of 5,000 signatures per petition, then increased it to the arbitrary figure of 25,000 explicitly so that they would have less petitions to deal with. If Alex’s petition had been started when the limit was 5,000, we would be celebrating the 8,000 signatures.

Also, in practical terms, publicly discussing the petition as if it was a major failure can be used in Indonesia to bolster the argument for keeping Alex in prison. Certainly let us learn lessons about how to improve our activities, including how best to translate passive support into more signatures on future petitions. But let us do so in a way that also keeps up, and indeed intensifies, the public momentum to have Alex released.

Any campaign of this nature will have more downs than ups. We have to stay optimistic during the downs, learn whatever lessons we can, and then continue to campaign. We cannot control how other people react, or guarantee a breakthrough, or know when a breakthrough may come. But we can continue to do, every day, those things that are within our control to move the campaign a little bit forward. That is how such campaigns eventually succeed.

Why atheist and skeptic groups should be inclusive, caring and supportive

Since we hosted last year’s World Atheist Convention in Dublin, there have been escalating online debates about sexism, harassment and bullying in the international atheist and skeptical communities. Good people including friends who I respect, who have expressed different opinions about these issues, have been victims of unfair personal attacks, based on distortions of what they have said or written or represent.

This escalating hostility is now an extra problem on top of the problems that triggered the debates. It hurts people and makes them feel alienated or ostracized or fearful. And it makes it harder for us to work together where we agree, to discuss things reasonably where we disagree, and to address the underlying problems that triggered the hostility. We can and we must reverse this hostility, starting by tackling issues not attacking people.

As atheists and skeptics we should focus on the core issues that unite us, which are atheism and skepticism, where we have literally endless work to do promoting reason and secularism in society. And as ethical atheists and skeptics, we should work together to make our communities inclusive and caring and supportive. This includes actively tackling prejudice and discrimination, and also harassment and bullying, within our communities.

Why we should tackle prejudice and discrimination

As ethical people we should tackle racism, sexism, homophobia, and other prejudices and discriminations, both within the atheist and skeptical communities and in wider society. We each have our own unique mix of random birth advantages, based on our race and gender and sexuality and physical and mental ability and family; and personally earned advantages, based on our education and career and income and relationships. All of these factors influence how we interact with each other socially, and can cause us to face prejudice and discrimination, or to perpetuate it, often unknowingly, every day.

As atheists we should empathize with other groups facing social discrimination, because we know what it is like to face it ourselves. It is different to discrimination based on birth disadvantages, but it is analogous because of the impacts. Most religious people do not even realize that they have unearned social advantages. They see being religious as a natural default position, they genuinely wonder what we are worrying about, they believe we are attacking their rights, and they call us militant and strident. But we notice the prejudice and discrimination, because we experience it every day. And so we should take care not to act in the same way towards other groups.

As skeptics we should objectively examine the impacts of social discrimination, and identify the best ways to promote diversity and inclusiveness. By definition, prejudice depends on not having all relevant information, and as skeptics we are ideally suited to develop and promote arguments for inclusiveness and human rights, based on the evidence of the benefits to individuals and society. We could use this research to tackle the emotional and irrational thinking behind racism, sexism, homophobia, and other prejudices and discriminations. It’s at least as interesting a topic as many we discuss, and a more useful topic than most.

Why we should discuss things reasonably and support each other

We should discuss these issues reasonably, without unfair personal attacks or bullying. We should do this for both ethical and practical reasons. Good people and inspirational activists, who were friends and allies just over a year ago, have been personally hurt and are alienated from working together. This is unfair to these people, who have worked hard and effectively to advance atheism and skepticism, and who are now misrepresented and stereotyped on various websites. It is also unhelpful to the wider project of promoting reason, atheism and skepticism as being better approaches to reality and beneficial to society.

On top of that, some different people have written disgusting personal attacks on women activists, at times dressed up as rape jokes, which go beyond being hurtful and into the realms of hate speech. And others have defended this. This is overt misogyny aimed at specific women, and all decent people must stand together on this issue. We must not become desensitized to the line that it crosses. It goes beyond any sincere disagreements that people of goodwill may have about the level of sexism in our communities and how best to tackle it.

