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Biological determinism and heroism in history

Biological determinism and heroism in history

The presence of women in science is not new. In fact, it has always been so. And the female heroism crosses history with countless achievements for mankind. But this does not mean that the path was easy. Quite the opposite. Women, even today, find it difficult to solidify their talents, especially in leadership and prominent positions. A feminine name, science has passed through centuries as a space dominated by men and their remarkable accomplishments. Women have been able to break down this gender barrier, even if only slowly and “asking for permission.” But it is a slow, cultural process that is beyond any capacity, even if it is downright, and even then, we haven’t seen it in many cases.

+ Differences between sex, gender and biological sex

Examples abound over the centuries. In ancient Greece we can mention Theano, the writer of books and treatises on mathematics, physics and medicine and responsible for the legacy of Pythagoras, considered the “mother of the doctrine of the medium”. However, history often shows Tiano as one of the many wives of the father of mathematics. In the early twentieth century, the Polytechnic Institute of Zurich, Switzerland, was one of the few universities in Europe that accepted women. And there, the first wife of Albert Einstein, Mileva Maric, already showed her great talent for science. Einstein himself credited a large part of the ideas that made him one of the greatest scientists in history, including producing four articles in the journal Annalen der Physik (Annals of Physics) who forever changed the understanding of the laws of physics, including their theory of relativity. At that time, many called her the “Old Witch”. Little is known about her achievements, other than that she was the wife of the father of the theory of relativity and the mother of three of his sons.

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Children, by the way, are another relevant point. Like Mileva, Fernanda Staniskwaki has also given birth to three children and is a scientist. A biologist has faced a series of difficulties to practice motherhood at the same time she needs to dedicate herself to work. In response to the challenge, she created Fathers in Science, a network that sparks debate about the impact on the scientific careers of women and men, where Women in Science can also voice their concerns and challenges of dedicating themselves to their children, labs, education, and scientific research. One of the measures of the support network is “Maternity in Latis”, which is the inclusion of maternity leave in the school curriculum. “For the movement, it is important to formally recognize motherhood as part of a woman’s professional path, with the aim of indicating the moment of pause in the career of scholars and justifying the gaps in production and in the curricula due to the moment of being a mother,” notes Fernanda. Additionally, the biologist asserts that it is a way of removing motherhood from invisibility and biological determinism, thus bringing about changes in how it is viewed within the academy.

“As a 13-year-old employee of the same company, I can notice major shifts such as more humane measures aimed at self-care and family care. When my daughter was born, I was worried about not being able to have the same productivity as before and the company would not understand that .

Today, in addition to acquiring great virtues with motherhood, including better time management, I still feel confident in my ability to meet the demands of mother and woman. In this way, I feel compelled to create a more welcoming environment, especially for women, mothers, families and future mothers”, says Adriana Freire Machado, Marketing Director for Latin America at Eppendorf do Brasil and mother of a six-year-old.. Adriana also highlighted that the company’s leadership is Already 50% are female, which is something that has happened recently in the last four years.

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Adriana supports the initiatives of Fernanda from Parent in Science and understands the difficulties, given that scholarship holders are not CLT holders and this makes the careers of these professionals more difficult, as they have fewer work rights.

“The important thing is for companies, universities and society to move to change this scenario to promote equal rights for all,” he adds.

Recognition and visibility of women in science goes beyond awards or honors. It is to renew a culture which still, at times, derives from Darwin’s words in the second volume of “The Descent of Man”, from 1871, where he says that “man is stronger in body and mind than woman, and brutally kept in a state of servitude far more severe than he does He mentioned any other animal; so it is not surprising that he gained the power of selection.” There are still those who still admire or do not agree with these words – as at the time – for the simple fact that Darwin linked the kinship between humans and other primates, suggested by the same work.