Ann Burgess on Experience as a Woman in Science
  Ann Burgess     Biography    
Recorded: 29 Apr 2005

Well, I think it’s so mixed. Mostly it’s very good. Mostly, especially in the present, its’ not a lot different than being a man in science. Back in the ‘60s things were different because it was sort of at the transition point. I mean there are things that happened that make me a lot more angry now thinking back on them than it did.

For example, after Dick and I got our Ph.D.s we were traveling around the country and he gave quite a few seminars, sort of potential job interviews, not quite that. We got to the University of Washington and they asked me if I’d like to wait in the library while they talked to Dick. And somebody said to me, one of the professors, we considered hiring a woman once, but we didn’t. Here I was with my brand new Harvard Ph.D. thinking I was hot stuff—I mean I’m a lot more angry about it now than I was then. Then I was kind of surprised and shocked. Now the context of, but then it was a different era.

Ann Burgess is the Director Emeritus of the Biology Core Curriculum. She earned her B.S. in chemistry from UW-Madison and her Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard University. She was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1987 to 2002.

Biology Core Curriculum is four semester intercollege honors program that provides a broad and integrated background for students interested in any field of biological science. She is interested in undergraduate science education with a particular accent on laboratory and filed experiences that absorb students in process of science.

Ann Burgess is running in several UW-Madison and national efforts to advance science education, including the BioQUEST Consortium and the National Institute of Science Education's College Level One team.