Card Project

Notable Women in the Physical Sciences 

When I attended STARMUS 2016 in June, I couldn't help but to notice the high male-to-female ratio of speakers. I wasn't the only one who noticed. A reporter from The Guardian, in the article Starmus festival: enough brains and Brians to fill the multiverse, wrote:

I asked Israelian if the lack of diversity was an issue for him. “No, no. I don’t think about such things,” he says, irritated by the question. "I invited many female scientists and they couldn’t come. I’ve got limited time—I cannot keep inviting people to get 50%. That’s not my problem.'"

That got me to thinking about the pool of female physical scientists available to talk about astronomy, physics, cosmology, planetary science, and related fields. Inspired by The Notable Women in Tech Cards project, I decided to learn about women—present and past—who have and are making contributions to the physical sciences. I made a deck of playing cards that educators and others can use to get the word out about these women. Hopefully lots of girls will see these cards and be inspired to pursue the physical sciences.

NOTE: Since I wrote this, I launched a 501(c)3 nonprofit: The Educational Card Project. Visit the site. Read the blog. Buy some cards or donate money so I can send cards to science teachers to use in the classroom.

Each card contains a short phrase stating what she is known for, her picture (if available), and a suggestions to see Wikipedia for more details. All photos on the cards are either available under Creative Commons or used with the permission of the scientist for the purpose of the card project. For a complete list of photo attributions, see

I received the proof deck on February 1 and just finished modifications. The deck is going to the printer on February 6 for its first major printing run. It will be a small run because I am funding it myself. However, I plan to file Articles of Incorporation for a nonprofit, which will allow me to move to the next level of making the cards available for educational purposes.

An example of a card back and front

There is great news on the STARMUS 2017 front. The founder—Garik Israelian—took action on the diversity issue. He announced that Starmus IV Will Celebrate Outstanding Contributions From Women To The World Of Science. Thank you Garik!

STARMUS 2016 was an amazing line up of science, space, technology, art, and music all aimed at people on planet earth who want to understand more about the universe and our place on it. There were talks during the day, fun events in the evening, and numerous opportunities to meet fascinating people. (See my posts about STARMUS presenters.)

Some of the cards from the deck