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
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.