May 15, 2023

Presentation by WSU researcher headlines special screening of 'Picture A Scientist'

Movie poster
Picture A Scientist, a documentary released in 2020, chronicles the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists.

DETROIT – This month, Cinema Detroit will present another feature film in its Science on Screen series as a way to promote scientific literacy through entertainment.

On Tuesday, May 23, Science on Screen will showcase Picture A Scientist, the 2020 documentary that chronicles gender inequality in science. The film tells the stories of leading female researchers and brings to light the inequalities they have faced throughout their careers.

The one-time special screening will begin at 7 p.m. at the eclectic arthouse located at 4126 Third Street in Detroit, just south of the Wayne State University campus.

Sexual harassment and gender inequality are as deeply entrenched in science as they are in popular culture and corporate America. This film takes a sobering dive into the career experiences of three of the nation’s top scientists — Nancy Hopkins, professor of biology emerita at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Raychelle Burks, associate professor of analytical chemistry at American University; and Jane Willenbring, associate professor of earth and planetary sciences at Stanford University — and the range of brutal harassment to years of subtle slights they have encountered.

From cramped laboratories to spectacular field stations, Picture A Scientist offers moviegoers a glimpse at scientific luminaries — including social scientists, neuroscientists and psychologists — who provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable and open to all.

After the screening, Tamara Hendrickson, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry in the Wayne State College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will give a 30-minute presentation about the bias she has faced throughout her academic career.

Hendrickson, who is committed to expanding everyone’s idea of who is and can be a scientist, will recount her trajectory in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and the challenges she has confronted, along with how she and other women are making the path smoother for everyone.

Hendrickson’s biochemistry research interests are protein translation and modification. She is deeply engaged in Wayne State’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts with a particular interest in women in STEM. She holds a bachelor’s from Wellesley College and a doctorate from California Institute of Technology. Hendrickson was also a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow at both Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Scripps Research Institute. Prior to arriving at Wayne State in 2008, she began her academic career at Johns Hopkins University.

Science on Screen pairs screenings of classic, cult, science fiction and documentary films with academic presentations by notable science and technology scholars. The films are used as a starting point for a speaker to introduce engaging research or technological advances.

Cinema Detroit is among 42 theatres across the country — all art-house cinemas or museums — that participate in the Science on Screen grant initiative, which is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. 

Tickets can be purchased in advance on the Cinema Detroit website. Free parking is available next to the theatre.






Faculty spotlight


Bill Roose
Phone: 313-577-5699

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