|Institutions||American Medical Association, National Institutes of Health, Science Service|
|Alma mater||Smith College|
Jane Stafford (1899–1991) was an American medical writer and chemist. She wrote a nationally syndicated newspaper column called "Your Health - Here's How" and worked for Science Service. She wrote about cancer, polio, heart disease, influenza, sexually transmitted disease, and vitamins.
Education and Career
Stafford graduated from Smith College in 1920 with a B.A. in chemistry. She worked as a chemical technician at Evanston Hospital from 1922 to 1925 before starting at the American Medical Association's Hygeia as an assistant editor, a job she held until 1927. In 1928, Stafford became an employee of Science Service as a medical staff writer and, in 1956, left for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and served as an assistant for research reports in the NIH's Office of Research Information, "which collected, prepared, and disseminated information related to the medical and biological sciences."
Stafford co-founded the National Association of Science Writers and served as its president in 1945; was president of the Women's National Press Club from 1949 to 1950; was a member of the White House Correspondents' Association, American Public Health Association, and the Potomac Hunt Club; served on the Managing Committee for the AAAS-George Westinghouse Science Writing Award; and was an associate of Theta Sigma Phi.
Although Stafford never explicitly complained of sexist behaviors within the science professions (except for the pay differences), "Science Service records reveal that gender-based barriers were present and that both Stafford and director Watson Davis made some effort to combat them." Social organizations such as the Cosmos Club and the Harvard Club also enforced a men-only policy, barring Stafford from meetings. In response, Independent Woman asked Stafford to author an article focusing on women who worked in scientific fields; Stafford's resulting article "discussed the small band of pioneers who showed that women could make contributions to science." Stafford also interviewed Mildred Rebstock for an episode of Adventures in Science where Rebstock was encouraged to "comment on science as a career for women and to discuss whether it was compatible with a normal feminine life including marriage, etc.”
- 1946, Westinghouse Science Writing Award
- 1955, Howard W. Blakeslee Award from the Press Association of the American Heart Association
- Tressider, Mary. "Jane Stafford (1899-1991)". Women and science at Science Service. Smithsonian Institution Archives. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
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