The New York Times ran what seems intended to be an inspiring success story,“Myriam Sarachik Never Gave Up on Physics”:
The New York-based scientist overcame sexism and personal tragedy to make major contributions to the field, for which she received recognition this year.
The phenomenon is now known as the Kondo effect, after Jun Kondo, a Japanese physicist who successfully explained what was going on. The Kondo effect has turned out to be a central component needed to understand the behavior of electrons in solids.
But Dr. Kondo, as a theorist and not an experimentalist, was not the first to show that his supposition [that electrical resistance may increase as some metals are cooled] was correct.
That instead was Dr. Sarachik, 87, now retired after a career spanning more than a half-century as a professor of physics at the City College of New York.
The experiment was just one of the accomplishments for which Dr. Sarachik received this year’s Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research, a top honor of the American Physical Society.
The article closes with some gender binarism:
“Women are no better and no worse at doing physics than men are,” she said. “They are, however, at least if they’re my age, more persistent. It’s tenacity. It’s the will not to be pushed out.”
What about people with the other 48 gender IDs? Are they persistent when it comes to physics?
As with a lot of articles in publications controlled by those who took their last science course in high school, I think one theme is promoting to young people the greatness of careers in science. But how many people would want to wait until age 87 to be recognized for a huge achievement?
- “Women in Science,” in which I compare the career of a Ph.D. scientist to that of a dermatologist