Chapter 0: Iranian Women in Science and Engineering
"70% of Iran's Science and Engineering students are women, and in a small, but promising community of startups, they’re being encouraged to play an even bigger role", Forbes reported. Studying abroad for four years, I have met brilliant Iranian female researchers who have been pursuing their goals in advancing the Science and Engineering. While Science does not recognize gender or nationality, the real world does. Iranian female researchers, in particular, have had to come a very long way to turn their dreams into reality. In 2014, Maryam Mirzakhani was honored with the Fields Medal, the most prestigious award in math, becoming both the first woman and the first Iranian to be honored with the award. Sadly, in 2017, Maryam passed away at age 40 due to cancer. Her death struck me deeply and at some personal levels, thinking that she grew up in a society and faced restrictions and limitations as many other of us did. I believe that she was certainly one of a kind, but I also believe that there are many other Iranian female researchers out there, who work tirelessly to add to the body of Science and Engineering but may not have been seen or heard of.
My goal is not to enumerate the challenges that these group of researchers had faced, but to play a small role in enhancing the visibility of these researchers. Therefore, I decided to start a 12-chapter series on my blog, asking 12 researchers to introduce their work and share their research. To keep it simple and effective, I will ask 12 researchers to present their work in 3 paragraphs and describe how they see their work impacting the Science and Engineering. The very first chapter will be posted soon! If you would like to participate in this series, or you know someone who might be interested in, please don't hesitate to contact me.