Last week, Humphrey Jones of the Frog Blog set up a survey to discover the most influential figures in Irish science and on Thursday the results were in. As I read through the long list of well-deserving people I noticed the vast majority of them were men (only 5 out of 34 individuals/groups were women). At first, I shrugged this off with the usual… sure isn’t science male-dominated and that’s why people are working to change this landscape e.g. WITS Inspiring Women Interviews DVD released that day. As the day progressed, I couldn’t stop thinking about this poor showing. It got me wondering about women that should have been included (there are many) and how to increase the number of “influential” women.
Five brilliant and inspiring women were included in the list… but surely 15% is low??
- Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin
- Aoife McLysaght
- Claire O’Connell
- Ellen Byrne
- Maire Geoghegan Quinn
I realise that this was a quick survey and other groups of people were also in a minority. Last night on twitter @ssanvito pointed out the low number of scientists on the list. That’s a problem I’ll leave in the scientists capable hands, but there is definitely something we can do to address the science communication piece of the picture.
It’s time to start an Irish Women in SciComm group! I know there are a lot of “Women in…” groups out there and I don’t want to create something that is redundant but I feel if we put our minds together we could achieve a lot. Here’s a few ideas I’d like to throw out there but it’s probably best if whoever is interested (if anyone is?!?) meets and decides what to focus on.
- Increase the number of women in SciComm by:
- Having get-togethers to enhance networks and grow as a community
- Workshops/talks to enable more success
- Promoting SciComm to young women
- Do you have any other ideas???
Update (1pm): Yay! There’s already some interest… see new twitter list: Irish Women in SciComm