Over the Summer, the European Commission launched a new campaign, ‘Science: it’s a girl thing’ to widespread criticism from those who were endeavouring to break stereotypes and promote science careers for girls and young women. While we wished the campaign every success, they started on the wrong foot with their launch video which portrayed women in science as being glamour obsessives without actually engaging in any science.
As part of the backlash, which resulted in the prompt removal of the offending video and an apology, science communicators combined their efforts to suggest a better representation of women in science. You can find a hard working team at www.sciencegrrl.co.uk who are preparing to launch a calendar showcasing a more accurate view of women in science today. The launch even for this will be celebrated on 18th October 2012 at the Science Museum, London. I am honoured to be involved in managing the event.
The calendar is a vehicle for raising awareness and funds, and is not intended – in the main – to reach young women but rather people who support them and raise money for projects that benefit them directly. We are currently exploring a number of projects that could benefit from the proceeds of ScienceGrrl 2013. The aim of all these projects is to encourage girls and young women to engage with and develop their interest in STEM. For example, we are working with Breakthrough: The Gender Stereotypes Project to support the development of lessons school children that challenge gender stereotypes, particularly surrounding science, with opportunities to hear from scientist role models via the STEM Ambassadors Programme.
Funds raised from Sponsume will go directly towards the cost of printing 1500 copies of the calendar. The calendar will go on sale shortly after the launch on 18th October, via our website, and the shops at the Science Museum in London and the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.
So, what can you do? Keep in touch with our latest news via Twitter (@ScienceGrrl) and by liking ScienceGrrl on facebook. Start by pre-ordering your calendar so we can raise funds. All details are on the sciencegrrl website.