Following the November 2016 presidential election, four women wrote an open letter calling for nation-wide equality. Those women hoped to get 500 signatures. Today, over 20,000 people have signed on and created the organization 500 Women Scientists.
“I think there are a lot of reasons we have a lot of women scientists here," said Temis Taylor, co-founder of the newly formed Cache Valley chapter. "We’re in a college town where we have a lot of women faculty, but we also have industry and healthcare and science teachers here. So it seemed like a good way to connect people.”
Though the group started in the College of Natural Resources at Utah State University, they hope to expand to other colleges and into the community.
“I want to make sure we’re engaging communities and politicians in science. It needs to be a part of our lives, it needs to be a part of our decision making,” she said.
The group has two primary goals. The first is to promote diverse voices in science communities, and the second is to advocate for science-based policies and decisions.
Upcoming projects include fundraising for local K-12 schools to provide classrooms materials they can’t afford and hosting a community yard sale to raise money for the society of women engineers’ scholarship fund.