Ann Marie Macara may not look like a stereotypical scientist. Sporting green bangs and a tattoo of a DNA helix on her back, the Ph.D. candidate in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology is one of the visionaries behind an art exhibit aimed at broadening views about who scientists are — and who can be a scientist.
In colorful comic book panels, the “Women in Science” exhibit highlights underrepresented women who have made great strides within the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The exhibit opens Aug. 8 at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History.
"We want to encourage young girls to be interested in the sciences by showing them that there are all kinds of women who were able to change the way we think and how we understand the world,” says Macara, an active member of the FEMMES program, a university-based organization dedicated to closing gender and racial divides in STEM fields, and who works in the Bing Ye lab at the U-M Life Sciences Institute.
“We also want the exhibit to be exciting and inspiring to young boys as well,” she adds.
The exhibit’s five panels were illustrated by Greg Carter, an undergraduate exchange student from Loughborough University in the United Kingdom. Nebraska-based graphic designer Alyssa Cates, who earned a Master’s degree in cellular and molecular biology from U-M in 2012, lent her skills to the design.
“People from all backgrounds can achieve great things in science, and it's important to communicate that message early and often,” says Cates.
The exhibit was made possible through the support of the U-M Life Sciences Institute; a MAAS Professional Development Award; the Program in Biomedical Science; the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology; the Women in Science and Engineering Program; and FEMMES (Females Engaged in More Math, Engineering and the Sciences).
Written by Chris Ransburg