When You Picture a Scientist, Who Do You See? A panel conversation on advancing diversity and inclusion in STEM.

Sponsored by ProQuest, Scientific American, ro*co films, and FILM PLATFORM
Recorded on 03/24/2021

Join us for a candid conversation with world-renowned scientists on advancing diversity and inclusion in STEM.

Register now Wednesday, March 24, 3:00pm ET/12:00pm PT/7:00pm GMT (75 minutes)

During this live event, Nobel Prize-winning Dr. Jennifer Doudna (featured in the film Human Nature) and other world-renowned scientists welcome your questions following a candid conversation on advancing diversity and inclusion in STEM.

Inspired by the award-winning documentary Picture a Scientist, our discussion will focus on:

  • the experience of each panelist as leaders in their field
  • the journey and obstacles each overcame to get here
  • what they identify as positive solutions that will allow for continued equity and inclusion within the scientific community and beyond

The discussion will be moderated by Editor in Chief for Scientific American, Laura Helmuth. Only the ninth Editor in Chief in the magazine’s 175-year history, Laura’s leadership and commitment to science journalism and storytelling makes her the ideal person to drive the conversation.

We’ll also be discussing the valuable role that documentary films play, films like Picture a Scientist and Human Nature, in sparking important conversations in education.

Why join the conversation?

  • Access to leaders in the fields of science, journalism, and communication
  • Discuss how to cultivate diversity and equity in STEM fields (and beyond)
  • Learn how documentaries and film can enhance the educational experience
  • Become a part of the solution. Ask the panel questions about advancing diversity and inclusion in STEM

Meet Our Panelists:

Dr. Jennifer Doudna

Biochemist and Nobel Prize-winning co-inventor of CRISPR technology

(Featured in the documentary Human Nature)

University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Jennifer Doudna, biochemist and Nobel Prize-winning co-inventor of CRISPR technology
Jennifer Doudna, PhD is a biochemist at the University of California, Berkeley. Her groundbreaking development of CRISPR-Cas9 – a genome engineering technology that allows researchers to edit DNA – with collaborator Emmanuelle Charpentier earned the two the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and forever changed the course of human and agricultural genomics research. She is also the founder and President of the Innovative Genomics Institute, the Li Ka Shing chancellor’s chair in Biomedical and Health Sciences, and a member of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Gladstone Institutes, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is a leader in the global public debate on the responsible use of CRISPR and has co-founded and serves on the advisory panel of several companies that use the technology in unique ways. Doudna is the co-author of “A Crack in Creation,” a personal account of her research and the societal and ethical implications of gene editing.

Dr. Raychelle Burks

Associate Professor of Chemistry

American University

Dr. Raychelle Burks is an Associate Professor of chemistry at American University in Washington, DC. Her research focuses on developing low-cost colorimetric sensors for detecting chemicals of forensic interest, including explosives and regulated drugs. As a science communicator, Burks has appeared on TV, radio, podcasts, and in print.  She can currently be found on the Smithsonian Channel show “The Curious Life and Death Of…”. She writes a true crime column for Chemistry World, the magazine of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Burks was awarded the 2020 American Chemical Society Grady-Stack award for excellence in public engagement.

Dr. Jane Willenbring

Associate Professor of Geological Sciences

Stanford University

Dr. Jane Willenbring is an Associate Professor of Geological Sciences at Stanford University. Willenbring’s research examines the evolution of the Earth’s surface especially how landscapes are affected by tectonics, climate change, and life. She also organizes environmental justice campaigns around urban soil pollution and does outreach to help reduce sexual harassment and discrimination in STEM. She is the recipient of the Antarctica Service Medal from the US Armed Forces, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and Marguerite T. Williams award and a Presidential Citation from the American Geophysical Union. Dr. Willenbring is a fellow of the Geological Society of America and a Gabilan Fellow at Stanford University. She is one of the scientist featured in the documentary film Picture a Scientist.

Dr. Eva Pietri

Assistant Professor

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Social Intervention and Attitudes Lab

Dr. Eva Pietri is an Assistant Professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in the psychology department. She received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Ohio State University and completed a postdoctoral position at Yale University, during which she worked in the Psychology department and the Center for Scientific Teaching. An overarching goal of her work is to investigate how basic processes in social psychology influence a variety of domains that are pertinent to real-world issues, including promoting diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. For instance, in one line of work, she explores the benefits of visual media for addressing sexism and promoting belonging in STEM. She has received grants from the National Science Foundation and the Spencer Foundation to support her work. Moreover, she was selected as a “Rising Star” by the Association for Psychological Science and a Fellow for the Society of Experimental Social Psychology. ​

Meet Our Moderator:

Dr. Laura Helmuth


Scientific American

Dr. Laura Helmuth is editor in chief of Scientific American—the ninth in the magazine’s 175-year history. Laura is an editor with more than 20 years of experience covering all fields of health, science, technology, and the environment. Prior to joining Scientific American, she was the Science and Health Editor for The Washington Post and has held positions at National Geographic, Slate, Smithsonian, and Science. Laura was the President of the National Association of Science Writers from 2016 to 2018 and a board member from 2012 to 2016. She also holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of California at Berkeley.

Access the Film: Colleges, Universities, and High Schools

Picture a Scientist can be watched through your academic library with ProQuest’s Academic Video Online.

Faculty/Academic Librarians:

University/College Students:

  • Start watching Picture a Scientist now, if you’re an Academic Video Online subscriber.
  • Don’t have access? Trial access to Academic Video Online can only be requested by librarians and faculty. Contact your professor or academic library for access.

High School Librarians:

High School Students/Teachers:

  • Request access to the high school version of Picture a Scientist with a trial of Academic Video Online through your school library.

One-year access to Picture a Scientist available now on Film Platform.

Access the Film: Public Libraries and Others

Public Libraries and Others:

  • Picture a Scientist cannot be accessed for streaming through public libraries however, if you are interested in hosting a screening of the film contact pictureascientistevent@rocofilms.com.
  • If you are not affiliated with a library, an academic or high school institution and want access to the film, click here.

Watch the film to start the conversation.

This documentary chronicles how through courage, perseverance and solidarity, women in the sciences have overcome brutal harassment and institutional discrimination in their fields. Meet a biologist, chemist and geologist who share their harrowing – and ultimately rewarding – experiences to advance scientific research and discovery by exposing gender inequalities. Come away with a deeper understanding of why we all need to become advocates for diverse representation, access and inclusion in STEM.

Tribeca Film Festival, 2020

Sweeping in scope yet intimately compelling.


Opportunity to be part of a study:  Prior to the event, participate in a scientific study about Picture a Scientist being conducted by panelist Dr. Eva Pietri, Dr. Corinne Moss-Racusin (Skidmore College), and Arispa Weigold (a student working with Dr. Pietri). You can take part in the survey whether or not you have watched the film, but you would need to complete the survey before the panel on March 24th and/or before you watch the film for a first or second time. This goal of the study is to understand how film can effect change.