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Inspiring women in science

Friday 9th February 2018

2018 looks to be an inspiring year for women and this Sunday, 11th February is International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The number of women working in science and tech is on the rise but they are still under-represented in these fields.

In December 2013, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the development of science in which it recognised that “equal access to, and participation in, science is imperative for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls”. One of the outcomes was to establish an international day to recognise the critical role women and girls play in science.

Throughout history, from Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie to Professor Dame Sally Davies, women scientists have helped build our world. At Science Oxford, we like to think we are doing our small bit to enthuse young people about science. Through our Science Oxford education programmes, we aim to cultivate a positive attitude to science and lay the foundations of science learning. We give children the opportunity to experience the excitement of investigation, exploration, experimentation and discovery. We show young girls – and boys – that science can be cool, can lead to an amazing career and can change lives.

Inspiration for young people comes from our fantastic, talented and creative Science Oxford team, many of whom are women. They are all brilliant role models and passionate about inspiring the next generation of scientists and innovators. To celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we will be running a series of in-depth interviews with our amazing female staff, starting with Bridget Holligan, our Director of Education and Engagement, and Noelle Aly, our Clubs Delivery Officer. (Visit our staff page on the Oxford Trust website, select the profile you want to read and scroll down to read the interview.)

We have several inspirational women trustees too – read about Georgina Ferry, our Deputy Chair of Trustees and a science writer, author and broadcaster. Georgina herself has been inspired by women in science, writing the first biography of Britain’s only female Nobel prizewinning scientist, Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin. (Visit our Trustees page on the Oxford Trust website and select Georgina’s profile and scroll down to read her interview.)

The Oxford region is one of the UK’s most significant centres for science-based research and enterprise, so investing in and supporting future generations is critical to maintaining the county’s position at the forefront of research and innovation. We hope, through our work at Science Oxford, we enable more young people to opt for careers in science and tech: the role models of the future. We hope many more are women.

You can watch this film where Noelle leads a wearable tech workshop with a targeted group of young people from the Bicester region. The Wearable Technology Challenge was delivered in partnership with OYAP Trust and funded by Cherwell District Council – Spark Fund. You can follow Noelle on twitter here.

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