“If only we had a scientist here,” my father-in-law lamented one Christmas Eve a few years ago. In the pre-COVID era, we celebrated amongst my husband’s big, gregarious Italian family, surrounded by fried fish, tins of butter cookies, and free-flowing wine. The questions at hand were something about whether, in the southern hemisphere, the toilet flushes in the opposite direction and the moon looks upside down. We were missing the resident science expert — my brother-in-law who holds a Ph.D. in aeronautical engineering.
“Uh, hello?” I interjected, waving from across the table and drawing attention to myself.
“Oh, do you consider yourself a scientist?” he responded, looking genuinely perplexed.
I’d been a part of the family for upwards of twenty years. My Ph.D. is in applied physics. I’ve published more than sixty technical papers, hold over sixty-five patents, and am an IBM executive leading research projects all over the world. And I was the only one in the family who had actually been south of the equator.
But to my in-laws I am, first and foremost, the mother to three of their wonderful grandchildren, someone who usually has her head in a book, who makes a passable matzo ball soup, and is maybe just a little bit bossy. I’m also someone who makes their son happy, who has built a life filled with laughter, technology, food, invention, family, and – yes – also science.
I look forward to sharing some reflections on these topics and more. Weekly blog subjects will loosely fall into these broad categories:
- Leadership and Business: What are some leadership lessons from the tech business world? What is it like being a woman executive in a predominantly male technology business? What are some best practices for building and fostering diverse teams?
- Science and Technology: How do we supercharge the scientific method to accelerate discovery? How do artificial intelligence, hybrid cloud, and quantum computing really work? How will technology change the future of climate, health, and work?
- Family and Passions: What are some ways to balance, juggle, and/or integrate the demands of motherhood and work? What are some of my favorite authors and books to learn from and escape into? How strongly do I really feel about the Harvard comma?
It’s (finally!) 2021 and I clearly have a lot on my mind. I’ve so valued reading insights from experts around the globe, and after ten months of quarantine, I’m eager to contribute to the dialogue with my perspective. I hope you will share your feedback — tell me what resonates with you, where your experiences differ from mine, and what you’d like to hear more about. Thank you for joining me on this journey.