Ann Lutes Johnson Summer Lecture Series Brings Prominent Women of Science to BMC

Posted June 24th, 2010 at 2:27 pm.

Astronomer Vera Rubin, whose work established the presence of “dark matter” in the universe, will give the first of two lectures in the Ann Lutes Johnson Lecture Series on Monday, July 12, at 4 p.m. in the Ely Room of Wyndham Alumnae House.

Bryn Mawr alumna Nancy Craig ’73, who is renowned for her contributions to the field of molecular genetics, will give the second lecture in the series on Friday, July 23, also at 4 p.m. in Wyndham.

Both lectures are free and open to the public. The series is associated with Bryn Mawr’s Summer Science Research Program, which provides 35-40 students with ten-week research stipends to conduct independent research under the guidance of Bryn Mawr faculty members in the sciences and mathematics. The summer program is enriched by professional-development workshops and a poster session at which students present their research to the college community. Significant funding for the program is provided by a gift from Ann Lutes Johnson ’58.

photo of Vera Rubin with an assortment of globesVera Rubin earned her bachelor’s degree in 1948 from Vassar College, her master’s from Cornell University, and her Ph.D. in astronomy from Georgetown University in 1954. Her work on star motion in galactic systems confirmed the existence of dark matter in the universe. She also has made important contributions to the study of large-scale motion of galaxies. More recently, Rubin has been studying low-surface-brightness galaxies in an attempt to better understand dark halos. She has been awarded numerous honors for her groundbreaking research, including many honorary degrees, a Richtmeyer Memorial Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers, and election to the National Academy of Sciences. She was awarded the National Medal of Science, a presidential award, in 1993.

craig1After graduating from Bryn Mawr with a degree in biology, Nancy Craig went on to complete her graduate work at Cornell University. Since then she has held postdoctoral and faculty positions at the National Institute of Mental Health, The Carnegie Institution of Washington, The University of California, San Francisco, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Craig is currently a professor of molecular biology and genetics at Johns Hopkins and Howard Hughes. Past awards and honors include election to the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Craig has recently been recognized as a fellow at the National Academy of Sciences. These recognitions reflect the important contributions Craig has made in the field of molecular genetics and the mechanisms and controls of transposition and site-specific recombination in DNA.

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