Listen To The Story

In her book, "Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History," Sam Maggs detailed the lives of women who were pioneers in their field. As part of an occasional series, we're highlighting some of the figures featured in her book and their work. Today, Dr. Buddhini Samarasinghe, a molecular biologist, cancer researcher, science writer, and co-founder of STEM Women, explains how she was once inspired by Jurassic Park.

My name is Buddhini Samarasinghe and I’m one of the founders of STEM Women. I’ve always loved science—my mother was a scientist—by in terms of choosing which type of science to get into, I have to credit the movie Jurassic Park, with it. I’m sure most people watching it wanted to be paleontologists, but I was enthralled by the DNA cloning and the sequencing, and stuff like that.

STEM Women is something that, its roots lie back in the day when I was doing my post doc and I was writing a lot about science. I noticed that, whenever it’s a big day like International Women Day or Ada Lovelace Day, everyone is sharing, you know, “Who is your favorite female scientist?” And it’s like top 3. Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin… Surely there’s more examples than old black and white photos of women scientists. And it started out as a collection of contacts and sharing stories. And we launched a website in 2014.

If a girl listening is interested in following a career in STEM, don’t think that I need to want to be a scientist, because the life skills that you learn from following a STEM degree: organization, critical thinking, analysis, time management— those are skills that will last you your whole life.