500 Women Scientists

Shortly before starting my new job at the University of Manchester, I came across this article by chance.  It is a Guardian write-up of the 500 Women Scientists movement, where over 11,000 women working in science have signed an open letter pledging to combat discrimination and “anti-science sentiment” following the US election (and other troubling recent events).

This in itself was very inspiring for me, as an early career scientist who fits in to two of the groups listed as common targets of discrimination. Then I was truly thrilled to see quotes from my new boss, Franciska, half way down. It reports she said she hoped it would develop into a “global network” of scientists who would support each other in research and to inspire young women to embark on careers in science. It made me even more excited to work for her in the BBSRC root exudate project, and I’ve been suitably impressed with both her and Angie so far.

If you head over to the 500 Women Scientists page, you can find the main points as listed here, and the full pledge.

  • Identify and acknowledge structural inequalities and biases that affect the potential of all individuals to fulfill their goals;
  • Push for equality and stand up to inequality, discrimination, and aggression;
  • Push to strengthen the support for traditionally under-represented groups to fully participate in and become leaders in science;
  • Support the education and careers of all scientists;
  • Step outside of our research disciplines to communicate our science and engage with the public;
  • Use every day as an opportunity to demonstrate to young girls and women that they are welcome and needed in science;
  • Set examples through mentorship and through fostering an atmosphere of encouragement and collaboration, not one of divisiveness;
  • Use the language of science to bridge the divides that separate societies and to enhance global diplomacy
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