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The Overstory


"Monumental… A gigantic fable of genuine truths."—Barbara Kingsolver, The New ...
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Discuss The Overstory by Richard Powers:
Patricia says that she feels "Girls doing science are like bears riding bikes. Possible, but freakish." To what extent is this still true?

Created: 07/26/19

Replies: 10

Posted Jul. 26, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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Patricia says that she feels "Girls doing science are like bears riding bikes. Possible, but freakish." To what extent is this still true?

Patricia says that she feels "Girls doing science are like bears riding bikes. Possible, but freakish." How has this changed over the years? To what extent is this still true?


Posted Aug. 05, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulak

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 92

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RE: Patricia says that she feels "Girls doing science are like bears riding bikes. Possible, but freakish." To what extent is this still true?

This is a great line and always brings a chuckle. Hopefully, girls doing science is getting less and less freakish as we have more role models like Patricia, one of my favorite characters in the book.


Posted Aug. 05, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 257

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RE: Patricia says that she feels "Girls doing science are like bears riding bikes. Possible, but freakish." To what extent is this still true?

I have seen science and mathematics courses in middle and high school that are specifically designed for girls and young women to think about and prepare for a career in those fields. Also the International Day of Women and Girls in Science was started to help girls and women to have full and equal access to and participation in science. You can find further information at: https://www.un.org/en/events/women-and-girls-in-science-day/. However women are still behind in numbers compared to their male counterparts.


Posted Aug. 07, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 231

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RE: Patricia says that she feels "Girls doing science are like bears riding bikes. Possible, but freakish." To what extent is this still true?

I doubt that it is true in 2019, and I expect that will continue in the future. I believe the number of young women enrolled in medical school may now exceed the number of young men. And the numbers of young women enrolling in STEM courses is rapidly increasing - the number of women going into the engineering and architectural fields is exciting. I think it is becoming very "smart and sexy" for young women to celebrate their brains in math and science and while there may be catching up to do - I think we are on the way!


Posted Aug. 07, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ruthiea

Join Date: 02/03/14

Posts: 174

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RE: Patricia says that she feels "Girls doing science are like bears riding bikes. Possible, but freakish." To what extent is this still true?

I believe things are getting better - my kids had some STEM content in their schools - though not nearly enough, but there is still the perception that it's a male domain- and it can be a rough workplace for women - but hopefully not for much longer@


Posted Aug. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulagb

Join Date: 08/16/17

Posts: 79

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RE: Patricia says that she feels "Girls doing science are like bears riding bikes. Possible, but freakish." To what extent is this still true?

Far too many young people are not interested in much beyond the latest fashion or tv star. I believe we need to do more to encourage all the young to believe it is their responsibility to contribute to the good of society. I do think more young women enter fields like medicine than ever before. I honestly hope this trend continues because we cannot afford to lose half our intelligence merely because they are female. I also believe that communication skills, in which females excel, are critical to the survival of the natural world. It is likely that many families and even educators may not encourage girls in the areas of science as readily as they encourage boys, but it is changing. I hope the trend continues.


Posted Aug. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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RE: Patricia says that she feels "Girls doing science are like bears riding bikes. Possible, but freakish." To what extent is this still true?

Personally, I see great things in the younger generation--at least those I know personally and those I read about in the media. My children (now 26 and 24) are streets ahead of where I or any of my friends were at their age in terms of being aware of and engaged in environmental issues, and I would say the same for the vast majority of their friends.

My daughter graduated this summer with majors in chemistry and geology and is currently on a research vessel out in the Pacific with an international team of scientists studying climate issues, before starting a masters in the Fall. Aged 24, as a woman in science, she has certainly come across sexism in quantity - but rarely from her generation.

My son graduated from a college in Southern California last year that focuses on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math). Up until a decade or so ago the great majority of students were male. Today the college is not only graduating equal numbers of women and men in computer science and engineering, they are also graduating significant numbers of minorities. The "trick" to achieving this is simple--the college requires all students to take classes in engineering and computer science, and it provides foundation classes and support for those who have little or no experience in the topic so that the classroom is an even playing field (i.e. to give the stereotypical example, a girl who has never programmed anything in her life isn't in class with a boy who's been programming since he was eight.) Those who have never programmed before quickly catch up and often surpass those who have.


Posted Aug. 14, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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jant

Join Date: 07/15/14

Posts: 26

RE: Patricia says that she feels "Girls doing science are like bears riding bikes. Possible, but freakish." To what extent is this still true?

I see hope that girls are being celebrated when taking STEM classes. I also think there is more acknowledgement of women's contributions to science - especially to the space program. Unfortunately, social media attracts too many young people with the promise of fame and wealth - which is only obtainable by a few. My daughter is 20 and throughout high school social media was a very negative influence. She is now in college which I hope will outweigh the negatives she sees in popular culture.


Posted Aug. 14, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 368

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RE: Patricia says that she feels

I think we will see more women in all male dominated fields on the horizon. Smart women are fed up with being overlooked and unrecognized for their talents. Most little girls these days are encouraged to truly follow their dreams.


Posted Sep. 05, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BuffaloGirl

Join Date: 01/13/18

Posts: 64

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RE: Patricia says that she feels "Girls doing science are like bears riding bikes. Possible, but freakish." To what extent is this still true?

I think it is improving; more women are graduating as Doctors of Veterinary Medicine in the US than men. The number of women in medical school is almost, if not the same as the number of men. I can't speak to tech degrees or other areas, but if women keep striving it will keep improving.


Posted Sep. 08, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djcminor

Join Date: 03/14/19

Posts: 36

RE: Patricia says that she feels "Girls doing science are like bears riding bikes. Possible, but freakish." To what extent is this still true?

Although I majored in English and taught at the community college level for 30 years, many of my friends were and still are females who majored in chemistry, biology, and math. We all need to go where our talents lie. My sister got the math gene I am lacking. I admire those who go into the sciences. I do think, too, that we need a balance of people in all fields. Writing well is a skill we all need, so English teachers are not obsolete!


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