What Does a Scientist Look Like?/Too Pretty to be a Scientist

A few months ago Science Mentor told me about a new science blogger, La Cientifica. So I went on over to her blog and came across her post, Please Refrain. In this post she shares some of the crazy comments she gets as a woman in science. Here are some of the comments that stood out to me the most:

  • Come on angels.
  • Women live longer than men because they don’t work as hard.
  • The only intelligent woman I know is my wife.
  • You don’t dress like a scientist.
  • Do you plan on having a baby anytime soon?

I can say that I have heard these before. Have you? These comments are inappropriate and disrespectful! I remember reading a few articles about this topic and the Women in Astronomy (Is Science in the Eye of the Beholder?) blog post.

When did society make it okay for people to make rude comments to women in STEM? This is unacceptable and has to stop! As a Mademoiselle Scientist I should only be judged by the work that I do, not what I look like. Since I look young and dress stylishly I often get the comments like: “you look so young”, or “real scientists don’t care about how they look, this is not a fashion show” and sometimes I don’t get taken seriously. It’s a shame that things are this way. The last time I checked there is nothing wrong with being feminine or taking pride in my appearance.

Have you ever heard, “you don’t look like a scientist”? Or how about, “You are too pretty to be a scientist”?It’s time that we take a stand and make a change. We have to let our voices be heard.  Continue reading What Does a Scientist Look Like?/Too Pretty to be a Scientist

Mademoiselle Scientist Turns 1 Year Old: My 1st Blogiversary

1st Blogiversary MSToday Mademoiselle Scientist turns 1 Year Old. It’s my blogiversary! I cannot believe that a year ago today I published my first blog post. I started Mademoiselle Scientist as a way to help the next generation of scientists and to share my journey as a woman in STEM. When I started blogging I did not know where it would take me. Now, that I have blogged for a year I have learned many things and am ready to take this year by storm! I have many things coming up this month so stay tuned.

This month I am introducing a series called Spotlight on Science. It will highlight different science resources and information that is helpful to other scientists. If you want to check out my other series check out my Mademoiselle Scientist Birthdays or Recent Graduate Series. If you have any suggestions let me know.

Thank you for subscribing to Mademoiselle Scientist. I appreciate you and every comment I receive. I enjoy being a member of the science blogging community. I followed Ph.D. Comics for years and it made me laugh while I was in my Masters Program. A few years later I discovered The Thesis Whisperer and I emailed her about starting a science blog and she gave me great feedback. She was so helpful and I look forward to her blog posts. This blog is a chance for me to share the things that I have learned through my journey as a woman in STEM. Thank you for coming along with me!

What type of posts are you looking forward to seeing? Comment below.

Thank you for your continued support!


Empowering Women in STEM

If you go back early this year during black history month I shared a post about my reflections as Black Woman in STEM #AAWiSTEM. I know that there many women in STEM that read my blog and can relate to some of the things I spoke about in that post.

The other day I was talking to one of my colleagues about why I decided to become a scientist and I talked about empowering women. I like to support organizations that support minorities and women in STEM. When I started my blog I shared my 5 Tips for Women in Science and a month ago I wrote a science reflection post about the #LikeAGirl Campaign by Always. These posts make me think about this question further. How can we empower women in STEM? What do you think? Let’s start a discussion in the comment section.

Here is how we can get started:

Empowering Women in STEM: Continue reading Empowering Women in STEM

Like A Girl by Always Woman in STEM Reflection

The other day I was watching a YouTube video and I came across this video by Always called #LikeAGirl. If you haven’t seen it click here. I usually skip the random advertisements on YouTube after 5 seconds, but this particular video caught my attention.



Always #LikeAGirl Video Woman in STEM Reflection: Continue reading Like A Girl by Always Woman in STEM Reflection

Careers: Science Policy Reflection – AWIS & NSBE Mashup

For the past few months I have been hearing a lot about alternative science research careers, specifically science policy, patent law, science communication and science journalism. About a month and a half ago I attended the Association of Women in Science (AWIS) Career Panel on Science Policy and Education hosted by the AWIS-Baltimore. This was a career panel of women in different policy and education positions.

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Science policy is the branch of public policy that is the bridge between science and the public. It involves scientific issues, education, advocacy and everything else that goes into science policy. A balance of writing, communication, and oral skills are key skills to have in a science policy position.

Now there are many recent graduate PhD scientists that are exploring alternative science research careers, such as science policy. The good thing about the science policy field is that you get the opportunity to apply your extensive scientific knowledge that can make an impact on the public. For this career corner post I am going to share my reflection after attending an AWIS career panel on science policy and participating in a NSBE twitter chat on science policy. Continue reading Careers: Science Policy Reflection – AWIS & NSBE Mashup

Black History Month Edition of Mademoiselle Scientist: My Reflections as Black Woman in STEM

About a month ago I participated in a twitter chat #AAWiSTEM about empowering African-American Women in STEM with The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). After this conversation it made me think about last summer when I read the American Association of University Women (AAUW) “Why so Few?“. If you have not read it please check it out.

