03/21/2014 06:37 pm ET Updated Mar 21, 2014

Science: It’s A Girl Thing And Other Flawed Attempts To Bring Women Into STEM.

At 3 years old, my astute little niece has already glommed on to the perception that pursuing both motherhood and a career in the hard sciences is implausible.

She had told me recently that she wanted to be a mommy when she grows up. I applauded her on this goal and suggested that she consider becoming both an astronaut and a mommy. Her response was to tell me I’m silly. “You can’t be an astronaut and a mommy,” she said, grinning at my seemingly ridiculous suggestion.