Yet another well-meaning yet soul-crushingly misdirected initiative from the public purse, this time as the European Commission engages in a cack-handed attempt to convince the high-heeled, lipstick stained people they’ve conflated with women in general that science is a Girl Thing. It seems to assume that it’s impossible for women to be interested in chemistry unless it’s in the context of cosmetics, or biology except insomuch as fashion. If you can stomach it, here’s a the video in all its garish horror – Science: It’s a girl thing (now removed in shame by the makers – mirror below). It’s a stunning indictment of the people behind the program.
I can only wonder how much money was spent on this. The UK’s foray into similar territory, “Science: So What? So Everything!” burned through a cool two million or so; but I can’t complain as some of that went into my pocket in a late attempt to push the project back onto the rails of public engagement rather than public relations. And so, if there is a silver lining here, it’s that someone, somewhere, is making budgets available for this kind of thing, and they might be convinced (probably not by snarky articles and twattish posturing to other nerds, by the way), to spend their next bag of cash on a project that is more sympathetic to women, to science, and to the range of issues far beyond image that keep the former out of the latter. I implore you to engage earnestly and fruitfully with the European Commission to make sure the next project like this isn’t lipstick activism.
Women in Research and Innovation: launch event – Press release and media briefing
As announced a few weeks ago, the European Commission’s new campaign “Women in Research and Innovation” is being officially launched today at 14:30 at the European Parliament in Brussels.
Enclosed you will find the press release and the media briefing in which you will find all the information related to the launch event as well as information on the campaign and the situation of European girls and women in science studies and careers.
Several of the campaign’s role models will be present at the event and are available for interviews and photos (more details in the document annexed). Throughout the campaign, these inspiring women scientists will transmit their passion for science to girls, either online through their video profile, or during ‘Science Cafés’ with schools where they will talk about their careers and the opportunities science offers. Here is a sneak preview; the story of Ilaria Capua, a Veterinary virologist at the IZSVe Padova: http://youtu.be/tnvwvl2vhaU
Today is the first day of a 2 years long campaign which will start first in Belgium, Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland. Stay tuned for more information about the field activities to take place over the following weeks and months!
Join us on the Esplanade of the European Parliament from 12:00 to 17:30 to see young people enjoying fun science activities and taking part in the closing flashmob “Chain reaction’ at 17:15!
In case you’re not attending the event in Brussels, you can follow the launch conference live via our web stream from 14:30 to 16:00:
Feel free to contact us after the launch event to get more information and photos.
The Women in Research and Innovation campaign team (from Tipik, contractor to the European Commission)