davegodfrey: Coelacanth (Science)
[personal profile] davegodfrey
As usual the world has shown its knack for horrific timing. A day after the death of Caroline John who played one of the few Doctor Who companions who could match him in a battle of wits, and who I'm sure did much to inspire many women scientists (and indeed women generally) who saw that yes, you can be whatever you put your mind to even if you're "just a woman" we have this from the EU.

Here's the teaser trailer.



Are you done with the vomit bucket yet?

To be fair, the profile videos are pretty good- here's Joanna Zmurko, a Polish student working for a PhD in Virology in Belgium:-



She makes a pretty good case for why science is so cool. "On Friday I didn't know what the function of a certain gene was, but on Monday I did". That one sentence will do more to inspire young women to go into science as a career, than any number of flashy ads with pouts, lipstick, high heels and short skirts.

Naturally enough twitter has completely exploded against this #sciencegirlsthing, and the alternative #realwomenscientists is doing very nicely. Rarely has the "can we make maths pink?" joke felt more like reality.

If you want to inspire women to be scientists tell them the story of Vera Rubin, who had to meet her prospective PhD supervisors in the departmental lobby because women weren't allowed inside the offices, and provided the evidence that convinced people that Dark Matter exists.

How about Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, who showed that the sun was made of hydrogen, and said:

"The reward of the young scientist is the emotional thrill of being the first person in the history of the world to see something or to understand something. ... The reward of the old scientist is the sense of having seen a vague sketch grow into a masterly landscape."

You want inspirational women scientists- Caroline Herschel, sister of the more famous William (who discovered Uranus), was a first-rate astronomer, and was the first woman awarded the Royal Astronomical Society's Gold Medal (the second? Vera Rubin). Or Margaret Burbidge, coauthor of the B2FH theory, that still explains how the elements up to iron are made, and is an ardent feminist who turned down the Annie Jump Cannon (another female astronomer) Prize because it was only given to women.

And that's just four of the astronomers I could name off the top of my head. You want biologists? Barbara Hastings, Dorothea Bate, Miriam Rothschild, Mary Lyon. We have Florence Nightingale to thank for the pie chart- I'd argue that was a far more important contribution to medicine than being "the lady with the lamp".

But no. We have high heels, lipstick, and pouting. Its enough to make you give up and become a hairdresser...
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davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
The Evil Atheist Your Mother Warned You About

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