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The Maxine Singer Papers

Letter from Maxine Singer and Sidney Altman to Bernadine Healy pdf (127,924 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Maxine Singer and Sidney Altman to Bernadine Healy
Number of Image Pages:
2 (127,924 Bytes)
1991-10-30 (October 30, 1991)
Singer, Maxine
Altman, Sidney
Healy, Bernadine
National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
Original Repository: Library of Congress. Maxine Singer Papers
Reproduced with permission of the Library of Congress.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
Women's Rights
Policy Making
Exhibit Category:
The Science Administrator as Advocate
Metadata Record Letter from Bernadine Healy to Maxine Singer (December 12, 1991) pdf (76,666 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Box Number: 54
Folder Number: 15
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Subject Files, 1950-2002, n.d.
SubSeries: National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Md.
Folder: Correspondence, 1988-1991
October 30, 1991
Dear Dr. Healy:
We write regarding an important aspect of NIH'S policy concerning the training of scientists who are young women. We feel that one aspect of this policy is incomplete and can inhibit women from pursuing careers as scientists.
Currently, anyone who is awarded an NIH postdoctoral fellowship must serve full-time, for one, two or three consecutive years, as the case may be. Aside from maternity leave (which, presumably, would cover the period involving the birth of a child) there is no allowance made for part-time service (and consequent extensions of the time of the award). Accordingly, a woman for wham full-time day care is not an option and who wishes to work part-time while rearing an infant, cannot do so while holding an NIH post-doctoral fellowship. This policy is unnecessarily restrictive and works against our national goal of training more young women as scientists. Furthermore, it stands in contrast to the corresponding policies at many of our home institutions to such an extent that a woman being paid as a post-doctoral associate in our laboratories can work part-time, but a woman in the same laboratory who is a holder of an NIH post-doctoral fellowship, cannot. It is also our general experience that women who work part-time under the circumstances described above often achieve almost as much as men or women who work full-time: they are simply better organized and more highly motivated.
We urge you to institute a re-examination of the policy addressed above. A relaxation of the current guidelines to allow women to work two-thirds or three-quarters time while child-rearing (perhaps to be considered as a kind of maternity leave under a broadened definition) would benefit the whole nation.
Maxine Singer , Director, Carnegie Institution
Sidney Altman, Sterling Professor of Biology
The following individuals are signatories - in absentia. Notes of assent are available for inspection.
Dr. David Baltimore
Office of the President
Rockefeller University
1230 York Ave.
New York, NY 10021
Dr. Alice Huang
Dean of Faculty of Arts and Sciences
New York University
6 Washington Square, N.
New York, NY, 10003
Professor Daniel Koshland, jr.
Editor, Science
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology
Barker Hall
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720
Professor Dan Nathans
Dept. of Molecular Biology and Genetics
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
724 N. Wolfe St.
Baltimore, MD 21205
Dr. Donna Shalala
Office of the President
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI 53706
Dr. Robert F. Goldberger
Dept. of Biochemistry
College of Physicians and Surgeons
Columbia University
New York, NY 10032
Dr. Jeremy Knowles
Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138
Dr. Phil Leder, Chairman
Department of Genetics
Harvard Medical School
25 Shattuck St.
Boston, MA 02115
Mr. Benno C. Schmidt, jr.
Office of the President
Yale University
Box 1302A Yale Station
New Haven, CT 06520
Dr. Phil Sharp, Chairman
Department of Biology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
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