Whether you are a man or a woman, networking is hard. Who enjoys walking into a room full of strangers? What does one possibly talk about to someone who seems just as absorbed with the vegetable platter? If you are a woman, why does it seem easier to approach another woman than a man?
Raised by an overly protective father meant that I was not allowed to speak until spoken to, and certainly, my sisters and I were never allowed to speak to strangers. Now as a sole proprietor and executive recruiter, my livelihood depends on cold calling prospective candidates and clients.
Recently I met with the director of youth activities at a local community center in Seattle. We were sitting together in the center's new computer facility, home to twelve work-stations, discussing ideas for a future program to teach computing skills to high-risk girls. I had been working at the center for one afternoon a week since the beginning of the summer, holding basketball clinics for the girls.
A few weeks ago I had the honor of attending the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit in Redmond, Washington. Microsoft's Faculty Summit is an important annual gathering, and normally Bill Gates opens the event. This year, however, Microsoft decided that a plenary panel should kick things off.
One of the most effective "tools" of the science advocacy community, in making the case for federal support of science, is…well, scientists. Occasions in which researchers are able to sit down with Members of Congress and discuss their own work do more to advance the cause of science than five meetings with staff like me.
My family just finished a great vacation in Iceland. I can describe this wonderful country in a nutshell: it's truly unspoiled, has considerably more sheep than people, and possesses all types of terrain. But I'm not really intending to write about Iceland; instead, I want to tell you how this trip impressed upon me the power of information technology in our lives.