Women in science and the role of science communicators
10 November 2015
How can press officers and science communicators best support women in science?
There has been a huge drive in recent years to increase the number of women choosing careers in academic research and progressing to senior positions. Initiatives such as the Athena SWAN Charter have pushed employers into action to ensure they enable women to further their careers. Funders have now joined the cause – and some have even stated that institutions will lose funding if they do not achieve a Silver Athena SWAN Award.
This imposes new pressures on STEM press officers and communicators. We all want to promote exciting science stories using the best, most relevant spokespeople – but currently the majority of senior scientists are men. How then do we ensure there are enough female role models to inspire a new generation of scientists, engineers and clinicians?
Stempra has arranged a panel discussion at the Wellcome Trust to debate some of the issues that many of us face in our workplace, from the perspective of a scientist, a journalist and a press officer, such as:
- Should we be promoting female spokespeople over other experts? Is affirmative action the way forward?
- How can we help our institutions achieve a Silver Athena Swan award so they don’t lose millions of funds of research funding?
- How should we react to negative stories about women in science in the news and social media?
Dorothy Bishop, Professor of Developmental Neuropsychology, University of Oxford
Tom Feilden, Science and Environment Editor on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme
Helen Jamison, Head of Media Relations at the Wellcome Trust
Claire Bithell, Head of Media Relations at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, will chair the discussion.
Arrive from 6pm, we will kick off at 6:30 pm, wrap up around 8:00 pm and head to a nearby pub. To join us, simply register on eventbrite or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, our events are free and open to all Stempra members. Non-members who would like to attend can join on the night.