When Kate Turner was an undergraduate at the University of Notre Dame, she kept hearing the same message.
“As a Black woman, people kept telling me, ‘we need more Black women in STEM!’” recalls Turner.
The message had some influence on her choice of major — but then, so did a global recession. And while STEM fields might have seemed to offer more stable career prospects, Turner’s chemical engineering path did not at first inspire.
It took seeing the science through the lens of societal challenges and policy to really spark a passion.
“I very serendipitously met a professor who offered me a position working in his lab,” Turner recounts. “He was an Earth scientist who worked on nuclear issues, specifically nuclear waste management.” The issue interested Turner because, as she puts it, “you cannot divorce the policy and the social science from the STEM work.”
“The questions one has