Since 1993 a group of professional women has met monthly for dinner at the Cosmos Club in Washington DC under the sponsorship of Dr. Florence Haseltine. This casual assembly enjoys the friendly interchange and companionship, and sporadically takes note of events that affect women. In early 2005 a dinner was held shortly after the National Medal of Science Awards were announced, and it was noted that no woman received this prestigious award. A sense of outrage and resolution prevailed. Something needed to be done.
After some discussion, Dr. Stephanie Pincus decided to see what could be done. She received funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to organize this effort,which began with gathering critical information. She based her effort at the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) in Washington DC, where it resides organizationally today. Dr. Florence Haseltine, founder of the SWHR, was recruited to build the database and website. Today Dr. Pincus manages recruitment of data entry staff and promotes the findings through scholarly publications, public speaking, and collaborations with other organizations such as the Association for Women in Science (AWIS).

Experience has taught us that in order to make a change, you must first gather the data.

1. Lincoln A, Pincus S, Koster J and Leboy P. The Matilda Effect in science: Awards and prizes in the US, 1990s and 2000s. Soc Stud Sci: 42(2) 307-320, 2012.
2. Lincoln A, Pincus S, and Leboy P. Scholars' awards go mainly to men. Nature 469:472, 2011.
3. Lincoln A, Pincus S, and Schick V. Evaluating Science or Evaluating Gender? The Back Page, APS News 18(6):8, 2009