A personal note written by Lola. Photo by Moriah Ratner, National Geographic.

For centuries, men have been hailed as geniuses and beacons of knowledge in the sciences. With a few notable exceptions (and do check out our exhibition, STEM Girls, to read about them), women are not included in this aspect of human progress and history. Two stories this month struck me as the epitome of why girls will be the future of STEM and could save us all. Lola Muñoz is a 12 year old who has a rare brain tumour and has decided to be a test patient for an experimental drug treatment in order to try to help save others like her. While she died earlier this year, she endured enormous hardship to help doctors figure out a better treatment for her cancer. And there is Alyssa Carson. A 17 year old who has dedicated her entire life to becoming an astronaut and being on the first mission to Mars. She is excited to be preparing for a mission that likely means she will never come home again. The bravery and generosity of both of these girls, to consider the greater good while facing mortality is beyond noble. These are our saints, patrons of science and humanity. And as Lola so astutely said, “I want people to start thinking smarter.” So do we Lola, so do we. We honour you and your life.

Ashley E. Remer
Girl News International

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