Tuesday 17 March 2015

Articles of interest 17/03/15

Canada’s Perimeter institute recently had a feature on the ‘Pioneering women of Physics’ - including a former AIP Women in Physics Lecturer Jocelyn Bell Burnell. A great list, with some ‘usual’ and non usual suspects. In particular I loved the inclusion of Ursula Franklin who spoke at the International Women in Physics conference in Waterloo in 2014. What do you think of the list, who’s been missed out? Perhaps we should look to developing one with an Australian slant?

On a sadder note is The Conversation article on the fact that teachers will marks boys in maths more favorably than girls. It explains the results of a long-term study that it is thought reflects the societal expectation that ‘girls can’t do maths’. The article itself has prompted some debate in the comments. This issue has been hot in the press of late, with the Guardian running a story on the fact that girls ‘lack self-confidence’ in maths. This was prompted by research from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, which again pinned the blame on expectations of parents and teachers. It’s a nebulous problem, but what approaches should we (as a society who don’t lack confidence in maths) look to take?

Tuesday 3 March 2015

Opportunities, articles and events 03/03/15


Applications for the L’Oreal Women in Science Fellowships 2015 were announced this week.  The fellowships (and award of $25,000) is open to Early Career Researchers who  work in a range of fields including material sciences, physical sciences, mathematics or engineering.  For information on how to apply see http://loreal.scienceinpublic.com.au/


A couple of articles of interest this week, the first is a report from the UK’s IOP about their naming of Juno Champions in University Departments (I may be a little biased in liking this news, as my old department UCL was named)  http://www.iop.org/news/15/feb/page_65037.html  We’re certainly taking a lot of interest in the IOP’s Juno project, which aims to ‘The aim of Juno is to recognise and reward departments that can demonstrate they have taken action to address the under-representation of women in university physics and to encourage better practice for both women and men.’ http://www.iop.org/policy/diversity/initiatives/juno/index.html
Also an interesting read is a post by Athene Donald on her blog http://occamstypewriter.org/athenedonald/2015/02/27/why-cant-a-woman-be-more-like-a-man-2/ a response to the recent concern’s that the UK’s Royal Society wasn’t treating women fairly http://occamstypewriter.org/athenedonald/2014/09/25/is-the-royal-society-treating-women-fairly/  Donald’s insight, she regularly sits on other Royal Society panels, is really interesting.   There’s also an interesting comment stream on the post too.  


Those of you in Sydney might be interested in the Women in Science forum, hosted by UNSW at the National Maritime museum this Friday http://www.science.unsw.edu.au/events/science-5050-women-science-symposium , including the launch of their 50:50 project.  There’s an option to watch the launch via the web if you’re further afield.
For those of you in Victoria, you may be interested in the ‘F word – science’ event at Melbourne’s wheeler centre on the 16th April http://www.wheelercentre.com/events/science