33 Min Released Jun 29, 2018

Responsibility: Stories about leadership

This week, we're presenting two stories about responsibility in science. Whether we're working in a classroom or the White House, we all have some level of responsibility for others. And sometimes we have to ask ourselves -- are we doing enough to live up to those responsibilities? Both of our stories today explore this idea.

Part 1: On her first day working in the White House under President Obama, microbiologist Jo Handelsman receives some bad news.

Dr. Jo Handelsman is currently the Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as a Vilas Research Professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. Previously, she served President Obama for three years as the Associate Director for Science in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). She received her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Molecular Biology and has served on the faculties of UW-Madison and Yale University. Dr. Handelsman has authored over 100 papers, 30 editorials and 5 books. She is responsible for groundbreaking studies in microbiology and gender in science.

Part 2: After a confrontation with a student, math teacher Sage begins to question whether she's the ally she thought she was.

Sage Forbes-Gray has been an educator for 15 years teaching middle school pre-algebra, high school algebra and English as a second language in Spain to a variety of ages. Sage is the Restorative Justice Coordinator at her school, supporting students and staff in resolving conflict and building community. She is currently in her third fellowship as a Math for America Master Teacher and has been an active community member for the past 9 years. In her free time, she and her spouse, Amber, can be found running, biking, or exploring the world near and far with their kids, Dante, 6, and Elio, 3.

Note: This June, The Story Collider is celebrating Pride Month by highlighting stories about the intersection of science and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues. Each of our five weekly episodes this month will include one of these stories, and you can follow us on Twitter and Instagram this month as we also share highlights from our back catalog as well. 


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Whether we wear a lab coat or haven't seen a test tube since grade school, science is shaping all of our lives.

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