Peoples' Weather Map


Sioux City Women Propose Bridging the Gap between Science and the Layman

Sioux City, Woodbury county, Iowa

Barbara Eckstein


Women of Sioux City were forward thinking in 1963 when they proposed and developed a set of programs called “Bridging the Gap between Science and the Layman” for their local and national meetings of the American Association of University Women (AAUW).  Mrs. E.J. LaBelle was chairman of the effort and received praise and encouragement from the national president to promote her chapter’s idea for the 1963 convention in Denver.

There they sponsored the presentation by zoologist Jean Lauber from Washington State University who addressed everything from illness and unexamined hormone treatments for women to the nuclear arms race. “Science represents power…[she told the audience]. Scientists, they say, talk a different language.”

But most interesting is the way the women of Sioux City described the scope of their topic for the national convention.  They wrote,

“Who are you? Where are you? How do you and your environment function?  When you start asking these questions, when you proceed to look and listen carefully, when you think about what you have seen and heard, when you seek fresh experience in nature, among men, in technology—all with the purpose of throwing light on these questions—you are on the scientific road.”

Severe weather invites everyone onto the scientific road to figure out how best to respond whether to flood, heat, drought, insects, blizzards, or tornadoes.  PWM appreciates the women of Sioux City issuing this invitation sixty-five years ago.


Source: SHSI: AAUW Papers, Box 40, Folder 9, “Program Building Session”; on-line: image: