Stressed out? At the end of your rope? You have to hear this story by Mary-Claire King on the Moth. King is the American Cancer Society Professor in the Department of Medicine and the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her name probably sounds familiar to you because she was the discoverer of BRCA1, the gene she named that proves that breast cancer is inherited in some families.
I had the honor of meeting King a few times in the 1990s because one of my best friends from college was her microbiology Ph.D. student. We had a fascinating conversation about mitochondrial DNA (the kind you get from your mother & can use to trace the maternal line), and the possibilities it opened for learning more about Native American history and early American history in general.
As slow as change is in coming, and as little as I feel like things have changed, King’s story made me feel a little better that the academic life is better for some women now, at least a little. At least I feel really fortunate for never needing the concentration of Fairy Godfathers King describes in her story.