Feminism and Science
Bonnie Spanier, Emerita Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at the University at Albany, believes that feminism and science create a powerful force for social change.
Professor Spanier graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1967 and received her doctorate from Harvard University in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics in 1975. While teaching biology at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, she received grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Lung Association, and the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College. Since then, she has received intensive education in women's studies and, more recently, in the science and politics of breast cancer.
In 1984, she came to Women’s Studies at the University of Albany as its director and oversaw its growth into a full-fledged department offering a master’s degree and doctoral concentrations through other departments. She taught undergraduate and graduate women’s studies and created courses on Women, Biology, and Health, fulfilling Natural Science Gen Ed, and Sex/uality, Race, and Class in Science and Medicine.
Professor Spanier is an internationally recognized consultant on women's studies and curriculum transformation, particularly in the natural sciences. In Spring 2007 she was Maria-Goeppert-Mayer-Professor for International Gender Research at the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies on Women and Gender (ZFG), Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg, Germany.
Her activist work in education was rewarded with the University at Albany's Bread and Roses Award and Albany NOW's Making Waves Award. She was an Advisory Board member for “Women and Scientific Literacy: Building Two-Way Streets,” funded by the (U.S.) National Science Foundation via Association of American Colleges and Universities, 1996-2000.
Her activism around breast cancer and women’s health connects to her more recent scholarship. She is a co-founder and former co-president with Patricia Stocking Brown of the Capital Region Action Against Breast Cancer (CRAAB!) in Albany, New York, and assists long distance with its excellent newsletter and educational projects. www.craab.org. She was a science consultant for CRAAB!’s “True Burden” Project on environmental factors in breast cancer, funded by the New York State Department of Health. She was also a co-founder of NYS’s Breast Cancer Network, www.nysbcsen.org.
Bonnie Spanier helped establish an archive of Siena College biologist and feminist Patricia Stocking Brown’s papers in UA’s Library and the Patricia Stocking Brown Feminist Library Research Award that supports student research in the library’s archival resources.
Taking early retirement and moving to Michigan in 2009, Professor Spanier teaches a course on Women, Health, and Environment for Grand Valley State University in Traverse City. She contributes to Albany’s CRAAB! Newsletter and is the Chief Scientific Consultant to the international Breast Cancer Consortium, started by Gayle Sulik. www.Breastcancerconsortium.net . She continues to write on women’s health and evidence-based medicine, as well as the science and politics of breast cancer.