FSEM- Beauty and Brains

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Comparing Sally Ride and Norman Thagard

Filed under: Uncategorized October 31, 2011 @ 9:55 pm

Sally Ride and Norman Thagard

by Wesleigh Mellott

Here is a link to a picture of Sally Ride and Norman Thagard, along with the whole crew from STS-7.


The male scientist that I chose to compare with my scientist
(Sally Ride), is Norman Thagard.

I chose to research Norman Thagard because he was on the same
space flight will Sally Ride in 1983 (STS-7). Sally Ride and Norman Thagard
have similarities in their education and careers but they also have
differences, especially when it comes to family. These apparent comparisons
that I will address are why I chose Norman Thagard as a comparable scientist
for Sally Ride.

Norman Thagard and Sally Ride


Sally Ride

Norman Thagard

Educational Background

University (2 bachelor’s degrees in Physics and English, Masters and PhD in
Florida State
University (Bachelors and master’s degree in Engineering Science) Later
earned degrees in Medicine and Business Administration
Field of
Physics Engineering
and later Medicine
From CA,
married in 1982 (divorced), no children but supportive parents
From FL,
married with 3 children
Recognitions National Women’s
Hall of Fame, National Aviation Hall of Fame, Astronaut Hall of Fame


11 Air
metals, Aerospace Medical Association, Astronaut Hall of Fame
Ratio: Women
and Male Scientists
Research done
by the American Physiological Society in 2001 compares the number of women astronauts
to the number of men (35 to 158)

Did gender play a role in these two scientist careers?

Surprisingly, Norman Thagard has children and Sally Ride does
not. This may have contributed to Rides ability to focus completely on her
education and career. Despite not having children, Ride had very supportive
parents, which may have greatly contributed to her scientific success. Since
the peak of these scientists careers occurred in the 1980’s, I don’t think that
either of them had a greater advantage over the other (based on gender). They
were both able to obtain great educations without discrimination and in my
opinion were equal and equivalent in most ways.

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