There is a complex tangle of causes and effects between the underlying levels of sexism, legitimately expressed disagreements about its nature and scale, misrepresentations and unfair personal attacks, people becoming hurt and defensive, escalation of the disagreements into hostility, people becoming desensitized to the escalating hostility, and the casual publication of overtly misogynistic hate speech. And this relentless pattern raises obvious concerns about where we are heading, if we cannot reassert the primacy of discussing things reasonably and supporting each other.

How we can start to be more inclusive, caring and supportive

I believe that we can reverse this pattern. I believe that we have enough reasonable people, with different beliefs about these issues, to be able to calmly reassess where we are, how we got here, where we are heading, and where we want to go. Most of us are involved in atheist or skeptical communities because we want to interact with like-minded people, and we also want to help to improve the world a little bit. We now need collective leadership to do this effectively.

I believe that we should start with first principles. If we focus on designing positive policies to make our communities more inclusive and caring and supportive, and work hard to implement those policies, then actively tackling prejudice, discrimination, hate speech, harassment and bullying will flow naturally from that. And it will be as part of a coherent strategy, not just dealing with particular examples as they arise.

Here are 25 next-step suggestions that we could consider.

Atheism and skepticism

  • Keep working together to promote the primary issues that unite the atheist/skeptical communities, which are the approaches to truth and reality that lead us to atheism and skepticism, and how reason and secularism can benefit society. We have not yet come near to winning these arguments within society, and we have to stay focused to bring about change.
  • Continue to rigorously criticize bad ideas wherever we find them. Use reason, logic, evidence, humour, satire and ridicule to undermine the bad and harmful ideas that people promote, and to positively promote better ideas and better ways of thinking.
  • Criticize or satirize people only for their ideas and behaviour, not their personal identities. And there are enough charlatans and abusers of human rights within the religious and pseudoscientific communities to keep us going for years without turning on allies with whom we disagree on tactics.

Promoting fairness

  • Discuss and take action to help to bring about a fairer society. This is an inherently good thing to do as ethical people, and we should do it for that reason. It also helps to combat prejudice about atheists and morality.
  • Take positive actions to help others through community outreach projects. Hold charitable events. Help existing charities. Visit people in institutions without preaching to them. Do something new and imaginative.
  • Objectively examine the impacts of social discrimination, and identify the best ways to promote diversity and inclusiveness, so that we can develop evidence-based arguments that can guide our ethical instincts.
  • Build alliances with other groups who also face prejudice and social discrimination. Identify and work together on specific issues of mutual interest, and generally support and empower each other.

Inclusive, caring and supportive

  • Aim to build real-life and online communities, where atheists and skeptics can enjoy interacting with like-minded people, while helping to advance reason and secularism in wider society.
  • Design positive policies to make the atheist and skeptical communities as inclusive, caring and supportive as possible for people of all races, genders, sexualities and abilities. This will include policies on how to help people to feel safe and enjoy themselves at our activities.
  • Start not by identifying specific outcomes, but by agreeing the principles upon which outcomes should be based: principles like rigorous criticism of ideas, mutual respect for people, promoting fairness, empowerment, diversity and inclusiveness.
  • Measure our responses to specific issues against those agreed principles, which in effect become independent criteria, not by our instant emotional reaction to the most recent thing that somebody has said or written that we disagree with.
  • Focus outward. Design our inclusiveness policies by finding the opinions of the people who we want to include, but who are not already involved. By definition, we who are already involved cannot accurately answer the question of why others are not yet involved.
  • Include people of diverse backgrounds on our organizing committees and event panels, so that we gain from the variety of life perspectives that this brings to our decision making and our events.
  • Try to make others feel safe and comfortable at our events. As a base line, don’t make them feel unsafe or uncomfortable. If we’re not sure, err on the side of caution. Read and respect whatever policies the organizers have published about this.

