International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2020

Today’s blog comes from Donna Speed, Chief Executive of We The Curious on the importance of marking International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2020.

The theme for this year is ‘Investment in Women and Girls in Science for Inclusive Green Growth.’ 

I’m proud to say that We The Curious was the first science centre in the world to declare a climate emergency and has inspired more science centres to act. In Bristol, many organisations have united to address the causes of climate change, before the impacts become irreversible.

We hear daily accounts describing the devastating impact that the actions of humans are having on our planet. We are moved by the bravery of those trying to turn the tide before it’s too late; such as Greta Thunberg’s impassioned speeches challenging those in power to do more. For me, Greta is incredibly inspirational as a young woman and as an advocate of the power and importance of science. Greta’s focus has always been on the facts, looking at the research and what it tells us:

These numbers are not my opinions. They aren’t anyone’s opinions or political views. This is the current best available science. Though a great number of scientists suggest even these figures are too moderate, these are the ones that have been accepted by all nations through the IPCC.”

Given the challenges we face on a global scale, it makes sense to have as many brains – as many different ideas, experience, talents and views – as possible working on scientific solutions. Yet science, in education and in industry, is still very much the province of men. Barely over a quarter of girls choose to go into science subjects in education, with women making up a similar percentage of research posts and just 25% of the STEM workforce. 

We need more girls and women in science. We need to be included in both post-GCSE science education and going on into research and industry. We need to recognise the power that we possess and the value we bring, and take inspiration from brilliant women, because the problems we face are going to need all of us working together to solve them.

For those of you think that science ‘Is Not For Me’. I myself thought the same way at school, because I didn’t have all the answers. But science isn’t about answers, it’s about questions, and it’s EVERYWHERE. If you’re curious or concerned about any aspect of the world – from the technology that gave you the phone in your hand to the science that may help to solve the climate emergency – then you’re interested in science. Why not follow that interest and see where it leads?

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