The SAGE team welcomes new recruit, Dr Rachel Morgain, who joins us in the role of Project Officer. She has a PhD in anthropology, with a background in Physics, has undertaken research in Australia, North America and the Pacific.
It’s a hopeful time to be working on gender equity in science. I don’t ever recall seeing so much momentum as there is now across institutions, industry and government to finally grapple with the entrenched challenges women and gender minorities face in STEMM careers. My own interest in these questions dates back to when I was a young aspiring astronomer at Melbourne University and part of our university’s ‘Women in Physics’ network. Being part of observing teams at Parkes Radio Telescope and the Anglo Australian Observatory, and doing research on general relativity, still stand out as highlights of my career.
Like a lot of young women, I ended up taking a course that led me out of science research. I went on to work in the federal government, first as a scientist, and later moving into social policy and research. I completed a second degree in gender, sexuality and culture and then a PhD in anthropology, both at the Australian National University, and worked for a time as a research assistant at Stanford University. Before coming to SAGE, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the ANU, looking at gender relations in the Pacific, and lecturing on cross-cultural understandings of gender. My published and forthcoming work includes research on gender relations, transgender experiences, the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer rights in Australia, and how gender and race have been depicted in representations of science in popular fiction.
I’m excited to have had the chance recently to return to my roots in science through research into the wider social context of how science and technology is practised, and the meanings of science for our society. It’s very rewarding now to join the SAGE team, and to be bringing these skills together in a way that can have an immediate impact in the world of STEMM and beyond.