How we communicate

  • Online debates can magnify misunderstandings and intensify hostility, when compared to real-life conversations. Remember that we are dealing with real people who have feelings. Don’t humiliate, marginalize or ostracize people who are seeking to discuss things.
  • It’s important to be angry when anger is justified, but it’s often not helpful to publish what we feel while we are angry. Instead we could write what we feel then wait to review it before publishing it, or else share our anger privately with a friend. The best use of anger is for it to motivate us to take practical actions to make things better. We can best do this when we are thinking clearly about what we are doing.
  • When responding to something we disagree with, assume good intent. Respond to the issues. Point out what we agree with as well as what we disagree with. Ask them to also assume good intent on our behalf.
  • Don’t stereotype people who disagree with us. Engage reasonably with people who sincerely disagree with us on issues. Seek explanations and apologies from people who post disgusting personal attacks, but otherwise don’t let them dictate our agenda.
  • Try to find creative ways to advance the underlying interests of both us and the people who we disagree with, rather than just compete with them or capitulate to them on the specific examples we are discussing.
  • Be prepared to back down from our positions when we realize that we were mistaken. This can be harder to do on the internet, because our positions are permanently published not merely spoken. Do it anyway.
  • Avoid telling racist or sexist or homophobic jokes, unless perhaps if they are empowering because the target of the joke is the racist or sexist or homophobe. Don’t ever target specific real people with jokes or suggestions about rape or anal self-abuse.

Starting to heal the rifts

  • Accept that each of us is likely to be right about some issues and mistaken about others. Try to approach each issue on its merits, rather than on the basis of which side you think the person is on.
  • Accept that we might be mistaken about what other people are trying to communicate to us, and what their motivations might be. Accept that we might have made mistakes when communicating to others, and that we might have unfairly hurt people without realizing it.
  • Accept that the first step to identifying either harassment or bullying is to listen to the people who tell us that they feel harassed or bullied. The fact that they feel harassed or bullied means there is a problem to be addressed, whatever the detail and however we address it.
  • Start the process of healing the rifts ourselves. Identify something that we ourselves did that may have been unfair or hurtful, and apologize to the person who we we think we may have hurt. Do this regardless of whether or not they reciprocate.

How we can reinvigorate our atheist/skeptical communities

Adversity can sometimes build strength. If we get this right, we can heal at least some of the recent rifts, and start to build reinvigorated, positive atheist and skeptical communities. We should also focus outward. There are many atheists and skeptics who are not even aware that our communities exist, never mind being aware of the minutia of our disagreements. They may be more likely to be attracted to positive proactive groups, who combine promoting our core ideas about atheism and skepticism with an inclusive and caring and supportive value system. As reasonable people, we should at least test this hypothesis.

Blasphemy law victim Asia Bibi still jailed and facing execution in Pakistan

Asia Noreen Bibi, a 41-year-old Christian mother from Pakistan, has now spent three years in prison and faces execution by hanging after a farcical blasphemy conviction. And last year two Pakistani politicians who questioned her sentence were murdered: the governor of Punjab Salman Taseer, killed by his own bodyguard, and Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, who predicted his death.

In June 2009, Asia went to fetch water while picking fruits in the fields near her village. Some Muslim women co-workers objected to Asia touching the water bowl because she was a Christian and therefore unclean. Five days later, the Muslim women claimed that Asia had made critical comments about Muhammad, and a mob gathered to punish her. The police arrested Asia (and not, of course, the mob) and she was charged with blasphemy. She languished in jail for a year and half until November 2010, when she was found guilty and sentenced to hang.

The Pakistani blasphemy law is imposed arbitrarily, and with little due process. Often, the accusers have other unrelated grudges against the person they are accusing. In this case, Asia Bibi had been involved in a dispute with her neighbors, because a goat belonging to Asia had damaged a trough belonging to one of her neighbors. And it was her Muslim co-workers in the fields who first taunted her about being an unclean Christian, which of course was not considered to be an act of blasphemy against Asia’s variation of the Abrahamic god.

