• Cuba’s Women of Science Of Glass Ceilings, Velvet Circles and Pink-Collar Ghettoes: Lilliam Álvarez MS PhD Interview

    Reed, Gail

    Abstract in English:

    She was a country girl from the northeastern Cuban province of Holguín, her father a farmer, her mother a teacher. Fast forward a few decades: Dr Lilliam Álvarez mastered mathematics, physics and nuclear science, finally specializing in numeric solutions to differential equations. She spent 20 years at the Cybernetics and Physics Institute in Havana, half that time as deputy director. For another eight years, she served as director of science in the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment. Full professor and senior researcher at the University of Havana, she is a member of the national academic authority that awards doctoral degrees in math and is Cuba’s ambassador to the International Mathematical Union. In 2000, she was inducted into the Caribbean Academy of Sciences, and in 2008, was elected a full member of the Third World Academy of Science (now The World Academy of Sciences). But over time, her rich bibliography, with titles the likes of A numerical technique to solve linear and non-linear singularly perturbed problems began to be peppered with other provocative gender-informed work: Women doing hard sciences in the Caribbean, Are Women Good for Math? and her 2011 book Ser mujer científica o morir en el intento (Be a Woman Scientist or Die Trying). Her focus on women in science—and their rights to belong in its leadership as well as its ranks—is also reflected in her activist approach internationally and in Cuba. She is a member of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World and heads its Cuban chapter. After her designation as a Distinguished Member of the Cuban Academy of Sciences, she was elected Secretary in 2010 and also chairs its Commission on Women in Science. The Cuban Academy of Sciences was the right place to hear her story and to explore the way she sees women scientists in today’s Cuba—and the country she would like to see in the future.
Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba Oakland - California - United States
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