@egardner I completely agree with the discussion so far. But these are two different issues that just so happen to go hand in hand. Gender is one thing, but it is a whole ‘nother animal when you consider professionalism, or a lack thereof. Women are more often than not treated unfairly simply because of their genitalia. It is wrong, and quite frankly, as time goes on it seems like less and less is being done about it. Our members consist of roughly 72% men compared to women, and while we do not discriminate either way, it is sad for me to sit and watch women continue to be treated unfairly. I have always pushed for cooperation, and equality. Just because a woman cleans a fossil while a man makes the discovery, doesn’t mean the woman is any less important than the man. But I think because we are ruled by a society in which men are still dominating, despite modern advances for women, it will continue to be this way until we can balance it out. Once ‘man’ can completely view women as equal, we can finally make headway as women in the scientific community. I wish more women were in these fields to be honest, but that isn’t something I can make happen by snapping my fingers. Anyway, professionals vs. amateurs is very interesting. As we all know, an amateur can produce equally important data, if not better quality, than a professional. You can be the smartest person in the world and yet possess no degree. But you can also possess degree(s) and be the most uneducated person in the world. I really feel like a person should be judged based on the work ethic they have, not whether you possess a degree. So it is extremely difficult to be an amateur woman in the science field, and I think this discourages a lot of people from pursuing their dreams. It is truly a terrible thing! The only question is, how do we overcome this?