Gender Gap Issues
I disagree with the point made in Mark Kelcourse’s recent letter [Letters, June, p. 10]. There have been a number of initiatives to get more men into nursing, including national programs such as Johnson & Johnson’s Discover Nursing campaign and one by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.
The nursing industry has taken on the gender gap for a number of reasons. It is good for patient care and the nursing profession to have a ratio of men to women that reflects the population. Everyone benefits, including men seeking a career in which making a difference in other people’s lives is important. Clearly, the arguments addressing the gender gap in engineering are the same as those in nursing. The push for gender equality hardly, as Kelcourse states, “leads people to wasting valuable time pursuing something that will not fulfill them.”
Red Hot Rovers
In “Roving Space Explorers” [June, p. 5], the stories behind the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity made for fascinating reading.
You mention Spirit’s attempts to orient its solar panels so they can catch more warming rays. The critical components in these machines are kept warm during Martian nights and winters by eight radioisotope heaters on each rover. The next Mars robotic explorer, Mars Science Laboratory, will be warmed solely by radioisotope thermo-electric generators, which are powered by radioactive decay.
After reading “Chalk Up Another Member Benefit: Free E-Books” [June, p. 14], I looked up a book that helped me explain a problem to one of my coworkers, who was studying for his professional engineer licensing exam. I found exactly what I needed. The free e-books are a great new benefit. Some time ago I wrote to 2009 IEEE president John Vig, recommending having this type of benefit for members, and I’m so glad it was finally implemented.
Staten Island, N.Y.