When Brookhaven Women in Science (BWIS) first met in 1979, the
group could not have foreseen that, in 25 years, their network would
have accomplished so much at and for Brookhaven Lab. An
interdisciplinary, not-for-women only organization, BWIS has
compiled accomplishments that, over the years, have benefited the
entire Laboratory community, as well as the surrounding community of
future women scientists.
- Thousands of Long Island high school and college students,
both female and male, have been encouraged to consider scientific
or technical careers by BWIS members, as a result of BWIS
participation since its inception in Brookhaven Lab’s speakers’
- Approximately 60 prominent women in science, engineering
or medicine have been invited by BWIS since 1980 to present
technical seminars or popular lectures open to all at the
- Women in science career days have been held almost every two
years since 1981, encouraging hundreds of female high school
students, who come to the Laboratory with their teachers and
guidance counselors, to consider careers in science and
- BWIS and Battelle, the non-profit science and technology
company that manages Brookhaven Lab with Stony Brook University as
Brookhaven Science Associates, established five $1,000
scholarships in 1999 that were awarded annually to five female high
school students who excelled in science or mathematics and were
enrolled in the five school districts surrounding the Laboratory.
This award was discontinued in 2009.
- Since 1995, BWIS has bestowed the annual $1,000 Gertrude
Scharff Goldhaber Award to an outstanding female physics graduate
student who is performing her thesis research at Brookhaven Lab or
enrolled at Stony Brook University, in memory of the
world-renowned nuclear physicist who was the first female Ph.D. to
join the Laboratory’s scientific staff.
- Annually since 1986, a Long Island woman who is returning to
school following an interruption in her studies to pursue her
education in the sciences, engineering or mathematics has been the
recipient of the $2,000 Renate W. Chasman Scholarship, which
honors the memory of the accelerator physicist whose work
underlies today’s synchrotron light sources world wide.
- As a result of the initiative of BWIS to ensure that the
child-care needs of all Laboratory employees and facility-users
who are parents of young children are met, the first facility in
the nation dedicated to child care built by the U.S. Department of
Energy was established at Brookhaven Lab in 1990.
- Because of BWIS’s efforts to extend the ability to take
maternity leave to male employees, Brookhaven Lab’s policy on
parental leave was instituted in 1988, permitting both women and
men employees to take up to three months of leave following the
birth or adoption of a child.
- In 1982, a branch of a federal credit union was established at
Brookhaven Lab, as a result of a BWIS proposal to ensure equal
credit opportunity for all Laboratory employees and