As a black woman in STEM sometimes I feel like I am a member of a small group. When I feel like this I remember that there are so many resources and other women in STEM out there like me. If you cannot find them look in your community, schools, at work and I know that you will find someone who can lend a helping hand. You may even find a mentor. In regards to the question, “Why so Few?”, I believe we cannot answer this question until things change. If we provide mentoring and resources for minorities and women in STEM, then we can increase STEM Diversity.

In honor of Black History Month and Women’s History Month (which is in March) I decided to share my reflections as a black woman in STEM.  In my previous post, I talked about Dr. Jewel Plummer Cobb who is an African-American research scientist (Cell Biologist/ Cell Physiologist) that made a great contribution to cancer research. At the time she entered graduate school there were few black women in STEM. Today we are still battling with why there are few minority women in STEM. How can we increase these numbers? How can we increase the amount of minority women in STEM that pursue higher education?  Continue reading Black History Month Edition of Mademoiselle Scientist: My Reflections as Black Woman in STEM

5 Tips for Women in STEM

Here are my 5 tips that I have learned along the way as a woman in STEM:

1. Find a mentor:

Mentors are great! They provide guidance, advice and support throughout your STEM career. If you are looking for a mentor tap into your in your existing network, explore LinkedIn and join the #sciencetwitter community. If you are interested in virtual mentoring join the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN). Finding the right mentor takes time and I encourage you to find multiple mentors for the different areas of your career.

2. Join a network for women in STEM:

One of the great benefits of being a woman in STEM are resources that are available. There are many organizations for women such as AWIS, SWE or AAUW. When you surround yourself with other women in STEM you will learn the tools of the trade. When you attend conferences you will learn more about your field, talk about your research and network with other women in STEM. It’s a win-win-win! If you don’t have a mentor yet a conference is a place to find potential mentors.  Continue reading 5 Tips for Women in STEM

A Little Bit about the Scientist…

My name is Martina and I am a Toxicologist, Science Writer and STEM Advocate. One of the most common questions I get asked is: What is toxicology?  Usually this question is followed by: What can you do with that? Most people assume that toxicologists only work on autospies and do CSI type work.

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Yes, forensic toxicologists and other types of STEM disciplines can do this type of work, but as a toxicologist you can do other things as well. Just like many STEM fields toxicology is interdisciplinary and allows you to solve problems. For example, I am interested in public health, vaccines, safety and STEM education. As a toxicologist my career choices are not limited.

Even though as a toxicologist I am not limited to my career options I realized that there was a limited number of underrepresented groups in toxicology. What’s up with that? As a black woman in STEM representation is important to me. This is why I share my story and I encourage you to share your STEM story.

My journey is not linear and it had bumps along the road. I know many people can relate no matter what your field. These bumps along my science journey taught me to stop putting myself in a box, explore all that STEM has to offer and be open. My career journey has allowed me to wear many hats. I got to be a researcher, STEM educator, science communicator, science writer, director and my list keeps growing. At first, my goal was to become a vaccine development researcher. Now my goal is to become a director of a STEM Program. Goals change and a STEM career allows you to do many things!

What is your STEM story? How can we increase the number of underrepresented groups in STEM? Share below.

Welcome to Mademoiselle Scientist!

Always asking why. Always curious. Always wanting to create and discover the world around me. My ideas were as big as my glasses; imagine Lavender from Matilda. This was mini me and still a bit of me to this day.


Science was was everywhere and I knew that I wanted to be a part of it. I enjoyed learning more about science every day. Whether I was reading about science in my grandparent’s encyclopedia collection or watching The Magic School Bus or Bill Nye the Science Guy I knew one day I would become a real scientist. The opportunity to make a change in the world, make a stamp in science and society further ignited my passion for science. I wanted to use my science to cure diseases, help my community and be a scientific leader.

Unlike my peers I was always reading, exploring science and looking for ways to learn more about science. As time passed I realized there were not many girls in my class who were interested in science. I wondered why, but I did not know how to change it. Fast forward years later, I realized that if I wanted to see a change I had to make a change. I began asking myself, “Why are there so few women in science?” “What can I do to change this?” “What resources are out there for me?”

Before I started blogging I followed two blogs: The Thesis Whisperer and This Week in Virology. Their platforms inspired me and made me realize that I had a niche that needed to be filled. A few days later my sister and I brainstormed some blog names and came up with Mademoiselle Scientist. And here we are today. So if you can relate, I invite you and your STEM crew to follow my science journey.

Continue reading Welcome to Mademoiselle Scientist!