Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Here come the science girls

herosizescience.jpg
science.jpg
tube.jpg

Europe needs more scientists. Women are still under represented in fields like engineering, science, mathematics and computing. So it makes sense to try and increase the pool of female talent available in these areas, to get more young women thinking about a career in the sciences.

We would not go about it like this:

The video is the official trailer for an initiative from the EU Commission, Science: It’s a Girl Thing!, aimed at showing teenage girls what a life in the lab can offer them.

It’s pink. It features a lot of close-up shots of shoes, nails and make-up. The three women playing the scientists strut about like catwalk models. The final logo shows the ‘i’ in science replaced with a lipstick.

Unsurprisingly, the video has attracted a lot of negative online comments. YouTube user winklesl said: “What were they thinking?!! I'm a female scientist who spends a lot of my spare time encouraging girls into science and engineering careers. This is just offensive to the nth degree.” Fellow commenter twistedlilkitty left the following sarcastic message: “I like to spend my day in the lab laughing, putting on nail varnish, writing 'Brian Cox is dreamy' over and over in my lab book instead of doing experiments or publishing my work.”

“This part of the campaign is aimed at girls in secondary school,” said Michael Jennings, the research, innovation and science spokesperson for the EU Commission. “We tested quite a few different things with focus groups and they really liked this one. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but we haven’t yet had any teenage girls say it’s patronising.”

The wider campaign does show signs of hope, with a Facebook page featuring a timeline of high-achieving women and video interviews with female scientists from various fields.

“We’re not saying teenage girls are only care about cosmetics and music, but they are areas many of them do care about and we hoped we would attract them to the more serious side of the campaign that way,” said Michael Jennings.

We really do hope the campaign achieves its wider aims, but can we put in a plea for scientists who are good at testing hypothesises and making calculations, rather than those who just look hot in a pair of glasses?

More

This Netflix horror about ghostly ex revenge is perfect Halloween TV

This looks absolutely terrifying

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Sep 2017

The best possible gifts for when flowers aren’t going to cut it

17 unusual and thoughtful gifts for when the s**t hits the fan

by Amy Swales
22 Sep 2017

This Battle of the Sexes legend wants you to STOP asking about McEnroe

“I would like to see John McEnroe win a Grand Slam tournament while pregnant”

by Susan Devaney
22 Sep 2017

“The real reason we should all be upset about Uber”

Grow up: your bank balance really isn’t what’s at stake here

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Sep 2017

There's a huge sherbet fountain coming to London - and it's free

Bompas & Parr are planning a weird, wonderful and nostalgia-filled event

by Helen Brown
22 Sep 2017

Rick and Morty creator responds to sexist trolling of female writers

The show hired four women. Cue cries of “Worst. Episodes. Evah.”

by Amy Swales
22 Sep 2017

Everything you need to know about Uber being banned in London

The taxi firm has had its license revoked by TfL

by Moya Crockett
22 Sep 2017

The new Baileys flavour you’ll want to drink well beyond Halloween

Perfect autumn cocktails ahead

by Amy Swales
22 Sep 2017

This unexpected town has been voted the best place to work in the UK

We didn’t see this one coming

by Moya Crockett
22 Sep 2017

Harry Potter fans, this epic Hogwarts goblet is actually magical

It's perfect for Butterbeer (or prosecco)

by Megan Murray
22 Sep 2017