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?

Comments

More

What it's really like to spend a year in Antarctica

No sun, no smell and absolutely no sleep... by Sarah Biddlecombe

23 Sep 2016

Is Sadiq Khan about to make London rents affordable?

Enter, London Living Rent by Harriet Hall

23 Sep 2016

More than half of us find it difficult to work because of period pain

... but most of us won't admit it, new survey reveals by Harriet Hall

23 Sep 2016

This organisation will pay you to drink red wine

We’ll raise a glass to that… by Kayleigh Dray

23 Sep 2016

Why do I wake up at the same time every night?

It’s 2am and you’re wide awake. Again. What’s the deal? by Kayleigh Dray

22 Sep 2016

“Going out with a bang: why I chose to plan my own funeral, aged 33”

Wedding planning is so last year... by The Stylist web team

22 Sep 2016

It’s official: these are the best places to work and live abroad

Fancy starting a new career overseas? These are the best countries to do it in… by Kayleigh Dray

22 Sep 2016

Are puppy bouquets the next big thing in weddings?

Let's hope so by Sarah Biddlecombe

22 Sep 2016

Food revolution: the UK’s first waste supermarket has opened

by Harriet Hall

22 Sep 2016

This is the exact point where your Netflix addiction will start

At a certain point, binge-watching becomes inevitable by Moya Crockett

22 Sep 2016