science

About 100 people gathered at First Magnitude Brewing Company Thursday to drink beer and socialize with female scientists in honor of International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

Eight female scientists shared stories over beers at First Magnitude Brewing Company on Thursday night.

In honor of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, the UF Department of Physics hosted Talk Science With Her, an event that gave about 100 people the chance to speak with a panel of UF scientists who specialize in physics, astronomy, oceanography and ecology.

The scientists sat at different picnic tables, where friends and strangers alike flocked around them to learn about their latest research over beer.

Biomedical engineer and UF assistant professor Aysegul Gunduz was happy to socialize with others, despite not being a panelist.

“I am trying to find how to stimulate people’s remaining nerves so that they could actually feel through a robotic hand,” Gunduz said.

She’s happy to discuss the neuroprosthetic project she’s working on, she said.

Elizabeth Webb, 29, organized the event and hopes to make it into a series called Science on Tap.

“Sometimes scientists are seen as people who are in their own worlds, and I think it’s important to bring them into the community,” she said.

Webb, who works at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, said she wants male and female scientists to be recognized in the community, but with a focus on women first.

“Women are historically and currently underrepresented in science,” Webb said.

UF biomedical doctoral student Avni Bhatt said she thinks women are scared away from science at an early age by men who typically dominate math- and science-based fields.

“They go into a classroom, see a lot of males, and they’re turned away,” the 24-year-old said.

The third-year student in the UF College of Medicine’s Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Science is studying structures of proteins and how they can be used to solve medical problems, like cancer.

Webb said she’ll continue to celebrate scientists in the community. One way she plans to reach out is by organizing the Gainesville March for Science on April 22.

“Science is the basis for new discoveries and great things that bring us together,” she said.

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@molly_vossler