Women Scientists to Discuss Diversity and Open Dialogue in the Scientific World
by Leah Schmerl

Women Scientists

Panelists will address scientists' ethical responsibilities to promote inclusive, accurate communication that fosters strong public policy

A panel of women scientists will discuss the ethical responsibility to foster diversity of voices in science-related discourse, to promote free and open dialogue and to ensure the public understands science's role in broader society.

Moderated by St. Francis senior Janelly Aybar, a biology major who was a Research Assistant for NYP/ Weil Cornell Medical Center HeartSmarts program and a scholar at the Rutgers Summer Health Professions Education Program, the panel discussion is co-sponsored by SFC's Women's Leadership Network and the Biology Department. It commemorates 50 years of co-education at the college.

The panel participants are:

Raquel Castellanos, Ph.D., the Assistant Director of the Office of Research and Diversity Training at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a first-generation Chicana scientist, born in the Bronx, New York. Dr. Castellanos develops program initiatives geared towards increasing the number of underrepresented minority trainees in biomedical sciences across multiple career levels.

Inmaculada de Melo-Martin, Ph.D., MS, the Professor of Medical Ethics in the Division of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. de Melo-Martin's research interests include Bioethics and Philosophy of Science. Most of her work has been on ethical and epistemological issues related to reprogenetics and molecular genetics.

  • Christina Medina-Ramirez, Ph.D. (St. Francis '03), the Director of the Skirball Science Learning Center at Hunter College of CUNY which. In this role Dr. Medina-Ramirez has implemented comprehensive academic support programs aimed to improve science course performance and retain STEM majors. Dr. Medina-Ramirez previously served as the Professional Development Coordinator of the NIH sponsored RISE (Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement) Program at Hunter College where she developed programing focused on career development and building scientific core competencies.

The panel will tackle questions about who bears responsibility – and for what -- within the practice of science to promote inclusivity, accommodate dissent and communicate transparently and accurately to ensure the best public policies.

"The panel is meant to be a springboard for women in science to dig into some of the big ethical dilemmas scientists face," said Dr. Victoria Ruiz, assistant professor in the Biology and Health Promotion Department. "We hope it prompts our audience to consider how the practice of science should and does reflect the diversity of thought and backgrounds of current and future generations, and how non-scientists and scientists alike can engage in productive and fact-based conversations that lead to public policies that serve everyone."

Dr. Ruiz collaborated with Dr. Alison Dell, assistant professor in the Biology and Health Promotion Department, to organize the event.

Women's Leadership Network ("WLN") supports and encourages the development of leadership skills in our students and young alumnae by providing opportunities to collaborate with each other and to network with more experienced career women who support St. Francis College. This network will be used to empower our students, reconnect with our alumnae and network with new friends while growing the resources of SFC through professional, educational and social events.