No, not a cult. No. no. no.~cr
They are at home coring trees in the backcountry of Mongolia, flying airborne missions over polar ice caps, or drilling sediments while dodging icebergs off the coast of Antarctica. They are leaders in their fields and always know exactly what to wear on these expeditions. However, when confronted with the prospect of dressing for a unique formal event, they weren’t willing to settle for commercially available designer dresses. They wanted outfits that truly reflect who they are as women scientists with profound connections to the planet.
While dressing for an awards banquet hosted by the American Geophysical Union (AGU), four scientists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory decided to boldly go where few science-minded fashionistas have gone before: into the world of custom design.
“We wanted science-inspired dresses that represent us as powerful women in science, giving a subtle—or maybe not so subtle—nod to the warrior in each of us that allowed our rise in the ranks of a field dominated by men,” said Lamont tree ring scientist Nicole Davi.
Davi, along with Lamont polar pioneer and AGU president Robin Bell, celebrated paleoclimatologist Maureen Raymo, and Lamont research professor Rosanne D’Arrigo showed off their custom-designed, science-themed outfits at the AGU Honors Banquet on December 11, 2019, in San Francisco. The AGU is the largest professional Earth science organization in the United States, with over 65,000 members and an annual conference with 30,000 scientists in attendance.
To Davi, the tree ring print gave her gown a sense of style that resonated with who she is and what she wanted her clothes to say— especially that night.
“It was thrilling. Not only because the dress was beautiful and it represented my science, but because I was wearing it for an event where amazing women were being recognized for their scientific contributions,” said Davi.