A physician at University of California, San Francisco reflects on equity in STEM | NOVA



Physique + MindPhysique & Mind

Dr. Katherine Julian, the granddaughter of famed chemist Percy Julian, discusses her grandfather’s legacy—and the way obstacles for individuals of coloration in science nonetheless exist.

Katherine Julian, doctor and affiliate dean of graduate medical training on the College of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Picture courtesy of UCSF

The grandson of Alabama slaves, Percy Julian labored tirelessly—transitioning from college school rooms to non-public laboratories; from the U.S. to Austria and again—to discover a place that might enable him to work in chemistry. After one yr as a division head at Howard College—a stint that resulted in his resignation—Julian would go on to work at DePauw College, the place he turned the primary to ever completely synthesize physostigmine, an alkaloid used to deal with glaucoma.

His different successes, which embrace synthesizing cortisone (used to deal with arthritis) and progesterone (used to stop miscarriages) improved society. Additionally they helped pave the way in which for Black, Indigenous, and different individuals of coloration in STEM, and encourage the subsequent era of scientists.

A type of scientists is Percy Julian’s granddaughter, Katherine Julian. A doctor and affiliate dean of graduate medical training on the College of California, San Francisco, Katherine trains medical residents and fellows, and researches medical training. Her work of training science and educating others mirrors—and honors—her grandfather’s legacy, and she or he sees Percy Julian’s sacrifices mirrored within the work she and different Black scientists do right this moment. 

Plenty of Black individuals “should work 3 times as onerous” to be taken critically, Katherine says. “I believe that form of work ethic is one thing that I’ve to proceed to uphold—actually in my skilled world. That has been instilled in me in a long-lasting method.” 

Katherine spoke with NOVA about her recollections of Percy, her profession, and the impact his life and work has had on the way in which she perceives progress in STEM right this moment.

Hanna Ali: Black scientists and hobbyists nonetheless face discrimination within the lab and in public, very like Percy Julian did himself. Most of the time, the onus is on Black, Indigenous, and different individuals of coloration to push their approach into STEM environments and educate their friends on what it means to deal with them with humanity.

Do you typically discover that your cohort of scholars is pretty various, and have you ever seen extra strides being made at UCSF to make extra alternatives for college students of coloration?

Katherine Julian: In my nearly 25-year profession—and I believe this isn’t simply at UCSF, that is on a bigger scale—we’ve made nice strides to develop into extra various in science. Do I believe we’re the place we should be? No, in fact not. And I nonetheless really feel like we’ve got a methods to go. 

We aren’t excellent. We’ve many issues to be taught and alter. However I do really feel like we’re at a novel level—significantly now—as a result of, sadly, of many present occasions. There’s extra consciousness-raising presently than I’ve seen within the final 20 years. I really feel like that’s an unimaginable alternative to have the ability to proceed to make change.

HA: Within the time that your lives overlapped, did you witness your grandfather working as a chemist? In that case, what impression did this depart on you?

KJ: Nicely, he handed away once I was fairly younger. The facet that I noticed of him was not essentially the scientist facet. I noticed a facet that was tremendous captivated with gardening: the backyard he had, round his home [in Chicago] and on the grounds of his house. He liked tulips—and planted hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of tulip bulbs within the floor. [He’d] exit and backyard each morning earlier than going to work. 

I believe it does mirror that he was somebody who labored so extremely onerous. I believe he was somebody that put himself absolutely into many, many issues. Clearly he had science. And transferring that ahead and to do the issues that he did, I believe required such unimaginable fortitude.

HA: Did your grandfather use gardening as a solution to educate the youthful kids in your loved ones?

KJ: I positively bear in mind being on the market with him. I used to be in all probability too younger for there to be any type of training facet. However I do assume after he handed away, there was an training facet: from my grandmother and my father and my aunt, when it comes to his legacy and what that meant, and nearly a duty for that legacy. And that goes a little bit bit towards having to work twice as onerous and the way vital training is. I believe that there was very a lot a sense that he had labored so onerous to have the ability to advance Black and African People and to have the ability to present for his household. 

HA: It looks as if, as a substitute of a hands-on instructing method, there was extra of a legacy of studying.

KJ: That’s precisely proper. 

HA: “Forgotten Genius” presents a perspective of Percy Julian’s profession and likewise means that he made plenty of mates alongside the way in which, together with some abroad in Austria, that got here to do analysis with him within the States in a while. Are you in contact with any of them?

KJ: You understand, I really am in contact with a household buddy—she’s now of superior age. Her household labored with my grandfather. She now lives in Israel. 

She travels to the U.S. annually—properly, not in COVID instances—often for competitions. She’s a scientist herself, and we get collectively yearly when she comes. So there’s a few of that connection, clearly, as a result of my grandfather now can be very previous, and quite a lot of these connections have now handed. Staying in contact along with her [has] actually been terrific. And [being] in a position to hear previous tales has been nice. 

HA: It’s fascinating to consider how Percy Julian needed to go overseas simply to get extra analysis and work expertise. 

KJ: And to come across the entire racism and obstacles there—simply even to attempt to dwell in the neighborhood of what he was attempting to dwell—I believe required unimaginable fortitude. 

HA: My members of the family are immigrants, and we don’t have that type of lengthy story of a household legacy in America. It’s extra like, “Your dad and mom got here right here to go to high school they usually made a life for themselves. Any type of household historical past is again in Somalia.” 

KJ: I see an immigrant’s story in a approach similar to the way in which you assume again to fortitude. How onerous it’s to go away all the things behind, to go someplace new to attempt to make a greater life—whether or not it is for you or typically actually to your children—proper? So I see it as very, very related. I am unable to communicate for kids of immigrants, however having spoken to a number of of my mates, I do assume additionally they really feel an enormous duty. It is like, “Wow, my dad and mom went by way of all of this for me…I’ve a duty to pay that ahead in a approach.” 

HA: We’ve been highlighting “Black in X” weeks at NOVA, speaking about what it means to be a Black scientist. Being a doctor, do you end up having to elucidate essentially the most fundamental inequities in well being care or STEM to your friends, the place you say one thing like, “I shouldn’t should let you know this, however I do?”

KJ: You understand, not a lot now. A few of that could be a operate of the stage I am at in my profession, [and] the place I am at, being at UCSF, the place I do assume persons are actually well being fairness in an actual approach and pondering deeply about it. I do really feel lucky that I’m not having these conversations in my office, a minimum of presently. I’ve, years and years in the past, [but] I do really feel that that is a marker the place I’m when it comes to change. As a result of I additionally acknowledge that is not the case for a lot of, many different individuals and the place they’re. 

The present pandemic has simply uncovered a lot well being inequity. And I believe individuals—a minimum of the parents I’m working with—notice that. I do assume people are actually trying and desirous about “How can we, as a medical neighborhood, make a distinction when it comes to actually attempting to eradicate these disparities and assist?” 

This interview has been edited for size and readability.

San Francisco voters recall 3 school board members : NPR


NPR’s Elissa Nadworny talks to Ann Hsu of San Francisco concerning the profitable effort from dad and mom and residents to recall three faculty board members this week.



ELISSA NADWORNY, HOST:

Plenty of conclusions are being drawn concerning the profitable recall of three San Francisco faculty board members earlier this week. Some political analysts are saying the result may sign a progressive backlash within the midterms. Others level to it as one other instance of how training is turning into a rising political wedge difficulty. And nonetheless some others are saying the race is an instance of the political energy of Asian voters in San Francisco. Their turnout helped decide the result of the recall.

All these issues could possibly be true, however for the following jiffy, we will speak about what this implies to one of many folks concerned, what motivated her and what she hopes occurs now. Ann Hsu, the mom of two San Francisco Public Faculty college students, acquired concerned within the recall effort late, however helped register greater than 500 Chinese language Individuals. Welcome, Ann.

ANN HSU: Thanks.

NADWORNY: In order I stated, a number of conclusions being drawn about this native race. What motivated you to get entangled?

HSU: Properly, I acquired concerned, much like many different dad and mom, as a result of we noticed our youngsters at residence on Zoom faculty and doing simply terribly and having a number of studying loss, psychological well being points. And we noticed the board not doing something about it, not even recognizing that there was an issue.

NADWORNY: What do you see because the priorities for the varsity district going ahead?

HSU: First precedence is get the fiscal home so as. Second precedence, get the curriculum so as as a result of San Francisco, compared to different faculty districts throughout California, we do fall behind. And even the underserved minority teams, their take a look at scores, their competency – the youngsters, I imply – are behind the opposite faculty district. And San Francisco is just not a poor faculty district. We now have cash, it is simply been mismanaged.

NADWORNY: How do you view your relationship as a father or mother and a voter with the board and educators?

HSU: The board – I and lots of dad and mom can be watching. We now have been anticipating the previous 12 months, we’ll proceed to observe and voice our opinions. With educators, from a PTA president or only a PTA member perspective, I’ve so loved attending to know the lecturers and serving to the lecturers discover visitor audio system from our PTA membership.

And I’ll encourage all dad and mom to be extra concerned, really, particularly the Asian American dad and mom, as a result of we have now not been concerned politically and whilst a lot at school issues earlier than as a result of we determine, all proper, some professionals are caring for this. Properly, have a look at it. A few of these, quote-unquote, “skilled board members” are usually not even professionals. They are not doing their jobs.

NADWORNY: You’ve got been important of the varsity board for a way they dealt with the pandemic, protecting faculties closed. I believe loads of faculty boards throughout the nation would say they have been coping with unprecedented challenges in an unprecedented time. You realize, they have been doing what they thought was greatest with little or no help. I’m wondering what you say to that.

HSU: That’s not true in San Francisco. Why, I say? As a result of our college board didn’t acknowledge or didn’t wish to acknowledge that there was hurt being accomplished to college students throughout prolonged distant studying. The mayor acknowledged the problem, and he or she tried to do one thing about it. Our faculty board did nothing.

Truly, the superintendent acknowledged the issue, wished to rent a advisor to assist the district open faculties safely. The board denied him straight out – no.

NADWORNY: What’s subsequent for you and different dad and mom within the metropolis?

HSU: Earlier than, I and lots of – most dad and mom didn’t take note of the varsity board. I actually do not bear in mind who I voted for. However no extra. We are actually awake and paying consideration, and there are heaps and plenty of us. So we can be watching who the mayor appoints, and we can be watching them after they have been appointed.

And, you realize, these 4 on the board proper now, we actually wished to recall the entire board, however solely three have been eligible. So if these 4, if they do not change their tune, be careful, they is likely to be the one recalled subsequent.

NADWORNY: Ann Hsu is the mom of dual boys and a resident of San Francisco, Calif. Thanks a lot for becoming a member of us.

HSU: Thanks for having me.

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New model may improve San Francisco Bay Area, U.S., seismic hazard maps — ScienceDaily


The Santa Cruz Mountains outline the geography of the Bay Space south of San Francisco, defending the peninsula from the Pacific Ocean’s chilly marine layer and forming the area’s infamous microclimates. The vary additionally represents the perils of dwelling in Silicon Valley: earthquakes alongside the San Andreas fault.

In bursts that final seconds to minutes, earthquakes have moved the area’s floor meters at a time. However researchers have by no means been in a position to reconcile the fast launch of the Earth’s stress and the bending of the Earth’s crust over years with the formation of mountain ranges over thousands and thousands of years. Now, by combining geological, geophysical, geochemical and satellite tv for pc knowledge, geologists have created a 3D tectonic mannequin that resolves these timescales.

The analysis, which seems in Science Advances Feb. 25, reveals that extra mountain constructing occurs within the interval between giant earthquakes alongside the San Andreas Fault, quite than throughout the quakes themselves. The findings could also be used to enhance native seismic hazard maps.

“This mission targeted on linking floor motions related to earthquakes with the uplift of mountain ranges over thousands and thousands of years to color a full image of what the hazard may truly appear to be within the Bay Space,” mentioned lead research creator Curtis Baden, a PhD pupil in geological sciences at Stanford College’s College of Earth, Vitality & Environmental Sciences (Stanford Earth).

