Lost Marie Curies: The Patent Gap & What We Can Do About It

Earlier this year, both the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and Congress turned their attention to gender diversity in inventing, specifically women’s patenting. This discussion was spurred by the release of the USPTO report on the status of women patent inventors over the past 40 years. The report showed that, though there has been an increase in the percentage of patents with at least one women inventor credited (7% in the 1980s vs. 21% in 2016), when patent inventors are examined in the aggregate, women made up 12% in 2016 – only 2% higher than the percentage of women patent inventors in 2000, 15 years earlier. These findings prompted Congress to hold hearings to discuss the report and find ways to remedy the problem. They discovered the reasons behind this trend are more multifaceted than one might guess.

Read More
Lifetime Awardee Helen Thayer, 81, Continues "To Be a Work in Progress" Trekking the World

Helen Thayer spent her early years in New Zealand racking up athletic records – she was an international discus player, a US national luge champion, and an avid skier. Then at the age of 50 she turned her love of adventure and the outdoors into a new set of records, beginning with her first solo expedition – and becoming the first woman to walk solo – to the Magnetic North Pole without a resupply or any outside support. She went on to accomplish a number of extraordinary feats, including being the first woman to walk across the Sahara and Gobi Deserts, being the first non-Indian woman to kayak 2,200 miles of the Amazon River, and living above the Arctic Circle for a year to document the daily life of a wolf den. Her accomplishments, character and courage earned her the 2014 WINGS Lifetime Achievement Award.

Now at the age of 81, Thayer continues to travel the world on expeditions, proving that “people with vision can Live Life Without Limits.” She shares her experiences and explorer’s mindset through her Adventure Classroom program, launched in 1988 to inspire a new generation of students of the natural world.

Read More
Treasure Hunting with Sue Hendrickson

Sue Hendrickson’s life has gone to the dogs. 

The explorer, famed for discovering a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, lives a quiet life in Guanaja, a Bay Island of Honduras that is home to fewer than 6,000 people. 

Eighteen years ago, she started a veterinary clinic where she cares for cats, horses, pigs, parrots and more than 70 dogs. She is hoping to get most of the dogs adopted and sometimes travels to the United States with them to facilitate the process.

In 2005, Sue was honored with the WINGS WorldQuest Women of Discovery Award for her commitment to exploration. For decades she has traveled in pursuit of the world’s greatest treasurers – from prehistoric fossils to sunken shipwrecks and ancient cities.

Read More
Alexandra Morton and the Battle Over Salmon

Biologist Alexandra Morton began researching the orca whales off the coast of British Columbia 30 years ago. Around that time, the local salmon farming industry grew, and acoustic seal repellant systems were scaring away the whales as well. When whales abandoned the archipelago, she ultimately shifted her research focus to the negative impacts of salmon farms on wild salmon.

Today, the 2010 Women of Discovery Sea Award recipient is embroiled in an ongoing battle, involving direct action with indigenous communities, high-stakes litigation and a research on viruses in farm salmon for sale in markets. Alex spoke to us about her research and her efforts to protect wild salmon in Canada.

Read More
Below the Skin with Nina Jablonski

Nina Jablonski wants to use science for social good.

The anthropologist and paleobiologist is the Evan Pugh University Professor of Anthropology at Penn State University, where she studies the way Old World primates, including humans, evolved.

Today she continues to go on expeditions to southwestern China and Ethiopia to search for fossils. Her research on skin color won her recognition from WINGS as a 2010 Fellow, and that work has deepened in the last nine years, she told WINGS.

Read More