October is the month of events. And many had a women in science theme, as Tue 15th Oct was Ada Lovelace Day.
At the weekend we held two events as part of Preston’s first feminist festival- the Ladyfest. UCLan hosted a discussion and Q&A on females in business, which was led by entrepreneur and former Dragons Den star Rachel Elnaugh. The event was really inspiring, although Rachel’s faith in energy, vibration and auras did test the scientist in me a little!
On Sunday UCLan campus was inundated with girls aged 7+ and women from many, many careers, for a networking session. The aim of the event was to show girls that they can do anything that they like- they met forensic scientists, paramedics, computer scientists, roller girls, accountants…and their aspirations were truly diverse, from politicians to footballers.
Last week I was lucky enough to attend the ScienceGrrl ‘because science is for everyone’ lecture, at the Uni of Manchester. This was delivered by Brian Cox, who is a keen supporter of public engagement and increasing participation in science. I was invited through the Ogden Trust, who were sponsoring the event and therefore making it free for schools to attend. It was wonderful to hear so many young people ‘wowing’ at science.
And on Monday I spent the day in a primary school in Westgate, Morecambe. I ran a Science Question Time session- the children were encouraged to ask me anything they liked about science, working in science, or- as it turned out- about life in general. As a light touch evaluation I asked the group to draw a scientist at the start of the session- only 3/75 drew a female scientist, and everyone stuck with the mad hair, white lab coat stereotype. By the end of the session they drew a much more diverse range of scientists! Excellent.
And last night we held our Physicist of the Year event. I’ll blog about that separately