Science is a Girl Thing! ?

By Michael Edmonds 24/06/2012 2


The European Union has funded a campaign to get more women involved in science. The general consensus on the blogosphere is that it has completely missed the mark and patronising, not only for women, but also for science.

Check it out yourself

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g032MPrSjFA

Maybe the advertising team involved are so used to dealing with superficial and visual images they overlooked the wonderful scientific content they could have used instead – gazing at distant galaxies, peering at amazing creatures under a microscope, building amazing devices and manipulating matter.

And from looking around the laboratories of universities I’ve visited during the past few years, I’m not too worried about attracting women into science (well at least biology and chemistry anyway). I think it is far more important to make sure we support those already working in science, and make sure they have the same opportunities to achieve and progress as their male colleagues.

If you want to attract more students (male and female) into science, perhaps videos showing the REAL excitement that science can provide would work more effectively.

Addendum – and on a similar note I find it rather frustrating that when people talk about attracting boys into science, they assume that explosions, fireworks and general chaos are the only way to achieve that.

Here is a Youtube video which criticises the “Science it’s a Girl Thing” rather well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vyAWyAUHpI


2 Responses to “Science is a Girl Thing! ?”

  • ‘missed the mark’ is putting it mildly. The second video is a very good critique of a rather misguided project.

    My feeling is the same – that there doesn’t appear to be a major problem with attracting women into undergraduate programs (in bio & chem, at least). What effect the Budget initiatives will have on progression from there to graduate study – for all students – is another matter.

  • So much marketing pressure on today’s girls to look right, be sexy, doll themselves up, have fabulous friends, fit in — is this crazy ad telling them they can’t even escape from that relentless push in the lab these days?

    Instead of attracting girls who identify with the models vamping for the camera (and the creepy guy with the microscope!), I think this spot will only succeed in finding yet another way to make ordinary girls — who might be interested in science — feel inadequate.