Science includes people of every race
By LeiLani Hector - Staff Reporter
Highline Chemistry Pro- fessor Lauren Wugalter blew up some stuff, and also blew up people's preconception of what they thought they knew about scientists here last week.
Wugalter spoke on Spark- ing Curiosity and Fanning the Flames: Fired Up About Chem- istry on Nov. 30.
This was a part of the Sci- ence Seminar series, which is a weekly series on all things sci- ence.
People have been taught and people have learned about white men in the scientific field and their discoveries, but the world has a need for di- versity in science and people have a need for role models that show "it's not just the old white guy anymore," Wugalter said.
"George Washington Carv- er helped us in our field of ag riculture," Wugalter said. He was one of the first peo- ple to bring up the fact that
if people didn't start rotating the crops, they would deplete all the resources that are in the soil, she said. Carver wasn't the only one
not getting credited for his dis- coveries, she said.
"Rosalind Franklin -- with- out her, we would not know the structure of Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and James Wat- son and Francis Crick would still be playing with their toys," Wugalter said.
Rosalind Franklin was an X-ray crystallographer and was able to get definitive proof of the structure of DNA, Wugalter said.
But she never got acknowl- edgement for it, she said.
"Patricia Bath was the first African-American woman who
not only completed residency in ophthalmology, but also the first one to get a patent for med- ical invention — which was the Laserphaco Probe," Wugalter said.
"If it wasn't for these peo- ple, the ones we don't rec- ognize, the world would be so far in the past," Wugalter said.
The reason people have a need for role models that reflect diversity, that it isn't just about white men making discoveries, is to show that anyone can be- come a scientist if they want to, Wugalter said.
People need to see others who look like them succeed- ing to reduce barriers and reduce the phobias that have been created toward the Sci- ence Technology Engineer and Math (STEM) fields, she said.
Wugalter's presentation was the last of the Science Seminar Series for Fall Quar- ter of 2018.