After Asia was convicted, the Governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, predicted that the President would pardon her if she did not win an appeal. And Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti conducted a preliminary investigation into the case, which found that she had been falsely accused and the charges were groundless.

Within months both politicians had been murdered, because of their interventions in support of Asia Bibi and against her death penalty.

In January 2011 Taseer was shot dead by one of his bodyguards, and his killer was feted with flower petals by lawyers when he entered court for his trial. In March 2011 Bhatti was also shot dead. He was the only Christian member of the Pakistani government, he had sought but failed to get extra security, and he had recorded a video predicting his assassination.

Today, three years since she was first thrown in prison, and a year and half since she was sentenced to hang, Asia Bibi is awaiting a hearing date for her appeal to the Lahore High Court. Poor Pakistanis can often wait years for such hearing dates. Asia Bibi needs the support of the outside world more than she ever did. International pressure can make the difference in cases like this.

We must also campaign for the repeal of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, and an end to the mob rule hysteria that often accompanies accusations of blasphemy. Just two weeks ago, a homeless Pakistani man, who was reported to be mentally ill, was arrested for damaging a Quran. A mob attacked the police station, dragged the man outside, beat him to death and set him on fire.

Pakistan Christian Congress

Just this week, the President of the Pakistan Christian Congress, Nazir Bhatti, appealed to President Asif Ali Zardari to pardon Asia Bibi due to her ill health, so that she can receive medical support. He also said that justice is never ensured to religious minorities in Pakistan.

Bhatti elaborated that “Pakistani Christians have lost their confidence in the judicial system, judiciary and higher courts because it protected and released Muslims who attacked Churches, killed worshipers, burnt alive women and children, gunned down pastors, never punished Muslims who filed false blasphemy cases against Christians, and never charged Muslims who enforcedly converted Christian women to Islam and gang raped Christian girls after kidnapping.”

What you can do to help

Further Information

Blasphemy law victim Alex Aan sends a message from prison

Alex Aan note from prison

Alexander Aan, who was jailed for blasphemy last month in Indonesia, has sent a message from prison thanking his supporters around the world, saying that he would feel alone without our support and love. He says that he is always concerned with science and humanity, and that he is also concerned about misinformation about him. While his Facebook and email accounts are gone, he also wrote about science and mathematics at iluvboy.blogspot.com.

Alexander is a 31 year old atheist civil servant from Indonesia. In January 2012, he wrote on Facebook that God does not exist, he debated online with Muslims, and he posted pages from a comic-book story of the life of Muhammad. A group of villagers entered his office, checked his Facebook page, assaulted him and reported him to the police. In June 2012, he was jailed for two and a half years.

Alexander was originally charged with blasphemy and persuading others to embrace atheism, but was instead convicted under the Electronic Information and Transactions Law of deliberately spreading information inciting religious hatred and animosity. This shows the dangers of mixing the ideas of blasphemy and incitement to religious hatred, as prosectors can easily interchange one with the other. His defense team is appealing the sentence, while astonishingly the prosecution is appealing the leniency of the sentence!

Atheist Ireland has already briefed Irish politicians about Alexander’s case, following which Senators Ivana Bacik and Jillian van Turnhout raised the issue in the Irish Seanad. But we now need to redouble our efforts to campaign for Alexander’s release and the repeal of the Indonesian and Irish blasphemy laws. Atheist Alliance International is very active on this issue, and will forward messages of support to Alex if you email info [at] atheistalliance [dot] org with “Message for Alex” in the subject line.

What you can do to help

Further Information

My recent panel discussion on Newstalk Radio about religion and science

On Wednesday 6 June, I was on a panel discussion about religion and science on the Marc Coleman show on Newstalk Radio. The other panelists were Michael Kelly deputy editor of the Irish Catholic newspaper, Donal O’Sullivan Latchford of the Irish family and Media Association and Dublin City Councillor Dr Bill Tormey of Fine Gael.

