Welcome to the International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2019! I am writing this to you, rather fittingly, from a celebration of the women of the Periodic Table (which I’ll be mentioning a lot this year!) in beautiful Murcia in the south of Spain. I’m here to give a talk about a secret project that I will be telling you about later in the year and also to hear lots of talks about amazing women who have contributed to the chemistry and physics of the Periodic table. This is a bit like my version of heaven, as I am surrounded by lots of amazing storytellers who are all here to celebrate the brilliant science of women!
Here’s a question for you though. I’ve just told you that we are celebrating women scientists, but how many do you know? The odds are unfortunately high that you probably don’t know many but today is the perfect day to change that. Here are some of my favourite scientists and some cool things to read about them!
- Jess Wade, Laura Tobin and I made some posters about Irish women in science and they are available in English and as Gaeilge.
- Crazy Aunt Lindsey makes really cool videos about science where she discusses the science behind donuts, light bulbs and ice-cream!
- These posters from the Perimeter Institute are really gorgeous and definitely worth printing off and putting up on your bedroom wall.
- One of my favourite scientists is the brilliant Prof. Kathleen Lonsdale and I wrote a short article about her for Herstory, which also has lots of other amazing Irish Women you can learn about.
- Anna Regoutz is one of the associate editors for the journal Frontiers for Young Minds and she invited me to be a mentor. If you have never heard of this journal, I recommend you check it out. Scientists write articles about their work but there is one BIG difference. Kids and teenagers like you are the reviewers of the article and so the scientists have to write about their science in a way you can understand! For example, you can find out if Tea is a Superfood, if Reading Time and Tablet time have different effects on the Brain and what differences are there amongst Spiders in the Tropics. If you’d like to be a reviewer, let me know and we can review an article together!
- The Smithsonian Magazine are running a series on Women in Science from around the world with loads of great articles for you to read. They cover so many different areas of science and highlight many women whose contributions to science have been overlooked.
- This article by Marie Hicks on how Britain discarded its female computer programmers is a sad but very important read, and she has also recorded a short video for BBC Ideas about this. It is a reminder to everyone that women have so much to contribute and should never be underestimated.
- Last year the Royal Institute invited Alice Roberts and our very own Aoife McLysaught to give the Christmas Lectures titled Who am I?. I didn’t know about these when I was growing up, but they are a really fun way to learn about lots of different areas of science. If you enjoy these then you should also check out The Language of Life by Sophie Scott and Sparks will fly: how to hack your home by Danielle George.
- These incredible scientists from Loreto Balbriggan Secondary School in Dublin investigated animal feed and came 3rd in Europe with their project.
Finally, read all about the women featured in the picture above here.
This post was written, as all our science related ones are, by the amazingly wonderful Dr. Claire Murray, who should, frankly, have her own TV show. (Get on it Netflix).