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“Hidden History of Women in Science” Author Julie Des Jardins Speaks at Kent State on March 8

Posted Mar. 2, 2012

Are the fields of science and technology still considered to be predominantly male professions? Julie Des Jardins, Ph.D., will explore the lives of women scientists in relation to their male counterparts at a talk at Kent State University. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Thursday, March 8, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Kent Student Center Kiva.

Des Jardins is a history professor at Baruch College in New York. A reception with refreshments will follow the event in Room 306 A in the Kent Student Center.

Des Jardins, author of the book “The Madame Curie Complex: The Hidden History of Women in Science,” will explore unexpected revelations about women’s contributions to the sciences and how they have transformed scientists’ roles. Her presentation, “The Hidden History of Women in Science,” will discuss why the fields of science and technology are still considered to be predominantly male professions. Des Jardins dives into the world of women scientists, how they often ask different questions, use different methods and come up with different explanations for phenomena in the natural world.

The program is a capstone event presented by the Kent State IDEAL (Institutions Developing Excellence in Academic Leadership) Project, a National Science Foundation-funded project to encourage career advancement of women and under-represented groups in science and technology.

“The timing to bring Des Jardins to Kent State is perfect for the third and final year of the project,” said Mary Louise Holly, Kent State’s IDEAL co-director. “Dr. Des Jardins will enhance the dynamic and evolving conversations about diversity at the university.”

Through an innovative three-year partnership with Case Western Reserve University, the IDEAL program at Kent State is supporting cultural transformation to enhance equity and inclusion in the STEM disciplines.  

“Our Kent State team has experienced significant accomplishments over the last three years,” Holly said.

After identifying key players throughout the university, the IDEAL team administered a climate survey in its first year. In year two, in addition to bringing Bernice Sandler, the Godmother of Title 9, to campus, the team helped to shape the Presidential Task Force on Women in STEM Education and Research, which is now 30 people strong. Des Jardins’ presentation continues the team’s momentum.

Kent State event sponsors include the Office of the Provost, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Faculty Professional Development Center and the Women’s Center.

For more information about the event, visit


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Media Contacts:

Mary Louise Holly,, 330-672-1919
Bob Burford,, 330-672-8516