These are some edited highlights of my contributions to the discussion:

And here is the full discussion:

Atheist Alexander Aan jailed today in Indonesia

Indonesian civil servant Alexander Aan was jailed today for sharing material on Facebook about the Prophet Mohammad. Please contact the Indonesian embassy demanding his immediate release, and ask the Irish Government to urgently raise the issue with the Indonesian authorities.

In Ireland, Senator Ivana Bacik and Senator Jillian Von Turnhout have raised Aan’s case in the Seanad in February, and called on the Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore to raise the issue with the Indonesian authorities.

Cases like this also show the urgency of Ireland repealing our own new blasphemy law. Islamic states led by Pakistan have praised the new Irish law at the United Nations. And when the Indonesian blasphemy law was constitutionally challenged in 2010, the existence of the new Irish blasphemy law was cited in its support.

Alexander Aan is a 32-year-old Indonesian civil servant who started an atheist group on Facebook on which he published articles about Mohammad and questioned the existence of God. He was beaten up by his work colleagues then arrested for blasphemy. He was today jailed for two and a half years and fined Rp 100m (about $10,000).

Aan was originally charged with blasphemy and persuading others to embrace atheism, but was instead convicted under the Electronic Information and Transactions Law of deliberately spreading information inciting religious hatred and animosity.

This shows the dangers of mixing the ideas of blasphemy and incitement to religious hatred, as prosectors can easily interchange one with the other. The law should protect people, not ideas. And it should protect people from actual harm, but not from being offended.

Atheist Ireland has consistently highlighted this case as part of our overall campaign to repeal blasphemy laws, including in this talk at the European Atheist Convention in Cologne in Germany last month, on the topic ‘Why we must combat blasphemy laws’.

My debate at Armagh Faith and Science Partnership with Sir John Houghton

Last Tuesday, I took part in the inaugural event of the new Armagh Faith and Science Partnership. The main speaker was Sir John Houghton, former director-general of the British Meteorological Office and a committed Christian. He gave a lecture on the topic of faith, science and global warming. Father Timothy Bartlett and I then joined Sir John for a panel discussion with audience questions, chaired by the BBC’s Mark Carruthers.

A video of the event will soon be online, courtesy of the Faith and Science Partnership, so in this article I will focus on my own contribution to the panel discussion, as reconstructed from my bullet point notes from the evening.

Response to Sir John Houghton

I began by responding to the main points that Sir John had made in his lecture. I said that when he addressed the issue of global warming, he did so with intellectual rigour and backed up all of his assertions with objective evidence. However, he book-ended this section of his lecture with two assertions that were backed up with nothing. His opening argument was that the universe was very big, and it must have come from somewhere, therefore God must have created it. And his closing argument was that we should take care of the Earth because God has instructed us to.

I said that, for the purposes of this discussion, I was using the word reason to mean belief that is proportionate to the available evidence for the belief, and the word faith to mean belief that is disproportionate to the available evidence. I said that, on this basis, we can divide the meaning of the word God into two different concepts: the idea that an intelligent being caused the big bang, and the idea of specific gods with specific attributes, such as the Christian God.

With regards to the idea that an intelligent being caused the big bang, I accepted that it is possible to hold this belief consistently with science. I did not accept that the belief was likely to be true, for several reasons: we have a consistent pattern of religious explanations for reality being overtaken by natural explanations; quantum mechanics is showing that it is possible for something to come from nothing at a subatomic particle level; and the inclusion of a god into the equation does not answer any questions but merely adds new questions about where such a god came from. So I argued that, when or if we do discover what happened beyond the big bang, it is far more likely to be a natural explanation than a supernatural one.

With regards to the separate idea of specific Gods with specific attributes, and with particular reference to the Christian God, I said that this belief was inconsistent with science. I said that, even if you accepted the hypothesis of an intelligent being behind the big bang, there was no logical route from that to the specific claims that humans have invented about specific versions of a God. I said that the scale of our universe, with over a hundred billion galaxies, each containing over a hundred billion stars like our Sun, made it extremely unlikely that it was all created for the benefit of one species on planet Earth. I also said that the idea of Jesus dying and rising from the dead flew in the face of all that we know about human biology, and that scientists who believe that Jesus rose from the dead are in effect biology deniers.

