Tag Archive | "STEM"

Selling Science as ‘a Girl Thing’

When the EU launched a short viral video to publicise their It’s a Girl Thing! campaign to get more women into science, it all kicked off in the blogosphere and twitterverse. The 45 second promo, which looks like a cross between a cosmetics ad and a girl group music video, begins with a young good-looking lab-coated male scientist looking up from his microscope to the shocking (and arousing?) sight of three attractive young women dressed in very high heels and even shorter skirts. These women giggle and provocatively gesture their way through the ad, intercut with overflowing test-tubes, models of molecules, lipstick and other girlie and scientific ephemera. Oh, and one of them gets to elegantly scribble symbols on a transparent board. At the end their fashionable shades transform into equally fashionable safety goggles. The music, with its single lyric, reminds us: ‘Science – It’s a Girl Thing!’ So is this how to ‘sell’ science to girls? Read the full story

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Gender and UK Higher Education Policy: Facts, Figures and Futures

As GEA policy officer, I was interested to have the chance to interview Professor Sir Adrian Smith, a very eminent mathematician and former Principal of Queen Mary University of London, on how the current UK Government is approaching policies on higher education and gender. Sir Adrian is the UK Government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)’ champion for equalities and diversities. He is keen to advance women’s position in universities amongst other inequalities. Read the full story

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Key UK gender and science organisation loses funding

The UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology is to lose its funding from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills from April 2011. This is part of the latest round of spending cuts being carried out by the UK’s Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition government. Read the full story

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Research Launch: Representations of Women Scientists in Online Media

On 2nd December we will be launching the report:

Monitoring the Presence and Representation of Women in Science, Engineering and Technology Occupations in UK Based Online Media Read the full story

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STEM and Equal Opportunities in TV Drama Formats “Don’t think it’s only entertainment” – Report of the MINTiFF Conference, Berlin 6-8th September, 2010

The influence of TV on viewers’ engagement with Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) was the focus of a recent conference held in Berlin. The conference was organised by Project MINTiFF, a project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the European Social Fund. The Federal Ministry is concerned about representations of gender roles on German TV, particularly those aimed at young people. In Germany, as in the UK, there is concern about the numbers of young people, particularly girls, who are interested in STEM, and so this project is exploring whether and how positive educational messages about STEM can and should be included in German TV dramas and how they can be made to appeal to girls in particular. Read the full story

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Women on Film: Agora

I was one of only a few women studying mathematics at university among hoards of men, so it was perhaps inevitable that I become interested in the history of women and mathematics. I read about Sophie Germain, Emmy Noether and others; these were women who had to challenge the social conventions and expectations of their time to become mathematicians. The stories of their lives, the left over letters, homes, photos and pictures helped me to build up an image of them. However, the first known female mathematician remained mysterious to me – Hypatia. She existed long ago in ancient Egypt (born between AD 350 and 370) and few traces remain of her life and her work. Read the full story

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Computer Engineer Barbie

Due to geek girl mobilisation, Computer Engineer Barbie won the popular vote for the next Barbie in the “I Can Be…” series. Read the full story

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Where are the women scientists online?

GEA executive member Heather Mendick and GEA member Marie-Pierre Moreau have been spending a lot of their time looking for women who work in science, engineering and technology online – across websites as diverse as the BBC, YouTube, New Scientist and the Natural History Museum. Their research is funded by the UK Resource Centre for Women in SET and is uncovering some disturbing patterns: the dominance of men, the segregation of women into particular areas of science or areas of the website, a greater focus on women’s than on men’s appearance and on their family relationships and a pervasive sexualisation of women scientists.

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Gender and Education Association

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