Bending and breaking

Geologists estimate the Santa Cruz Mountains began to uplift from sea stage about 4 million years in the past, forming as the results of compression round a bend within the San Andreas fault. The fault marks the boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate, which shift previous one another horizontally in a strike-slip movement.

Measurements of deformation — adjustments within the shapes of the rocks — have proven that Earth’s floor warps and stretches across the San Andreas fault throughout and in between earthquakes, and behaves very similar to an elastic band over seconds, years and even a long time. However that basic method can’t align with geologic observational knowledge as a result of it would not enable the rocks to yield or break from the stress of the warping and stretching, as they finally would in nature — an impact that has been noticed in Earth’s mountain ranges.

“For those who attempt to deal with the Earth like an elastic band and drive it ahead too far, you are going to exceed its power and it isn’t going to behave like an elastic anymore — it may begin to yield, it may begin to break,” mentioned senior research creator George Hilley, a professor of geological sciences at Stanford Earth. “That impact of breaking is widespread to nearly each plate boundary, however it’s seldom addressed in a constant manner that permits you to get from earthquakes to the long-term results.”

By merely permitting the rocks to interrupt of their mannequin, the research authors have illuminated how earthquake-related floor motions and floor motions in between earthquakes construct mountains over thousands and thousands of years. The outcomes had been stunning: Whereas the geosciences neighborhood conceives of earthquakes as the first drivers of mountain-building processes, the simulation confirmed most uplift has occurred within the interval between earthquakes.

“The traditional knowledge is that everlasting uplift of the rock truly occurs as the results of the immense pressure of the earthquake,” Hilley mentioned. “This argues that the earthquake itself is definitely relieving the stress that’s constructed up, to some extent.”

A neighborhood laboratory

As a result of the Santa Cruz Mountains neighbor a number of analysis establishments, together with Stanford, the College of California, Berkeley, and the USA Geological Survey (USGS), scientists have gathered an immense quantity of details about the mountain vary over the course of greater than 100 years.

Efforts to gather geological and geophysical knowledge had been particularly spurred by main current occasions just like the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, however the formation of the Santa Cruz Mountains seemingly spanned a whole lot of hundreds of smaller earthquakes over thousands and thousands of years, in accordance with the researchers.

The research authors compiled the prevailing suite of observations, and in addition collected new geochemical knowledge by measuring Helium gasoline trapped inside crystals contained in rocks of the mountains to estimate how briskly these rocks are coming to the floor from hundreds of toes beneath. They then in contrast these datasets with mannequin predictions to determine how earthquakes relate to uplift and erosion of the mountain vary. The method took years of specifying materials properties to mirror the complexity that nature requires.

Seismic implications

The researchers ran their simulation from when the Santa Cruz Mountains began to uplift 4 million years in the past till current day to grasp how the evolution of topography close to the San Andreas fault by means of time influences current and potential future earthquakes.

“At present, seismic hazard assessments within the San Francisco Bay space are largely primarily based on the timing of earthquakes spanning the previous few hundred years and up to date crustal motions,” Baden mentioned. “This work exhibits that cautious geologic research, which measure mountain-building processes over for much longer timescales than particular person earthquakes, also can inform these assessments.”

The scientists are at present engaged on a companion paper detailing how hazard threat maps could possibly be improved utilizing this new mannequin.

“We now have a manner ahead when it comes to truly having a viable set of mechanisms for explaining the variations between estimates at completely different time scales,” Hilley mentioned. “The extra we will get all the pieces to suit collectively, the extra defensible our hazard assessments might be.”

Examine co-authors embody David Shuster and Roland Bürgmann of UC Berkeley; Felipe Aron of the Analysis Heart for Built-in Catastrophe Threat Administration (CIGIDEN) and Pontificia Universidad Cato?lica de Chile; and Julie Fosdick of the College of Connecticut. Aron and Fosdick had been affiliated with Stanford once they performed analysis for the research.

This research was supported by NSF Profession Grant EAR-TECT-1108 105581, Fondo de Financiamiento de Centros de Investigación en Áreas Prioritarias ANID/FONDAP/15110017-Chile (CIGIDEN) and the Ann and Gordon Getty Basis.