With regard to Sir John’s argument that we should care for others because we are instructed to do so by the Bible, I responded that morality is a feature of our brains; that it has evolved along with our brains; and that it is based on concepts such as empathy, compassion and reciprocity. I outlined the argument made by Sam Harris that morality is concerned with the impact of our behaviour on the suffering and well-being of conscious beings; that the worst possible world is a world in which all conscious beings are suffering to the maximum extent all of the time; and that every step away from this worst possible world is a step towards good and away from bad. I said that biblical morality, far from supporting this natural morality, actually corrupts it by adding commands that cause us to allow or inflict unnecessary suffering, while believing that we are doing good.

Panel discussion and questions from the audience

These are the responses that I made to issues raised during the panel discussion and audience questions, again reconstructed from my bullet point notes of the evening.

Sir John accepted that the idea (or, as he said, the fact) that Jesus died and rose again is very unusual, but he said that it is not unscientific to believe that an unusual thing can happen. I said that it went beyond being unusual, and that it defied the known laws of biology. I also said that, from a biblical perspective, it was not only Jesus who rose from the dead but also many other dead people rose from their graves and wandered around Jerusalem greeting people.

An audience member said that I was mistaken when I said that Jesus did not rise from the dead, as the Bible says that he appeared to five hundred people at one time. I said that this did not prove that the risen Jesus appeared to five hundred people, it only proves that somebody once wrote down that the risen Jesus appeared to five hundred people. I then outlined how the New Testament, if read in the sequence chronologically in which the books were written, shows how the story of an apocalyptic human Jewish preacher evolved into the story of a new Christian God that had been in existence for eternity.

Father Timothy Bartlett said that there is more to reality than science can measure, and that for example you cannot measure love and put it on a Valentines card. I responded that this was not a religious argument, because atheists and religious people alike experience love and other emotions. However, I said that in principle you can measure these emotions, as all changes in consciousness are mappable onto neurophysiological processes in the brain, although I accepted that this would do little to sell Valentines cards.

An audience member asked me what values I would base society on, if it was not to be on religious values. I said that I would base it on compassion, empathy and concern for all sentient beings, not just human beings.

Another audience member asked me how optimistic I was about progress towards secularism in Ireland. I said that, in the Republic, the population was far more pluralist than it had been thirty years ago, and that the main task today was trying to convince the government that public opinion had already changed and that the laws needed to catch up with that change. I said that, in Northern Ireland, things have obviously moved on a lot since the height of the euphemistically-called “troubles”, and that the Belfast Agreement had helped this progress to happen, but that the Belfast Agreement also institutionalised sectarianism by forcing politicians to register as members of one tribe or another.

Finally, Father Timothy Bartlett said that many modern atheists were attacking a caricature of the worst of fundamentalist religion; that we were implying that religious people are stupid and that we were therefore dehumanising them; and that some of the worst atrocities of the 20th century had been inflicted by secular atheist regimes in Russia and China.

I responded that every atheist that I know is quite happy to say that they may be mistaken and that they would change their mind if there were given new evidence. I said that this was one of the main differences between religious and scientific approaches to seeking truth. I said that I was certainly not saying that all religious people are stupid, and I agreed that it was wrong to dehumanise people. I suggested that Father Bartlett should direct his concern about dehumanising people towards Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, who recently told the BBC that atheists are not fully human. And I said that the regimes that he described in Russia and China were not based on promoting atheism, but on promoting other ideologies that, like religion, are also based on faith and dogma.


In this article, I have summarised my own contributions to the panel discussion. You can see the entire event on video when the Armagh Faith and Science Partnership puts it online.

Some final thoughts: Armagh is a lovely place, and I will return to visit again at some stage. I was very pleased with the number of secular rational contributions from the audience. I would like to thank everybody who organised the event, in particular Clive Gordon. I would also like to thank Mark Bailey, director of the Armagh Observatory, who kindly arranged for me to be shown around that impressive facility.