MSA Trust

Women who Inspire Dr Yen Yee Goh – International Women’s Day

Our ABN Clinical Research training Fellow, Dr Yee Yen Goh shares the woman she most admires from history today on #International woman’s day.

Florence Nightingale is more commonly known for her role in creating the modern nursing profession as it is recognised today. However, she was the first person I thought of, when asked to think of an inspirational woman in research. When caring for soldiers in the Crimean War, she quickly recognised the importance of sanitation and hygiene and its contribution to mortality. However, she then had to prove it to others. This led to a systematic self-developed approach to data collection around causes of mortality and the multiple variables or factors that could be causing it. More than that, however, she recognised the importance of being able to communicate this information to a non-specialist audience, and created the Nightingale Rose Diagram, to illustrate her point.

She had no formal statistical background, although she had been tutored in mathematics by her father when a girl. I find her story inspiring, but because she exemplifies the importance of systematic thinking and organisation of data to infer conclusions, which is the very basis of the scientific process. In addition, her intuitive understanding of the use of data visualisation to communicate her research makes her even more inspiring to me. It drives home the fact that research cannot be held in isolation in ivory towers, only to be understood by academics. It needs to be translated and communicated in order for it to make a difference, which I think she did beautifully.

Dr Yen Yee Goh

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the blogs published on these pages are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the MSA Trust.

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